Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘salad’

I’m back!

In Garden, sustainable living on May 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

Hi folks, I’m back in blogland again after my break. I have’nt been near the computer in 3 weeks. No blog, email, Facebook, Twitter or checking out all the wonderful and inspiring blogs out there. I have to say I enjoyed the break, the world did’nt end and I had no withdrawal symptoms. But hey, I’m back and the weather here in Ireland is fab. Hurrah!!

The Sun has been shining since daybreak. I took these pictures at about 8.30 when I went to open the polytunnel. There’s no going in there later when it gets to 25c. The fields are filled with golden Buttercups right now…beautiful!

So nice to break fast with a few ripe Strawberries already warm from the morning Sun…

and the promise of many more to come.

Everything in the polytunnel is growing at a great rate,  lots of Lettuce for the salads we have everyday. Nasturtiums in flower as are Pot Marigold. Dual purpose plants as they draw in beneficial insects as well as being edible.

The Peach has set lots of fruit…I really must thin them this year. Thinning ensures you get nice big fruits of better quality. Take out any fruits that are touching each other as they will end up squashing and bruising each other. Bob Flowerdew in his Grow your Own, Eat your Own book says ” Peaches over crop as of right, and really must be ruthlessly thinned so that no 2 fruits will touch each other when they’re full size, leave only a sensible number per tree or you will be processing masses of under-ripe squits. Too many exhaust the tree, fail to reach any size or even ripen. Literally decimate them down to the best one in every ten, leave those and they will get huge!” Don’t know if I can be that ruthless…but I’ll try! Bye for now…off to enjoy some sunshine.

 

On Butterflies and garden progress.

In Garden, herbal remedies, sustainable living on April 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

 

The Peacock Butterflies are out of hibernation now, I saw this one on the lane drinking from a Dandelion. Could’nt get close enough for a better photo, it took several attempts to get this one. It is a bit better if you click on it to enlarge. The favoured place for Peacocks to lay their eggs is on Nettles so if you have a patch of Nettles leave them for the Butterflies. They need to be in a sunny spot though. Do of course have the fresh tops for soup…very nutritious and an old remedy for cleansing the blood in Spring.

 

In the garden the Raspberries are at last starting to spread. They were planted 2 years ago and have’nt done much up to now. Thigs are looking good for this year…lots of flower buds. Fresh Raspberries…bliss!

 

In the polytunnel the beds are filling up with transplants. Growth is slow enough as the night’s are still quite cold.

 

With good planning it is possible to have salad crops all year round. These red Lettuces ready for picking now were planted last August. They don’t make much growth over the Winter as our polytunnel is unheated but once Spring comes they take off again. Having fresh salads is a big priority for us as we eat a lot of salad…in all seasons. I never buy supermarket salads as Lettuce is one of the most sprayed crops grown commmercially. I remember reading once that the average Lettuce is sprayed on average 22 times in it’s short forced-grown life. Washing does not remove these poisons…for that is what they are…and then it is eaten raw.

 

Pot Marigolds or Calendula are flowering early in the polytunnel. I love their cheery faces. The whole plant is edible but I find the leaves a bit coarse so I only use the petals which look lovely decorating a salad. The petals also make a soothing eyewash and a salve can be made can also be made from them. It is very good for cuts, grazes and rashes.

 

 A handful of Lettuce leaves and Parsley to make the evening salad…with a nice dressing to accompany it makes a fitting complement to any meal. Topped off of course with a Spring Onion and a scattering of Marigold petals. Art, happiness and Nature’s Bounty on a plate at the end of the day. Perfect!

Who said Sunday was a lazy day?

In sustainable living on November 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

This morning we decided to drive down to Lough Allen, which is about 5 miles away, and have a walk on the pebbled foreshore as we often do. However it was not to be as the lake was further in than usual at this time of year. I think the good weather of the last couple of weeks had made us forget all the rain that preceded it. The pathway was not to be seen, completely covered with water.

It’s challenging farming here, this is nearby farmland completely flooded. This land will not be usable again until next Spring. Our old house and land came right down to the lake about quarter of a mile further on from here.

 Our next stop was an old cottage that is for sale. Regular readers will know of my liking for poking around old places, I just love it! This one still has the crane over the fireplace where the kettle or pot used to hang in bygone years. There would be a hook hanging down nearer the flame on which to hang your vessel. I bet many a good meal was cooked here.

It’s been a while since the bed was slept in! Even I have to work hard to see potential in this one. Surrounded by Sitka Spruce forest and up a very long lane with a gate half up which must be kept closed, I don’t thing this one will sell in a hurry!

Back home by 2.45. The wine, made from the last of the grapes is bubbling away.

Soon the stove is fired up and throwing out welcome warmth. Quick coffee and then the house is filled with the scent of Summer…

Strawberry jam cooked and potted up.

Then to the polytunnel to get some salad to go with the rice and dhal we are having for dinner. Yes, we still have Nasturtiums in flower. The frosts so far have been very mild. So that’s it, another lazy Sunday ends!