Following on from yesterday’s post about all the potential crops, I just wanted to say that, even at this time of the year, we are still harvesting from the garden. Throughout the winter we have picked (and continue to pick) kale, mizuna, parsley and blood-veined sorrel and now we are about to have our first purple sprouting broccoli of the season:
In addition, because of all the preserving, we are still eating last year’s crops: bottled apples, bottled passata, frozen raspberries and red currants, apple juice and frozen chillies. We are also getting loads of eggs from the hens. Plus we are undertaking a different sort of cultivation by making yoghurt and cheese.
We are a very long way from self-sufficiency, but I am very proud of what we do manage to produce in our small garden. Even if you don’t have much space, you will be amazed what you can achieve if you have a go.
Posted by The Snail of Happiness on March 14, 2017
Well, we seem to have transitioned directly from winter to summer in less than a week. I’m sure it won’t last but whilst the sun is shining I have been planting and sowing and potting up. The runner beans are in the soil, I have sown peas, potted up peppers and tomatoes and transplanted herbs… too busy to write much, but I have pictures…
Inside the limery
Repurposed rotary dryer
Citrus outside for the next few months
Lettuce growing well (in an old fish box found on the beach)
Kale ready to be planted out
Peppers for friends
Lots of plants potted up
Toms and parsley
Peppers starting to flower
Slightly sad beans – just planted out
Lorna checking for pests
I hope your weekend has been as productive as mine – oh, I did my accounts too!
Posted by The Snail of Happiness on May 8, 2016
Very well thank you, as you can see:
Something from nothing!
Lovely lettuce… in a strawberry planter
In fact, it’s not the tarmac that’s growing anything, but it is providing the base for various containers, all contributing to our vegetable yield this year. For those of you new to my blog, the area in the pictures used to be a complete waste of space, a corner at the end of the driveway that just accumulated junk. A bit of thought and the application of some permaculture principles, and I have turned this area into somewhere useful.
So far this year, we haven’t harvested much from this part of the garden – some lettuce, parsley and about a kilo of potatoes* – but we have high hopes.
It’s lovely to see the mangetout, having been guided by “pea sticks” to grow in the right direction, scrambling up the fence. The mesh on the fence was put there to stop the chickens escaping and wandering down the street, but it has turned out to have a second function – supporting these plants (Yellow-podded – a variety that grows up to six-feet tall).
The lettuces are in a container that was originally intended for growing strawberries. Somehow the fruit-growing was not successful, so it has found a new function – multistory leaves – which seems to be going well so far. Sometimes, success just requires some lateral thinking!
* It’s early for potatoes yet, but it’s possible to remove some from the edge of the dumpy bags without disturbing the root system too much. Although this will reduce our total yield, it means that I am able to supply us with new potatoes at a time of year when the ones in the shops are very expensive. Those in the soil rather than containers will be harvested later in the season when they have produced their maximum crop.
Posted by The Snail of Happiness on July 5, 2013
Normally at this time of year we would be enjoying a wide range of stored produce from the garden, but 2012 will not be remembered as a year of gluts, so we have no pumpkins and squashes, few runner beans in the freezer, and only a limited amount of apple (stewed and frozen or pureed and bottled). I am thinking wistfully about the mountains of apples last year, the winters when we have eaten gallons of courgette soup and the times when we had enough ripened squashes in the loft to provide stored sunshine on even the gloomiest days. Not this year, though.
Sunrise 18 November… from out of our back door
So, what s there to be grateful for this year? Well, the first thing is that we don’t have to rely on what we grow to feed ourselves – if we did, we’d starve this winter. Fortunately, even if we only buy locally produced food, there is plenty – potatoes, meat, leeks, onions, swede… so we won’t go hungry. Living in a marginal area, the country has lots of land that isn’t suitable for plant crops, but is suitable for raising sheep, s0 there’s a source of protein from land that, in arable terms, is pretty useless. Living in the countryside means not only lovely surroundings, but lots of local growers, producers and foragers, allowing us to support the local economy whilst eating well. Llwynhelyg, our local farm shop, sources the majority of the produce that they sell from Wales or the borders, so we even have a one stop shop that delivers the majority of our needs from fairly local farmers and makers.
Peppers ripening today in my office
However, we are also still producing at least a little of our own food. There is a raised bed containing broccoli (fingers crossed for a good harvest from January onwards) and kale (which we have already started eating). We also have leeks growing and still some bunching onions (some of which we ate this evening along with broad beans that were frozen a few moths ago). The Claytonia that I planted doesn’t seem to have germinated, but the oriental greens have and I have high hopes for them plus there is some root parsley that seems to be coming along nicely… and we are using the leaves already even if the roots don’t do well. Meanwhile indoors, there are still a few sweet peppers on the plants that we are hoping to overwinter and some of the rocoto chillis are now ripening up. By the look of the picture here, they may well make great Christmas trees! We even, believe it or not, still have mange tout growing in pots outdoors, although a frost will finish these off soon, no doubt.
November mange tout
Posted by The Snail of Happiness on November 21, 2012