Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Fresh veg.

Many people are turning their backs on super-markets, homogenized and bland bread in favour of something natural and nourishing. And what can be more natural than growing your own - with seeds, water, and care. Once you've mastered the growing - the vigorous little  seeds need  a bit of tender loving care and you're well on your way to a great-tasting  supper. You'll be amazed not only by the flavour and variety of fresh veg.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Winter can be hard.

Winter can be hard, dull and cold or it can be bright. When you try to protect yourself from the cold and discomfort the winter can become an overwhelming season of resistance and complaint.

Or you can walk in the cold, turn your face to the clarity of the moment: then winter will become a great exhilaration to sharpen your life.  

I am still digging and using my mulched and covered  beetroot, cabbage  as well as stored potatoes and onions and garlic.  Leeks are still on the go,my chard keeps refreshing itself. The snow and frost did not affect the crops. 


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Weeds

Weeds use two strategies to spread: by spreading out with roots or by scattering seed.

So the way to get rid of the weeds: pull off the flower heads and put them in a bucket to rood down before you add them to the compost heap.


Make sure you dig the roots out rather then just trying to pull up the weed.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

In the deep mid winter

In the deep mid-winter; there is the light, where the winter sun shines in from the north.

Lighting up corners that you never see and throwing shadows that you never see. While at night the sky is deep and clear. You can see the Milky Way splashed across the sky, guarding the blackness of the deep.


Take a moment to look up and wonder.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Where do weeds grow.

Weeds: you think that they are unpredictable and turn up anywhere, however not so. I know where they will grow and when.

This is knowledge  which means that armed with this “know how’ you can have a weed free plot.

Weeds will turn up on any bare patch of ground....how quickly depends on the season.

So armed with this knowledge: never leave a bear patch.


Cover the soil with plastic or cardboard or what ever. Do not give the weeds a new growing patch.

Friday, 10 November 2017

How to grow Herbs

How To Grow Herbs: 1

There are several reasons why herbs are grown. Over the centuries they have been cultivated for their medicinal and healing properties but this practice has declined with modern medicines. Herbs are more widely grown now to enhance culinary dishes, for their scent such as Lavender or as attractive additions to flower borders. Most herbs are fairly easy to grow, but a few need a little more care and know-how. Here are ten of the most popular and widely used herbs to grow yourself.

Basil

Basil has a strong clove-like flavor and is an essential ingredient to many Italian dishes. It is synonymous with tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, pizza and salads. Basil is one of the slightly more difficult herbs to grow as it is a tender annual and cannot withstand the frost.  To grow it needs to be sown under glass in a peat pot in March to April. It can then be planted out in early June in a well drained, sunny spot. Plants need to be spaced about a foot apart and the growing tips need to be pinched out regularly, this will ensure a bushy rather than tall plant. The leaves can be gathered as required. To preserve some of your crop of Basil for the winter it can be frozen. Simply chop up the Basil and place in ice-cube trays topped up with water.

Bay

Bay is an evergreen, laurel-like tree often grown for it's decorative nature in containers trimmed in a cone shape. Although fairly slow growing, beware if not pruned regularly it can become quite large. To grow Bay it is best to buy a pot-grown specimen and plant it out in the Spring. It needs to be in a sheltered position, away from winds. It should be planted in soil containing lime. Water frequently in summer and pick leaves as required. The leaves can be dried very successfully. Bay can be used in bouquet garni and goes well in casseroles, stews and fish dishes.

Chamomile

Chamomile is famous for it's soothing properties as is often drunk as a calming tea. The best type of Chamomile to grow is the English or Roman Chamomile. This is a creeping perennial which grows to about 6in tall, with a 1-2ft spread. It has decorative yellow-centered white flowers and feathery leaves. To grow Chamomile, plant clumps or sow seeds in Spring or Autumn. Plant about 9in apart. The plants spread fairly rapidly once they have become established. For this reason they should be trimmed back to avoid them becoming invasive. The plants need to be lifted and divided every 3 years.

Chives

Chives are a member of the onion family, but have a much milder flavor than onions. They make a wonderful addition to salads in particular potato salad. Also useful in omelettes, soups and sauces. Chives can be grown from seed sown in March, but it is easier to plant pot-grown chives in Spring or Autumn. The plants should be spaced 9in apart and divided every 3-4 years. They are best grown in moist soil and full sun. Plants should be watered regularly. To use, the stems should be cut to within and inch of the soil level. Never snip off the tips and never leave the flower heads to open if you want your crop to keep producing.

Dill

Dill is an essential ingredient to go with certain fish dishes such as salmon. It is also great for adding to yogurt, meat as well as vegetable dishes. It has very attractive feathery leaves and grows to about 2 feet tall and bears flat plates of small yellow flowers in July. The leaves have a distinct flavor which is retained even after drying. The seeds can also be used and lightly crushed they produce an even stronger taste. Dill does not like to be moved, so once you have found the ideal growing spot it is best to leave it there. To grow Dill sow seeds in April and leave to grow. Once established they can then be thinned to 12in apart. They require a sunny, well drained spot and should be kept well watered in dry weather. To harvest the seeds, cut the stems when the flower- heads have turned brown. You then need to tie a paper bag over each flower-head and hang the stems upside-down in bunches. Dill is best gathered for immediate use and for drying when still young.