Archive for July, 2012


Cut the lavender last night, ready to dry and make into lavender bags and so forth (if I ever get round to it….).  Then today, I lifted the garlic.  They’re a bit on the small side, but look healthy enough (something of a miracle given the prolonged wet weather).  I’ve hung them to dry out a bit on the butcher’s hook in the kitchen.  At least it should keep the vampires away!

The herb garden is really looking fabulous at the moment:

  

I’ve used some of the herbs in my attempt at homemade fly repellant for the horses (cold tea, vinegar, rosemary, thyme, lemon mint, lavender).  Have no idea if it’ll work or not – if not, the horses will just smell funny!

Oh, and I also lifted the first of the potatoes this evening – these are the ones which simply decided to grow – not the ones I carefully planted!  Despite all the rules about not growing them in the same place twice, they seem to have done quite well.

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One week on from the show, and the peas are looking fab (what a shame they weren’t good enough last week).

Sure they’ll be yummy though! 😉

Jam Today!

Well, I can see why my rhubarb and orange marmalade wasn’t in the prizes at Newport show – given its consistency is similar to runny honey rather than marmalade!  But putting aside the not-quite-perfect viscosity, the taste (even if I say so myself) is pretty fab.  The sweetness of the orange is tempered by the more tart taste of the rhubarb – meaning that overall it’s darn yummy!!  Am much more pleased with this than my previous two attempts.  So if next year I get the texture right too – who knows, maybe I’ll be able to win over the judges. 😉

With so many countryside events cancelled this year, it was great to see the Newport Show on as usual.  It helps that the showground itself is purpose-built, and exceptionally well draining.  Nonetheless, although the weather held during the morning, the heavens opened in the afternoon, testing even the Newport infrastructure.  This did mean that some of the main ring entertainment was curtailed, but all in all, the organisers of the event are to be congratulated for keeping the show going despite the testing conditions.

Some pictures from the morning while the sun still shone!

 

 

 

When the heavens opened, everyone took shelter in the horticultural tent!

My two successful entries (of seven!) – raspberry jam, and gooseberries:

 

Bit disappointed that my peas (which looked so good!) didn’t get placed, but clearly I have much to learn in the world of vegetable showing!  Still, there’s always next year, eh?  😉

OK, so the weather this year has been shocking, but whilst the continued rain may not appeal to us, it seems to be keeping the veg happy.  Slightly concerned about the potatoes and onions simply rotting away, but the other veg appears to be doing well.  Have just snapped open the first pea pod – the peas are the sweetest imaginable (taste reminiscent of fresh unsalted peanuts when you break them out of their shells).  Gorgeous.

Yesterday, we had the first of our baby carrots – also sweet and delicious.  With only a few feet from garden to kitchen, and only a few minutes from ground to plate, you can really taste the difference between home-grown and shop bought.

So, don’t be disheartened by the weather, folks.  Everything still tastes great – and at least we don’t have to do much watering! 😉

National Shed Week!

I have to admit, National Shed Week has almost come to an end without me even being aware of its existence.  Fortunately, in the nick of time, I’m able to bring it to the attention of my readers so they too can marvel at the fact there is a “Shed of the Year” competition – for this year’s winner, see: http://www.shedblog.co.uk/2012/07/01/the-winner-of-shed-of-the-year-2012-is-the-pub-shed-woodhenge-owned-by-john-plumridge/

Who’d have thought, eh?!  😉