Showing posts from June, 2009

Being Green with Shakespeare!

Yesterdays harvest became todays dinner.I made the Spinach and Feta Cheese flan which is becoming a favourite. Some of the new potaoes were very small so I boiled them and allowed them to go cold. I blanched the beans in salted water and refreshed under cold water. I mixed them together with salt,pepper and mayo and had a lovely salad to go with the flan plus some lettuce.While reading allotment2kitchen last night I came across much the same recipe but used warm! There is also a lovely recipe for raspberry oaty bars which I intend to try rather than making jam with all of ours.
These potatoes are the Orlas and these were the first I used of them.I noticed some holes in them, while they look like worm holes surely our nice worms who turn our waste into compost know the difference between our good spuds and waste??!!All info appreciated, I will post the photo and question on gardeners forum also.
Back to Shakespeare, while unpacking I came across this bag I had bought in Stratford on Avon…

Fruit and flowers

I am so excited, I have figured out how to load up more than 5 photos to my posts! This morning I strolled around the garden checking on what had come out or died back while I was away and also on the allotment.I was trying to decide which to post first when I had a brainwave ( I may have to lie down for a while)and got them all loaded up.Captions will be brief as I don't want to tax myself completely.First is one of the squash plants which is planted in the sweetcorn bed, with flowers and tiny fruit.
Today's harvest was spinach,dwarf beans,Orla potatoes and lettuce.
There is a huge amount of raspberries even though Kathryn had picked what were ripe on Sat and made some jam
One of my baskets at the front of the house,this one is Bonfire begonia.
Red begonia and a yellow one which I cut out of the photo and a bacoba.
Fuchsia out the back, I cannot cut back the hedge until it is finished flowering as it is growing through it.
The hosta has sent up long spires of purple flowers.
My Lill…

Shakespeare and Stratford on Avon 1

Back home after the weekend in Leamington Spa. I discovered we were only a 45 minute bus ride from Stratford on Avon which is Shakespeare's birthplace so we set off on Friday to visit.We had just landed on the open topped, hop on hop off tour bus when the heavens opened for a two hour deluge so our hopping on and off the bus was severely curtailed!I heard one lady remark " thats not just rain, its the wrath of God pouring down"! The houses in the photo are preserved in the town centre and the one to the far end is the house where the bard was born.A lot of houses of the period are very well preserved and newer ones built in a style sympathetic to the period. It is not a quaint old village but a very busy tourist town.
We could not visit all of the places associated with him but made a point of stopping at Anne Hathaways cottage.It is a beautifully preserved place and a guided tour goes through the rooms which have been furnished in the period style. The cottage had a farm…

Shakespeare and Stratford on Avon 2

One of the many flower displays around the town ,this one is at a roundabout. It looks like bunnies made of small succulents and are dotted around the flower bed. The hanging baskets were stunning and hung everywhere.
Some of the house names are quaint and whimsical and in keeping with the tourist attractions.The shops and houses are kept in theme with the whole Shakespeare tourist trail.
The house is Shakespeare's birthplace and these students were getting in the name plaque to prove they were there! The house is entered from the side by going through the Shakespeare Experience and paying £12 to see inside.I would wonder how long more it will survive with the volume of tourists tramping through it each day.
A permanent Christmas Shop! The smell of cinnamon or pine I am not sure which, hits you as soon as you walk through the door.Selling ornaments and Santa's in June.Business was brisk when we went inside.
Lots of people were taking photos and going inside this particular shop.S…

Allotment Open Day 1

Our Allotment open day was a great success in bright sunshine.First an update on Kevin, he is now home on the way to a complete recovery. He developed a limp which got steadily worse and by the time he was admitted to hospital he could hardly walk.After extensive tests including an MRI scan we are no wiser as to what caused it, it may have been a viral infection.He was very upset missing the Open Day but we will have a BBQ especially for him soon to make up for it. He told the medical staff about the allotment and what we were growing and from all accounts at least one of them is very interested in visiting or maybe even getting a plot!I was only there for a couple of hours on the day but did manage to take a few photos, I was babysitting Scott for the day and brought him on his first visit to the allotments and he had a ball.Pic of the windmills and scarecrows on Sinead, Aoife and Kevin's plots.They all have terrific onions growing ,much better than our ones!
Allotment owner Zwena…

Allotment Open Day 2

Photo is of Chris setting out the tables for the food,which he prepared on the day for which donations were accepted to give to a charity.Chris had made different types of scones,served with cream and rhubarb jam and also his Elderberry cordial which went down a treat on such a warm day.Chris is also organizing a 'Slow Food' event on the allotment in August, I will do a post on this soon with full details.
Some of the visitors browsing around the plots, it also shows the top of our new plot and one of our wicket gates of which I forgot to take a decent photo.Most of the plotters were present so it was nice to talk to everyone as we all go out at different times and do not meet up very often.
View down the new plots which are all looking green and productive.Visitors arrived all afternoon so it did not get too crowded at any one time and was nice and relaxed, everyone could look at the plots and speak to the owners, it had an air of an old fashioned garden party!
A view down the …

A Busy Week

I cannot believe it is a whole week since I posted here! It has been a very busy week on all fronts and when I came home each night I just tidied up the house,showered and fell into bed.Today is our allotment Open Day and we have spent the week painting and bringing our plots up to 'show' standard. Today is marred a little as my gardener in chief Kevin was admitted to hospital last night and is waiting to have an MRI scan this morning but he is in good form and enjoying the attention.
All of the old machinery has been painted and put out on display and flowers are blooming all over the place.A large number of visitors are expected and the day so far is sunny but breezy.Kathryn and the kids weeding up a storm to get all the beds cleaned up.
One of the days produce, I did not have the camera some days or forgot to take photos.I pulled up all of the garlic as the rust had taken over despite spraying a few times.Some of the bulbs had started to develop into cloves, we can use them …

Plot to Plate

We spent most of today on the allotment, it was a beautiful sunny day if a little breezy with a few heavy showers.We hung the three gates and with Kevin's help got the gates and posts primed and undercoated.We did some weeding and watering and of course can now pick something to eat on site or take home.The Spinach has finally taken off and I pulled what I thought was a lot but it sweats down to a tiny portion, some of our peas and of course some red strawberries, no point in leaving them for the slugs.
I have only used Spinach a few times and basically just steamed it, today I decided to make a Spinach,bacon and feta cheese tart.I found a recipe online which did not look too complicated or had too many ingredients so went ahead and made it.I used Catherine's recipe for the pastry, I have been getting compliments on my pastry since I began using it.It is:
8ozs Self Raising Flour,
4ozs Hard margarine or butter ( I use the butter)
1 oz of icing sugar (for sweet pastry) or pinch of s…


Today I decided I could not wait any longer to see if we had pops under the stalks! I dug up just one of the Colleen, there were 11 potatoes under it, weighing in at just over 1 lb or 500 grms.Some of them are quite small the largest being about the size of an egg.The skins are wonderfully light,the slightest touch rubs it off. I will leave them for another week before trying another one.The proof of the pops is in the eating so they will be used tonight for dinner for 2.
The rest of the 'booty' from the allotment, 6 lovely fresh eggs just gathered this morning.Zwena collects them every morning and leaves them in the fridge in the tea room. There is an honesty policy in operation money is left in a mug for the eggs to go towards the cost of feed for the hens.They are 4.20e a dozen but even one can be taken if that is all you want.The hens are really getting the hang of the egg laying and the daily total is increasing, some of them are small but one hen is laying quite large egg…

Crochet and Compost

Baby Katie finally got her finished crochet blanket, with all the gardening for the past few weeks crocheting has been relegated to a couple of nights.The blanket was nearly finished when I ran out of the darker colour for the squares and it is no longer being produced so the whole thing had to be unpicked and different coloured squares put in to complete the blanket.Katie looks quite pleased with it even though she seems to be examining it for mistakes!
The PSB bed that was has now been nearly covered with the wilted leaves and kitchen compost which I brought out to rot down on the bed, it does not look pretty and believe me it did not smell pretty either! This was covered with the compost from the composter then wet cardboard and finally black plastic.It will rot down until next spring when it should be rejuvenated and ready for replanting.
I had to take a photo of Micheal's bird scarers,there are cans hung on strings to bang against each other in the wind and make lots of noise.I…

Lunch Munch

I pulled one of the lettuce growing in the timber bed out back, this is the head after being washed ,more than enough for lunch for the week! It is crisp and tasty. I reset another plant in place of it as I have some extras 'heeled' in to a spot in the garden as I am trying to keep a succession of fresh salad leaves going for the whole summer.
Lunch munch sandwich, lettuce, I had to buy the tomatoes as I don't have any ready to eat as yet. The onion I pulled on the plot last evening as it was developing a seed head but it is edible as is. Chives also from the garden to complement and this is what I call a fresh lunch! The sun is shining so I am off to sit outside with the teapot and sandwich.