August 2007RSS feed

We're back!

Wednesday 8 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 7:42pm in Anything goes 3 comments Comments closed

This will be our first post for a long time. During our time away, we've been to Australia, which was amazing. However, July is NOT a good time to be away from te garden. On our return, we were sure a family of pygmies were living in the lawn - the grass was certianly long enough to conceal them!

The cats seemed to have missed us most - especially Cassius, just proving that he's just a big softy.Tess also seems glad to have us back - at least, I take that she hasn't tried to bite me this week as a sign that she missed us!

The fruit garden

Wednesday 8 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 7:48pm in Growing 3 comments Comments closed

The fruit garden is now finished for the year. I picked the last of the white currants yesterday and froze them. They look like pearls (or fish eggs, depending on how romantic you're feeling). They're good in summer pudding but I haven't found any other use for them.

We've had good crops this year, especially gooseberries. Dan cut back the raspberry canes last weekend and I tied them in. This is one of my favourite jobs because it makes it nice and tidy! We've mulched the bed with comfrey, of which we have LOADS (both barrels are full). The goosegogs, currants and strawberries will be pruned later on.

New arrivals

Wednesday 8 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:46pm in Anything goes 3 comments Comments closed

We are expecting three new arrivals at Longcarse in the next few weeks. We've bought three coloured Ryeland ewe lambs. This is the fulfillment of a long held ambition for me - a flock, albeit small, of pedigree sheep!

I've been a non-flock owning member of the Ryeland Flock Book Society for a couple of years - now I get to upgrade! Hopefully, someone from the Society will get back to me sooner rather than later and tell me how to register our new flock.

It all worked in rather well (apart from the FMD). I was intending to go to Lanark next week to the Rare Breeds sale and had sent off for a catalogue. However, I have to attend a meeting at work on the same day, so I was trying to work out how I could be in two places at the same time.

Onions, garlic and shallots

Thursday 9 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 6:34pm in Growing 3 comments Comments closed

It's been a lovely day here today, as was yesterday, so I've lifted all the garlic, onions and shallots and put them to dry in the sun. This involves quite a lot of our garden furniture so if you're coming to visit, bring your own chair! Of course, I had the hens helping me to clear the bed, so I wasn't lonely.

A significant number of the onions show white rot, so these have been discarded for burning. However, there's still a reasonable crop. My vegetable book says not to grow onions on that land for eight years, so I'll need to think about that. The shallots and the garlic don't seem to be affected, fortunately.

Three sisters' bed

Thursday 9 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 6:48pm in Growing 4 comments Comments closed

The three sisters' bed is growing well. The runner beans are cropping well, much to Dan's Mum's delight. The sweetcorn is growing but I think some of it may be too shaded by the beans to ripen, even if cobs form. The marrow, courgette, squash and pumpkin are all growing, but I think it's almost impossible to fail with these plants.

3 sisters bed

It also seems to be Cassius's preferred spot for hiding rabbit remains. Both dogs were going mad to get in there today - Meg was nearly strangled by the beans - then Tess appreared with a scraggy bit of rabbit skin (Cass doesn't leave much) and shot off down the field with Meg in hot pursuit.

Calling smallholders in central Scotland

Thursday 9 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 6:53pm in Anything goes 8 comments Comments closed

Are there any smallholders or aspiring smallholders in Forth Valley / West Fife who would be inetersted in setting up / joining a smallholders group? I don't think there is anything similar in this area, although there is a group in Ayrshire, going under Scottish Smallholders.

I thought if there was interest, we could get a group together with a view to having social gatherings, maybe invite speakers / demos, support and advise each other, maybe swap / share seeds and seedlings, take a stall at a Farmers' Market to sell surpluses, have a machinery / equipment pool (as you see the ideas get more complicated).

Ragwort, thistles and other nasties

Sunday 12 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 5:37pm in Anything goes 11 comments Comments closed

I've spent a happy hour in the garden / field digging up ragwort. I took the opportunity to also dig up the thistles that are flowering - I hope that this will help stop the spread. I don't have time to pull them all today, but I'll make a point of checking regularly and disposing of those coming into flower. I'm just going back out to pull the ragwort from the horses' field.

We don't have much - I pulled a lot last year, so I think that has helped. With the sheep coming, we will have to manage our limited grazing as best we can, so removing thistles and other weeds will be a start.

Pickling and stuff

Saturday 18 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 3:28pm in Growing 2 comments Comments closed

It's piddling rain here today. The hills have disappeared in a shroud of cloud. On the bright side. it's not cold and it's given me an opportunity to try out the Driza-bone coat that I bought in Australia! Dan and I took the dogs for a long walk this morning and then had a couple of hours in the garden - well, we were wet anyway. Dan was clearing a stoney part of the field so we can level it with topsoil and reseed it. I lifted the rest of the beetroot and weeded the brassica bed.

We've had the best crop of beetroot ever. We sowed two varieties - Boltardy and Forono. Forono is a cylindrical beet which I think is really good for pickling. In fact, I'm pickling both today. The pigs get the leaves, which they love. I've just taken the beetroot out of the oven; once it's cool enought to handle I'll remove the skins, slice and jar then prepare the vinegar, pour over and seal. Easy peasy.

Cabbages and cauliflower

Saturday 18 August, 2007

by Rosemary at 3:43pm in Growing 9 comments Comments closed

As you will know, I have taken a (comparatively) more active role in the vegetable gardening this year because Dan has had less time than previously. I got terribly tense about the brassicas - not really sure why, except that the plants I grew from seed looked pretty pathetic.

I had a plan involving mini cauliflower, cabbage and three varieties of sprouting broccoli. I managed to mix up the cabbage and cauliflower seedlings - I've planted them out but won't know which is which until the heads form (if they do). I also started the broccoli in trays in the greenhouse. I don't knwo if I used the wrong compost or what but they were just embarrasingly pathetic. In the end, they went in the compost and I sowed the seeds direct. I've now got several rows of healthy looking plants, but I don't know if I sowed too late to get anything useful from them. I'll just have to be patient (not my strong point) and wait and see.

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