A kale tale

At this time of year I start to be rather unenthusiastic about one particular crop, namely kale. It’s a great thing to grow – it provides fresh greens all through the winter from just a few plants and, when freshly picked, it is tender and delicious. But, it goes on for months and so eventually the novelty does wear off.

Yesterday, however, I was inspired. I had made bread rolls and had defrosted some of the delicious pulled pork that I cooked for the winter solstice; I picked winter salad leaves from the garden, made mayonnaise using eggs from the hens and opened a jar of sweet chilli sauce made from our home-grown chillies. However, I really wanted a bit of crunch. And then it dawned on me: kale-slaw. I shredded some kale (including some of the thinner stalks, grated a carrot, chopped the top of a sprouting onion and with the addition of some of the freshly made mayo – a tasty slaw.

 

ITSA – it’s that snail again!

Just thought I would update you one the progress of the very special snail square. A suggestion from Kate Chiconi inspired me to be a bit more creative with the border for Young at fifty‘s contribution to my masterpiece, and to have a permaculture garden theme – not quite as formal as I first proposed. So, I have made some leaves:

A snail surely need a snack!

A snail surely need a snack!

And I have embroidered some stems:

Rambling stems

Rambling stems

I just need to combine the elements now… but that will have to wait until I’m back from my latest teaching gig!

To entertain me in the evenings whilst I am away, I’m going to make myself a pair of slippers… having completed those for Mr Snail-of-happiness, I couldn’t bear to be without some myself. I’m making them with slightly softer wool (this is from Texere), but for added strength, I’m incorporating a strand of sock yarn. I have chosen a self-patterning yarn, to add variety. I think this combination is going to be a little more gentle on my fingers, but may not be so hard-wearing… time will tell.

The beginnings of another slipper

The beginnings of another slipper

Oh, and I should mention the arrival of more squares this morning… they are up on the masterpiece page (with links), but here’s a little preview:

From Willow

From Willow

From Kate

From Kate

From garden to kitchen

Although it has been a difficult growing season so far, we are starting to harvest a few crops now.

The new chickens are producing eggs already: Aliss lays a small egg nearly every day and these are getting progressively bigger, and Perdy is laying erratically, including one very long thin double yolker and two very small eggs on one day! Esme continues to lay almost every day and Lorna is doing her usual four days on ten days off approach to egg-laying.

The Harvest

Yesterday was, however, a triumph. Apart from a little chorizo, olive oil and black pepper, all of our dinner came out of the garden. No, I lie, two cloves of garlic came from the organic farm down the road. At the end of the afternoon we harvested a few potatoes from the bags in the ‘waste of space‘ area, I collected a variety of salad leaves from my polyculture plot (lettuce, Oriental greens, rocket), some red-veined sorrel (a perennial), rosemary and a ripe Hungarian wax pepper from the greenhouse. Added to the eggs from the past few day, this looked like the ingredients for a whole meal.

And so it was – chorizo omelette with rosemary and garlic potatoes and a green(ish) salad spiced up with a sliced Hungarian wax pepper. A roaring success and on a sunny day too.

Of course, it’s raining again now, but at least the raised beds are helping to avoid waterlogging.

The end-product

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