Friday, 30 August 2013

It's nearly autumn

I love autumn I'm pretty sure it is favourite season of the year. Even though they all have their benefits.

This autumn we shall see my 40th birthday, the eldest boy returning to uni & the youngest starting high school.

In the garden we have
Look! a butternut squash, in fact I have two but this one seems to be getting bigger each day. I'm very excited as I thought I had planted it out to early, it seemed to take ages for the plant to grow.
Sweetcorn & there are some rather fat looking cobs among the plants. I think I have about 20 cobs all together. Not quite ready for harvesting yet though.

The apples are nearly ready too. I really need to find the time for some blackberry picking, I rather fancy some crumbles & jam put by for the winter.

Anyway I need to return to the barbers for the 2nd time today, the child is far too feral looking for high school & needs a short back & sides. Our first visit was met with a closed for lunch sign.

Enjoy your day

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Sweet peas

Do you like my lovely little posy of sweet peas. They are looking a little tatty now, the ones in the vase that is, there are still a few to pick outside. Or there will be if I keep on top of cutting back the seed pods.

I grow them in the same way each year. I stick a row of poles into the ground, I have 8 poles in a row this year. I plant a sweet pea plant at the bottom of each pole & gradually as they grow I tie them to the pole. That way you get lovely long stems for cutting.

This year I shall be sowing my sweet pea seeds in the autumn, hopefully I shall end up with some earlier pickings next year. Though due to the dire weather we experienced earlier on this year  it may have accounted for their late appearance.

Anyway I ordered my sweet pea seeds & more from Moreveg This supplier is ideal for those of us with smaller plots. Smaller packets of seeds of which a lot of the packets are priced at 50p. They do lots of great offers, & have some unusual seeds too. I got oodles & oodles of seeds & spent about £11. Ideal for those of you with a larger plot too & wish to have a dabble at something new. Also I received a handwritten note when I received my order which is always nice & a speedy delivery too.

The lovely lady Bev who sent me my seeds in the seedy pen pal swap has her won little blog. She has recently started posting again after a long break, do take a look. myadventuresinfoodandgardening

Enjoy your day

Monday, 19 August 2013

A few pickings

A few pickings from the weekend -
In my box this week are two marrows, a patty pan squash, a courgette, runner beans, potatoes, some small yellow beetroot, two cucumbers & some raspberries.

The courgette, beetroots & some of the potatoes were roasted with a red onion yesterday afternoon. Served with some of the runner beans & a pork chop for dinner yesterday evening. The beetroot was lovely & sweet.

The remainder of the potatoes were divided into two bags, one for a colleague along with some runner beans & a cucumber. The second bag of potatoes was given to my sister.

Some runner beans were given to Mikes fishing partner.

The yellow baby marrow will be chopped into chunks for a courgette soup next weekend. The green baby marrow will be divided into two. One half will be cut into chunks for roasting the other half I may try stuffing with a spicy rice mixture.

The raspberries will be turned into white chocolate & raspberry muffins, just hope I can find the cases.

The patty pan squash will be a tester before I try stuffing the marrow.

So I only have a cucumber to make plans for, which in all honesty will probably be used with carrots & peppers to go with lunch on Thursday & Saturday.

Right I'm off, need to read some blogs, make carrot & lentil soup with cheese & herb scone type bread thing for dinner. Whilst I have the oven on I shall roast some butternut squash ready for tomorrow evening & cook some muffins. In between that I shall I'm sure be picking some runner beans, oh & some weeding.  A Joanne's work is never done.

Enjoy your day

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Seedy pen pal swap No 2

It is that time of year again for Seedy pen pal. A very enjoyable experience it has proved to be & it is my second time taking part.

Look what I received from one of partners Bev,
The broad beans & peas will be sown this autumn & over wintered in the greenhouse. I'm thinking of doing half a bed of each. The peas will have to covered with some sort of netting as the mangetout I grew last year I left some of the pods to mature for some peas. When I podded them they had been infested with pea moth. I will be prepared next time!

The swiss chard I will sow some direct in the ground possibly this afternoon but I am feeling rather lazy today. I do have some nice looking swiss chard plants ready to harvest now, the seeds were sent to me in my first seedy pen pal swap so these new ones will follow on nicely. I shall also sow a few in a tub for some baby salad leaves.

The PSB, mangetout, & sunflower seeds will be sown early on next year. All three varieties I have grown before, I had already put the Shiraz purple podded mangetout & Wahoo sunflower seeds on my list for next year as I had great success with them this.

I sent my package off to my other partner Sara on Friday morning, I do hope she likes what I have selected for her.

Do have a go for next year I believe the sign up is available now. It really is huge fun.

Right I am popping off now Miss Marple is on the tv. One of my favourite programmes.

Enjoy your day

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Morning lovely people, look at this little chap I snapped crawling up the wall of the house the other day.
I shall have to have a google or look in some books to see what it will turn into. We have spotted several of these hairy little chaps over the last few weeks. I would love to know what it will turn into - butterfly or moth?

It certainly seems well protected from predators with all that hair, not that I'm expecting it to taste at all that nice.

Enjoy your day

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Things in the post

And breathe, blimey these past couple of weeks have proved to be very hectic.

A few weeks ago whilst perusing my inbox (personal one not work which, at times, looks rather scary) I came across an email from a lady called Claire from  Dotcomegiftshop

My blog so it seemed had been selected to be part of their 20 gorgeous gardening blogs.

I have always been a tad wary of replying to such emails but I had a quick look, then I thought about it & had a another look & thought begger it why not, they also had me hooked on the lovely little write up of my little blog, & it was rather nice to receive something in the post after all the upset with my dad. I also noticed some of you lot listed too.

A Whole Plot of Love

This lovely gardener has a plot in Wales and likes nothing better than growing her own food and flowers. Recently she’s feasted on homegrown carrots and potatoes and there are still plenty of other yummy things growing in her garden, including shallots and gooseberries.
It isn't just about outdoor pursuits for this blogger, though: now and again she tries her hand at sewing and knitting too. You really can learn a whole plot from this gorgeous blog!

Another link for the whole list of gorgeous gardening blogs listed.  
Anyway I could pick something for free & put a review on my little blog, I had a good long look at what I wanted to review. It really was quite hard as you have to understand I live in a male dominated household & seldom get to look at pretty things. There were lots & lots of things to choose from & I will be placing an order with Dotcomegiftshop, well in fact several orders as I don't have to drag Mike & the boys round girly shops anymore. I thought I would behave & order something gardening related - 

I ordered this produce tray as I thought I could use it to display the veg/fruit harvested from the garden for photographing purposes. I am yet to take a photo of it loaded with veg yet but I will do. Unfortunately my poor little tray spent its first few days set on top of the laundry pile.  It also looks rather lovely on top of the microwave holding bread. It is rather sturdy, light in weight & actually quite useful. 
Enjoy your day

Friday, 9 August 2013

Good news

Thank you all for the kind comments regarding my dad. He is much better & hopefully will be leaving hospital albeit with extra medication & a care plan.

I shall be back to blogging next Monday & I can't wait as I have oodles of stuff to blog about.

Enjoy your day

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A manic day

I have lettuce plants that are desperate to be planted  & the job was meant to be done yesterday. However my dad was rushed off to hospital yesterday morning. Whilst he is unlikely to pop his clogs (sorry the only delicate way I could think of typing my thoughts) he is a lot sicker than the doctors first thought.

My poor greenhouse was left shut tight yesterday & all the pots un-watered, I was completely whacked on our return from the hospital last night so after a bite to eat I went to bed.

The garden was sorted this morning though I still have the lettuce to plant.

I am back in work next week so between that & my dad blog posting maybe a little sporadic, even though I do have the tendency to be a sporadic blogger anyway.

Also blogger seems to be playing up today & I am struggling to open some of your blogs to comment. I shall try & do that later.


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Flighty's favourites & a ramble

Above you can see some of the marigolds I grew from some seed sent by the lovely Flighty . Every year Mike collects seed from his marigolds & distributes some throughout the country by way of an offer through email. Its such a lovely thing to do & it really brightened my day when I received my envelope of seed earlier on this year. I still have some of the seed left but I'm going to have a dabble at collecting some of my own seed this year. My sister loved the marigolds & I would love to give her some seed to grow next year.

Onto my non garden related ramble. On Saturday 3rd of August the Trussell-Trust  will be collecting food bank items at local Asda stores. I have read about this on various other blogs & will be popping along to make a donation, if you are able to I urge you to do the same.

There are many, many reasons why the use of food banks has increased over the past years & my little gardening blog isn't the place to go into them, however, another thing I picked up whist reading blogs this morning was the lack of cooking skills a lot of people seem to suffer from.

Teaching children how to cook really needs to start at home, my children have been shown how to prepare meals from scratch. We eat very little in the way of ready meals. It does however need to be backed up properly when they attend Home Economics or whatever it is called now at high school.

My youngest son is starting high school this year & part of his education will be spent in the cookery class & like his older brother before him & his cousin last year he will be shown how to make sausage rolls & a fruit flan.

All very well & good except the ingredient list sent home simply required a block of shop bought pastry & a packet of sausage meat. Why couldn't the children have been shown how to make a simple shortcrust pastry instead of relying on shop bought stuff. For the price of a block of pastry you could buy a packet of flour & some margarine/butter. Surely that would be a better lesson for the children on what you could then do with the remaining flour & butter over the next few meals. It isn't rocket science just common sense which sadly a lot of people seem to lack now. The sausage meat could be split into two & meat balls made with the left over meat & a simple tomato sauce to go with them. The fruit flan really gets on my goat though, why on earth would you teach young people to buy a sponge flan base, some cream & a selection of soft fruit, my sister spent £6.40 on the ingredient list. Anyway I could go on & on it really does nark me, probably more now because the boy will be doing these lessons soon. I'm not having a go at the teachers I'm really not, though whoever decided on the lesson content really needs to be shown a thing or two.

Anyway do pop along & donate if you can there are a lot of people out there that really do need help.

Enjoy your day