In Animals, sustainable living, Uncategorized on April 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm
A rainbow fading out over the hill in front of the house a few evening’s ago. I love rainbow’s…they always make me think about my Granny’s stories of how if you caught a Leprechaun, and could hold onto him, you could force him to lead you to the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. The Leprechaun’s were very clever and would always think of some way to frighten you into letting go of them. They would then run off laughing and leaping with joy at fooling a stupid human again.
Back to present times and today we pulled the last Kale plants to make way for new plantings. Such a great plant, we were provided with green pickings all Winter, then the seed heads for the last few weeks. Today the Goats got to have a meal from them too. Value indeed! I don’t put the stalks in the compost as they take ages to break down.
Some of the plants were huge, this one was 5ft tall. Kale is a very hungry plant so ground where it has grown needs to be well fertilised before the next crop. It is also a very nutritious plant being high in calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin C, carotenes and chlorophyll. Carotenes have anti-cancer properties helping to guard against the development of cancer if consumed regularly.
Even Daphne, our lovely donkey girlie, came to have some Kale. Smart girl, she knows what’s good for her.
The last of our Kale harvest went into a soup. Together with Leeks, Potatoes and a few Nettle tops it made a delicious nutritious meal.
In a shaded part of the garden is this Wild Garlic. I don’t know the proper name of it. I got a clump of it from a friend last year, she did’nt know the name either. Anyone out there know? It can be used in the same way as Ransoms, all parts edible.
In Gardening, green living on March 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Daffodils about to bloom…these should be in flower for St. Patrick’s Day.
Lots of growth on Summer flowering plants in the background.
Tete a tete still in flower. Poached Egg plant, in front, survived the mild Winter.
Hot chocolate in Sligo…did’nt realise the “large” would be quite this big! We managed it though!
First Peach blossoms in the polytunnel. I will hand pollinate these when all the blooms are out. Not enough insects yet to do the job.
The first forage…picking Wild Garlic in Lough Key Forest Park.
Made Wild Garlic and Parsley pesto. Delicious with pasta and home-grown salad.
Planting Foxgloves with local school children. The teacher told me the old local name for Foxgloves is Fairy Fingers.
Click on pics to enlarge.
In Foraging., Gardening, sustainable living on March 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm
Earlier in the week we went to Lough Key Forest Park to pick Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum). This is one of the years first gifts from Mother Nature’s pantry that we accept gratefully here at Prospect Cottage. The plants, often called Ramsons, are found in damp woodland that has slightly acid soil. They are usually growing near or among bluebells. If you have not collected Ramsons before do be careful as Arum maculatum, commonly known as Lords and Ladies or Cuckoopint, also often grows in the same area. When the Arum is young it’s leaves are strappy like the Ramsons so can be easily mistaken for it.
Mature leaf of Arum maculatum.
I knew someone years ago who ate some of this Arum by mistake. Apart from being ill and hospitalised he never had full movement in his neck again. A foolproof way to be sure is rub the leaf between your fingers, you will get the unmistakeable smell of garlic.
An abundance of Wild Garlic.
Wild Garlic has many health benefits. It contains antioxidants and vitaminC, is beneficial for respiratory problems, high blood pressure, cholesterol and cleansing the blood. A free medicine from Nature.
If you intend to make food foraging a regular habit it’s a good idea to get a good book on the subject. The one on the left was published in Ireland in 1978, Wild and Free by Cyril & Kit O’Ceirin,it is out of print now. I have this copy for many years. It’s great as it gives the folklore of each plant. The other book, Food for Free, first published in 1978, I got recently. It has sketches and recipes plus plant descriptions.