In Garden, sustainable living on March 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm
As the temperatures rise I like to have a fruit breakfast. I find it hard to eat cold food in the Winter but once Spring comes I change from my tea and toast or porridge to smoothies. May not have one every day but certainly a couple a week.
This morning I had a Banana and Avacado smoothie made with soya milk and a little honey for a bit of extra sweet. I did’nt use all those Bananas…just two. To make: just put the peeled fruit in the blender. cover with soya milk and whizz. A couple of seconds and it’s done.
Forgot to say I also add Spirulina, hence the green colour. Spiriluna is a microscopic fresh water plant packed with goodness. It contains antioxidants, trace elements and all the essential amino acids. It is available in powdered form from good health food stores. I use half a teaspoon in a pint of smoothie. That gives me energy for about 6 hours.
After my power breakfast I was ready for some hard work. This old residence in our back field has some lovely cut stone. All the old cottages would have been built from stone. This was inhabitated up to 60 years ago. Hard to believe isn’t it! These lovely stones are ideal for making raised beds. I can carry about 3 in the wheelbarrow…2 if they’re very big. Andy can carry more but he was away today. Thought I’d show off while he was out!
After some lighter garden work, pricking out seedlings and training Tayberries my thoughts once again turned to food. What to have for dinner? We still have a few Squashes left so I decided to use one of them to make a soup. These have been stored in the spare room over winter and are still perfectly sound. Last Summer was’nt great for Pumpkins as it was cold and wet. Only the indoor ones produced anything. That fine Butternut in front was the only one from 5 plants. Don’t know what the grey skinned one is called, I saved seed from a Pumpkin we had in Bulgaria. Over there they grow to 3 times that size.
As you can see they are still perfectly sound. The skin does become very hard so a good sharp knife is needed to peel. Together with Carrots and Lentils this will make a delicious soup for our evening meal.
Hope you had a good Spring Equinox day!
In nature, sustainable living on March 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm
As Spring Equinox approaches we are spending lots of time in the garden. It’s that time of year when the green returns and we are enthused by spending time revelling in it. In the polytunnel beds have been dug and manured ready for the plants that are growing in the seed trays. The Peach tree is in full flower. This will need to be hand pollinated as there are few insects about this early. Some seeds are sown direct in the beds: Oriental Salad Mix, Rocket, Spring Onions and Spinach.
All the manure used in the garden is from our own animals. There’s also the compost made from vegetable waste from the garden, vegetable peelings and teabags from the house. It is full of worms, beautifully dark and crumbly.
Spring Equinox is a day earlier than usual this year because of the leap year. The Equinox ocurs about 6 hours later each year, with a jump of a day backwards on leap years, hence 20th March this year. The Sun will be rising earlier each day now, 6.o5 tomorrow, and nightfall will be coming later and later.
Strawberries are already flowering in the polytunnel, very early this year. This is an alpine variety, small but very sweet fruits.
At the Vernal Equinox day and night are of almost equal length. The Sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours, then sets exactly in the west. I look forward to the budding trees revealing their beautiful new leaves, the wind becoming less harsh, plants sprouting and everything being seized by the vibrancy of the Spring season. For this is the real beginning of Spring.
Everything in nature is being revived, growth really takes off and the Sun is gaining height and strength. A great festival of awakening.
Happy days to all. May you and yours revel in the joy and beauty of it all.
In Gardening on March 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm
So here we are at Spring Equinox already. I love this time of year. One is filled with anticipation of the coming Summer, warmer weather and of course the abundance of the garden and hedgerows. This is the real first day of Spring. Of course this one is extra special because of the full Moon which was incredible. Apparently it’s the closest the Moon has been to earth in 800 years. We have the lenghtening days to look forward to and each day the Sun is gaining strength.
In the polytunnel the Peach tree has sent forth its first blossom. Oooh, the joy of a fresh peach from one’s own garden. Last year we had about 40 peaches. They were so different from the hard tasteless ones available in the supermarket. So juicy and delicious, it was heavenly to go out and pick a fresh peach for breakfast.
As has become our tradition we planted potatoes on St. Patrick’s. Three varieties: May Queen, Epicure and Sharpe’s Express were planted in bags. We had five of each variety which we got from Seed Savers in Scariff as a bonus of our membership.
Old compost bags were used, about six inches of garden compost placed in the bottom, potatoes on top, then a couple more inches of compost. As the potatoes grow more compost is added until the bag is full. If you are going to try this turn the bag inside out. The bags are usually black inside so this draws and holds the heat better. Don’t forget to put some holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage.