Showing posts from 2012

Plotting for Christmas

I went out to the plot today, it was bleak, windy and wet and I was the only one there! I gathered most of the sprouts and some of our Rosemary.The sprouts were divided up between 3 houses for Christmas dinner and there are still quite a few left on 5 plants that are producing.
Rosemary is going wild as I keep forgetting it is there! Garlic and Rosemary roasties for dinner.
The carrots in the barrel did not make the grade for dinner, lots of green growth but minuscule carrots!I think I should have brought the barrel home to be close to hand for watering regularly.We have a bit  of upheaval coming up with the plot in the New year, explanations later!

 Some Christmas preparation at home, cranberry sauce made last night. I am not a lover of Cranberry sauce on my turkey but like it as more of a chutney!

Christmas cake iced, the 2 halves are D. Michelle's who divides a cake between 2 people who just like a little 'taste' of Christmas cake.The cake was almond iced then cut in …

Christmas Gardening Gift

Sometime ago ( about 2 years ago ) I mentioned we had a real live author visit us on the allotment. Fionnuala Fallon is a well known gardening writer who has written a long running gardening column in the Irish Times.The fabulous walled victorian garden in the Ashdown estate in Dublins Phoenix Park  was the subject of the column 'The Urban Farmer'.
Fionnuala has now published her book 'From the Ground Up'.
The book is not your common or garden (excuse the pun) gardening book.There are 15 chapters and each one is a story about a particular gardener(s) growing in a very different environment.
Some have overcome huge problems such as boggy ground, growing near the sea etc.
Most gardening books are a list of what to do and when, this book can be read as a book of short stories, there are gems of information scattered throughout and what you learn along the way can be put to good use whether you have a balcony as in Eight Square Metres where a young couple grow their own o…
I have'nt felt the need to post so soon for a while! While online looking at a website I followed a link to a blog which sounded as if it was garden related,sure enough it was and it is Irish! I suppose I have become a little disillusioned with the lack of fellow garden bloggers in Ireland to exchange ideas and /or advice, apart from one or two, garden bloggers seemed to be rather thin on the ground (pardon the pun)!
 This particular post is amazing as it highlights food waste particularly and an amazing event coming up to bring it home to people, read and enjoy!
Irish food/garden blogger

Spammed Off!

Hello from a very spammed off Blogger! Despite sending a captcha feedback complaint to Blogger over a month ago I still have not gotten any feedback from them?! I have been otherwise busy...we had a  marvelous day in Co Kilkenny on 27th Oct to commemorate my grand uncle Michael who died in France towards the end of WW1. I have already covered his story and our efforts to trace him online here
In beautiful autumn sunshine  we had a very simple and moving ceremony attended by more than 40 extended family and friends, members of the American Legion in Ireland led by Retired master Sargent Ron Howko. My son Kevin who was home on leave from serving with a European mission received the folded Stars and Stripes
 Michael K.Holmes with the photo of the  memorial tablet which was sent by the American Government and now adorns his parents grave, Michael's remains were never recovered and only his name is recorded on the wall of the Missing in the Meuse Argonne American cemetery in France


Some Housekeeping

Firstly let me congratulate Matron for winning 4th prize for her Giant Pumpkin! First time entering a competition and winning a very decent prize indeed.Pop over and visit matron's blog to read all about it.
.Secondly, in relation to my recent problems with word verification and removing same from my blog....every day I have to delete comments from Spammers.They seem to just read the legend Word verification free blog and think they can leave weird comments advertising some really weird websites?! Wasting your time Spammers, all comments remain unpublished until I approve them! That is plain English and easily understood not like some of the archaic pidgin English I have come across in these comments.            Anyway....some short time spent on the allotment as it has gotten cold and wet again and the evenings have really drawn in early, the herbaceous bed is going to be just that, I redug it yet again and planted 6 off shoots of our Globe Artichokes along its length. Maybe a b…

Still Plotting

I collected Aoife from school and we went to the allotment, while Aoife did her homework in the tea room I did some quiet digging as it was a beautiful sunny afternoon. We are having a lovely Autumn at least but it gets chilly about 4.30 pm. I had turned over the ground here last week intending to cover it with  weed suppressant and move the rooted Globe artichokes over here.Now I am thinking I may turn it into a type of herbaceous bed with the G.A and lots of flowers for colour. This bed runs along the pathway between our plot and Angela & Peter's. We don't need a fence between us but a nice useful flower bed would be good.
Some flowers still blooming on the allotment.These are Dianthus ( Sweet Williams) they are tiny but I don't remember any label on them saying miniature?!They have flowered all summer and continue to brighten the bed.
Another aubergine on one of our 3 grafted plants, we have never had any success with these before but they have produced nice sized pl…

Brussel Sprouts

I could not think of an attention grabbing title for this post so calling a spade a spade this is simply about Brussels Sprouts, love 'em or hate 'em. We grow them every year usually quite successfully but this year growth has been slow and we have 6 plants at varying degrees of growth even though they all went in the same day! Three plants went to seed so were brought home for the hens to enjoy.
   The netting which they were under was too short as they were growing up against it, apart from making the taller ones bend over the white butterflies could still lay their eggs on the leaves. I don't know how late in the season they stop but they are still very visible around our plots.
    The fruit cage is no longer needed so the canes and netting were recycled for the sprouts. I had to put some support canes in place for a few which were bending, topped with empty yogurt bottles to avoid getting our eyes poked if we are in the cage.There are embryo sprouts on the stalks so …

More Random Summer Memories

We grew beetroot which did not do too badly, it is a crop we usually make a token sowing of as I don't eat it and the others are not too keen either! I had pickled it in previous years and did like it but the whole pickling and waiting until it was ready to eat was tiresome. Rosie, one of our allotmeteers with her husband Con grows quite a lot. While talking about it one day she said she cooks it and puts it into vinegar and it can be eaten as wanted.I tried it this year, roasted the beetroot in the oven then peeled,sliced and put it into jars, covering it with red wine vinegar.It can be eaten immediately but I am not sure just how long it would last in the jars, not really a problem as it did not last long enough to worry about it!
My D.Michelle and I set off on a 2 1/2 hour road trip a few weeks ago to visit Ikea near Dublin.We had not been there before and it is the only Ikea store in Ireland.It is a big Swedish company specialising in storage ideas and the prices are amazing.I…

Word Verification Stress!

IfBefore I start on stress, a rainbow appeared over the allotment today as we were leaving so I will take a deep breath and think beautiful thoughts!I had noticed when I tried to leave comments on some blogs over the past week or so word verification kept telling me I was putting in the wrong letters! Yesterday I spent hours visiting all of the blogs on my sidebar which had been  updated in the past month and tried to leave a comment.Any of them with word verification would not allow me, I tried each 3 times, a slow process after writing a comment.If anyone reading this and whose blog is on my sidebar has not had a comment from me then your blog will not allow me to do so.I have now removed word verification from my own blog to make things easier, I will see how much spam I get!

!This hatbox was delivered to me on Friday, I was mystified when I saw it arriving wondering had I been on Ebay in my sleep ordering frivolities! It was my beautifully wrapped order from Mr Middleton garden sho…

A Random Summer

A very random selection of summer photos as it was a very random kind of summer! Weather was unpredictable and harvesting even more so.I lost my blogging MOO somewhere along the line due to Blogger and problems with that, I think I will be looking at other means of publishing the blog.The latest which I have encountered over the past few days is I cannot leave comments on other blogs as the comment moderation does not work.I type in the word verification over and over again but blogger keeps saying it is wrong!
Anyway we had gooseberries which Kathryn made into jam and I tried compote!
Our little plant pot holder was happy amid the summer flowers
Grand daughter Gemma shone on her debs night, she went for the vintage look which was so elegant!
My lovely Aunt Maisie celebrated her 83rd birthday, she is the last remaining one of my Mother's family of 8
We had sweetcorn, not as plentiful as previous years but 2 cobs on each of 8 plants was not too bad
Salad crops did OK even though the lett…

Amazing American Mail

I began researching our family tree a few years ago,it is a slow process as I cannot give it a lot of time. I knew  some of my late Dad's relatives had emigrated to the US way back. When our census went online for 1911 and 1901 I found the family with some names I had not heard of before.One was his uncle  Michael and when I enquired back in the homeplace in Johnstown Co Kilkenny I discovered Michael had emigrated to New Jersey and had been conscripted into the US army during WW1.We searched online and eventually found his name on the American Battle Monuments Commission site listed as missing in action or Buried at sea. Michael's name is inscribed on the Wall of the Missing in Meuse Argonne cemetery in France . I contacted the American Vets Assoc for information only to be told his files were probably destroyed in a fire back in the '20s. There were no further developments until last Nov when my eldest son Kevin phoned me to about a programme on our TV channel called Nati…

Sunny Afternoon

Kevin and myself went out to the allotment on Fri afternoon, it was not just sunny but absolutely roasting! I watered all the plants in the greenhouse and it felt like a sauna. The tomatoes are ripening slowly.Harvest included:
2 courgettes
Small Red Duke of York potatoes
2 cucumbers
some french beans & small tomatoes
blackcurrants,strawberries,red gooseberries & blueberries.The strawberries and cherry tomatoes went to Jack who eats them like sweets!.Not enough fruit to make a summer pudding so the gooseberries & blackcurrants were added to apples to make a summer fruit tart.The blueberries go on my cereal in the morning.
The long green plant at the top of the photo is a Brussels sprout plant gone to seed, the 4th of 10 to go.It was brought home to the hens and I tied it to the fence.Within a very short time it was a skeletal shape hanging from the fence! Waste not want not.

Kevin noticed some of the globe artichokes and asked to take some home?! I asked if he had…