Showing posts from January, 2011

Toasting the Tootsies & Pondering Poultry!

I wrote in a previous post about having no heating for nearly 10 days in the recent freeze up. I had natural gas for heating and cooking ,electricity from the ESB (Electricity Supply Board) which is our state owned/run utility company.When I came into this house 14 years ago, there was only an open coal fire which heated the water in the tank only. We spent one winter freezing, going to bed putting more clothes on than we had taken off, hot water bottles and piles of bedclothes. I got in the gas heating and also took out the solid fuel fire and had a gas fire put in for convenience.It was rarely used ,maybe around Christmas more for atmosphere than anything else.
When I had no means of heating the radiators as the fan in the boiler had given up the ghost the same gas fire could not heat 3 ft in front of it without the back up of the radiator.
I decided then to get the gas fire taken out and revert back to a solid fuel fire as an independent means of heating without being completely reli…

Irish Times Potato advice

While browsing Facebook, Kehoes Brilliant Garden Centre caught my eye with this link from last Thurs Irish Times.The said paper was gone by the time I went up to my local shop so I was delighted to see this link as it is from Fionualla Fallon's gardening column. Fionualla is the lady who visited our allotments last year to take some pics and talk to us for inclusion in a forthcoming book she is writing.
The topic of new potatoes is foremost for all veg gardeners at the moment whether we can get out in the garden or not,so this is topical and very interesting.
Kehoes Brilliant garden centre also has a Blog presence in the shape of joyous flowers here

Recycling & Rethinking!

The new season begins and with it some recycling to start off seeds etc.I have lots of egg boxes which are just the right size and shape to chit the seed potatoes. I heard an advert on local radio during the week saying a garden centre had just got in stocks of seed potatoes already!
I know there is always a debate to chit or not, I have done it for the years I have been on the plot so cannot comment on not chitting.We could try a drill of unchitted and a drill of chitted to see if there is any difference in growth rate and yields.The one drawback to chitting which we encountered a couple of years ago was the trays of seed potatoes attracted rats into the shed and all the potatoes had to be discarded and replaced.
Plastic fruit trays with air holes already punched through the bottoms for seed sowing.Our local Aldi store usually has trays for soft fruit with a high lid which are ideal as mini incubators for seed.The small trays are useful if small amounts of seed are sown instead of usin…


Theanne is going to learn as much as possible about Livorno in Italy as it has personal connections with her late husband and she has a liking for all things Italian!
I remembered I have had two visits to Italy, visiting Venice each time.The first trip I took to Italy I stayed on Lake Garda and took the train for a day trip to Venice where it was so hot we could not walk around!
The second visit I stayed in Venice for 4 days in April 2007 and it was flooded! I know you are saying it is supposed to be they have canals instead of streets!Twice yearly the canals actually rise and flood the walkways and squares.
Pic above is the Bridge of Sighs, so called as it was the last glimpse prisoners got of the outside world as they went from the Doges Palace to the prison.
The entrance to St Marks Cathedral was flooded and these high wooden ramps were placed around for people to walk on, they were also around the squares and anywhere the water would rise at high tide.
St Marks Sq, at times most of it …

New Season's Seed Planning

New Year in the offing and the sowing sap is rising! I got out all of my seeds and culled anything out of date or anything which I had bought with the intentions of 'trying' and didn't.The recession is biting everyone this year so feeding the family for as long a season as possible is the aim for this year.Successional sowing will be the buzz words for the allotment.Keeping records will also be on the agenda as I usually cannot remember from year to year what was sown and performed well or failed.I plant seeds at home which is about 5 miles from the allotment, moving the seedlings to their growing position has often meant tags become lost on the way!
This mornings labours were brought about by taking a look at the garden at home. I had been raking up leaves and discovered daffodils peeping through the soil!Some of you may remember our monster parsnip which weighed in at over 4 lbs!I found a half empty seed packet which is probably the one I used.Tender & True, exhibitio…