Friday, 22 July 2011

A few things to share ...

Busy week here as Imogen is approaching the end of the school year, how did that happen - she only just started and already she is leaving reception year and ready to go into Year 1!

I've realised an error in my blog posts so I'm not at 500 posts yet - I've had a habit of saving some info as draft posts and these were counting towards it, so I shall delay a blog giveaway for a little while, especially as many of the blogs I follow are having there own giveaways at the moment. Gives me a little more time to think about it and enjoy the start of the holidays too.

Something I want to share with you is a selection of free ebooks over on the Green Shopping website - some lovely permaculture, farming and environment pdf books including a lovely book on building community and also a wild food cookbook. Take a too here - Green Shopping free ebooks

Over on Spinspiration I have written a post on washing raw fleece for spinning, take a look - filled with lots of advice on getting that fleece clean and ready to spin - Spinspiration.

Must go as I have Imogens end of term assembly to go to which is going to be great fun and probably emotional too as we have some lovely gifts for her teacher and the teaching assistant that have made this year so much fun, joy filled and inspirational.

See you all soon, enjoy the holidays!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Busy times ... slow it down

Everything seems to be going so fast just lately, the season is moving on, the school year is almost over; can it just all slow down a little please.

I have spent a little extra time at school helping out with things - sports day, kite making day, helping out with end of term gifts for the teachers.
 Imogen's first school sports day
 new take on egg and spoon race
 ... and balancing frogs
(I took little videos of the other events - running, jumping, ball bouncing, etc)

Next week I'm going to a road safety event with Imogen, and a thank you assembly for helping out this year with different things - visiting the class with the spinning, weaving/braiding, school trips and of course planting up the raised beds. Year R beds are the fullest and looking lovely - just hoping that the lovely Sunflowers are going to pop their heads out before school term ends.

 School classroom beds
Hoping these Sunflowers pop out next week

The growing season is going well, lots of things to still look forward too including the lovely beans below - I have a white and red flowered variety growing up here. Achochas, which seem a bit slow growing this year - no idea why. Many more things to come too including the tomatoes, more beetroots, etc and I have lots of brassica seedlings to go in on succession - various kales, cavalo nero, some sprout posies and more that I can't remember right now.
2 varieties of runner beans at home (more at the allotment)
dried garlic awaiting braiding

In nature too, things are moving at a pace. These lovely cherry plums I foraged from near the train station last week, and they are gorgeous. I came home with over 1kg of them and have frozen many for future use. There are other plums looking lovely on a wild patch on the way to school but just out of reach.

foraged cherry plums

In the hedgerows this week I also spotted these sloes already ripening up with their beautiful colours. The elder berries are swelling too. But wait nature please, it's still Summer.
ripening sloes in July 2011

I've been doing a lot of spinning too, working my way through a Portland fleece. I have washed a Dorset Horn fleece too now and that is waiting to be carded. More to wash, more to prep, more to spin; and some to share soon too.

This is my 499th post on the blog, so to celebrate my 500th post I'm going to have a little giveaway and a new look header for the blog for the Summer. See you soon ...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Summer Delights

On the plot this week we have wonderfully swelling fruit, ripening fruit and ready to harvest salads and vegetables. We also have lots of weeds in need of attention but we'll gloss over that for now! Also I'm after your help with identifying a fruit on the plot - see further down the post. New beds have been created by Alex, and Imogen has helped with the digging!

new beds and digging

Bramley apple tree

I have mentioned this apple tree before - moved from our garden where it really was a poor sight, now thriving and with about 8 lovely cooking apples growing just lovely.

 Apple tree
Pear tree

The apple tree and the pear tree we inherited on the plot are looking like this right now - both promising a bumper harvest, and giving us much food for thought as to how to preserve the harvest. Any thoughts?

We picked our first blackberries this week and they were absolutely lovely, and as you can see there are many more to come.

The Peas are being harvested, and these french beans won't be far behind. I love the flowers and the pods of this black variety. Planted in between them are these celeriac, and a couple of cucumber plants.

 French Beans and flowers

These Oca interplanted with tomatoes are doing very well this year, I love these leaves,

Our harvest box filled up with chard, beetroots - red and white, kohl rabi, courgettes, spinach and beet leaves, peas, blackberries and a few apples that needed thinning out. A good days work, ably assisted by Imogen who enjoyed pulling up the beetroots to be amazed at the lovely globes. She needed a little help with the kohl rabi as although they grow above the ground the roots really do anchor the plant, we pulled those together!
lovely courgettes for tea!

And using a new camera that has a panorama setting I took this picture which I like - saves me trying to "knit" together pictures in photoshop. Pity I hadn't realised before the trip to the allotment that I had the resolution on the camera set too low.
Panorama of the bottom half of the plot

I have also taken a photograph of this shrub/tree that has these fruit growing on it - it's something that was on the plot when we got it but has only fruited this year - probably because so much other stuff has been cleared from around it (similarly we have a grape vine that we discovered last year). So I'm guessing it's a plum or damson, any thoughts? The leaf is the smaller one to the left of the fruit or above (larger leaf is the hazel tree it adjoins).


So what Summer delights do you have to share?

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sunny days ...

Are for playing in paddling pools in the garden ...

 I'm going in ...
 Fun in the pool in the Sun

or spending time at the beach ...
 Testing the water!
 Collecting ...
 On the rocks
 Looking for treasures together
Collection of treasures, lovely seaweed, some shells and lovely stones

We met up with Grandparents staying near the coast not far away. We found lots of interesting stones, some fossilised and some with holes straight through that came home with us as treasure! Whilst at the caravan park they were staying at we spotted the Red Arrows at the nearby Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Red arrows

Hmmm, do you think I may be a little bit crazy, as I was filling the paddling pool this morning I couldn't help bu think "that's a lovely size for washing a sheeps fleece!". I'm not sure Imogen would think the same though! Maybe I'll stick with the kitchen sink for now.