Showing posts from July, 2013

When Rain Stops Play Outdoors

Between the showers was the title of yesterday's post, not so today its just one unending downpour! I decided I would use the stash of Courgettes while still fresh. I checked the sidebar of the blog, there under labels, courgettes, there are 34 posts?!  I first made Angela's Courgette cake back in 2009, delicious, moist and moreish, but not feeling 'cake like' I decided I would try muffins using the same recipe and they turned out gorgeous! Angela, by the way was our next door neighbour on the Hydro Farm allotments The recipe for Angela's Courgette cake can be found here The muffins will not be iced as the cake so they can then be heated for breakfast. Angela's Courgette Soup was next on the list,it does use 900grms of courgette after all! I have made it to the blending stage without adding the cheese as I am going to freeze it in portions.When defrosted then I can add the cheese, Blue, Stilton or Brie plus the cream for serving.  I also discovered Courgette &a…

Between the Showers

Today's harvest from the allotment, it was not very colourful until I added the carrots and beetroot from the raised bed.I cut down the Broad beans and stripped the pods which are filling the bag on the left.I just cut the stems leaving the roots to rot down in the ground as legume roots are rich in nitrogen.
There are 7 courgettes! Time to start making soup I think.
The carrots from the covered raised bed are really tasty, these are the Sutton's baby veg which we are using while young and tender, leaving others to mature.
We are coming to the end of our new potatoes, these are old reliable Home Guard, there are more beetroot and 2 nice  size heads of Broccoli. A few weeks ago we didn't think we would have anything much to take home as we started so late but the heatwave helped and dare I say it , those nice soft summer showers!
 The tomatoes in the lean to tunnel are just about OK, not a lot to harvest at all.I have almost stripped all the leaves and branches now as the…

Carewswood Garden Centre and Cafe

Last Sunday was not beach or lie out kind of weather then I remembered that Carewswood Garden Centre  ( Tripadvisor) were having an Open/Family day. This is an old Garden centre which as far as I know had been closed for a while then I heard a rumour that a young couple  had taken it over! In the teeth of the worst recession in years, in a business which is closing garden centres all over the country, were they mad?
I set off early to find out which is why the centre looks quiet but by the time I left you could not get a parking space in the ample car park! There is a lovely cafe where food cooked/ baked on site is served, veg is grown specifically to use in the restaurant  and to make the range of ready made sauces,jams and cakes to take away which on the day were disappearing quickly by people who had obviously bought there before! David Leahy is the young man in charge of the garden centre and planting and his girl friend Juulika is in charge of the cafe and food side of the oper…

Sunday Sowings

We have learned over the years its a mistake to sow everything together as you end up with a glut of different veg and if it is a hot summer as this one has been (so far) then you don't want to be cooking every day to use up the veg.
I had some of these seeds which are Sutton's Speedy veg they are ready to harvest in 10 weeks from sowing which would take us to the end of Sept and into Oct therefore  utilising  the ground as much as possible and for those of us paying for allotments that is the bottom line.
The first early spuds, a lovely variety called Premier has just vacated its space so I have followed up with planting out my leeks and also sowed these veg varieties in any spare space.
Baby beets,turnips and carrots.They are picked and used small so are tender and tasty as we can vouch for the carrots which we have been using in another bed already!

 Thinnings of an earlier sowing of the Speedy baby veg and sugar snap peas with the Premier earlies which are a lovely tasty…

Courgettes & Comfrey

This is son Billy's first year plotting with me, he had said they use quite a lot of courgettes and was looking forward to seeing them grow and picking fresh ones.I thought you will have some job coping with a glut so just put in 3 green and 1 yellow courgette plants.They have been very slow with the cold nights we had been experiencing but this week they have been reaching glut proportions! The smaller ones were almost overnights and the larger one was deemed a bit small the previous day!

I wanted to make some Comfrey 'tea' to feed our new plot. We always had it on the Hydro Farm so while I was in Blarney recently I paid a visit to catch up with plotting friends. I met Zwena, Rosie & Tom and came home with an armfull of Comfrey which grows wild  there and some rhubarb !
Comfrey should really be used before setting flowers when it is at its most potent but as with everything else this year I am like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I am late !
I removed the f…

Red Lily Beetle

My beautiful lily which grows in a pot just outside the patio door was sending out the wrong signals, I kept staring , not quite sure what I was seeing. The leaves were either half gone or semi transparent and there were black lumps as I thought on the undersides of quite a few of them, then I spied this lone red beetle on a leaf.

 I have never seen a Lily beetle before but immediately knew that is what it was. Because I had become aware of the damage almost immediately on looking at the Lily I can only suppose it was not there this morning and had either landed or hatched out and immediately set to work!
 I took a photo of the Lily just in case it does not survive another day!
I searched the shed and came across this bottle and on reading the different bugs it dispatches there is the lily beetle, not a red one but a beetle just the same. I drenched each leaf on top and the underside and then got tissue, cleaned each leaf and then sprayed again to be sure to be sure!
Fingers crossed…