Friday, 21 June 2013

Meet the Big Boy!

Here is our new rooster. He's a big boy! We don't have a name for him yet, any suggestions? At the moment we call him - wait for it - Big Boy!
This is his first morning with our girls. He was a bit reluctant to get off the perch. Can't blame him, the weather is pretty bad today.

He is pretty, isn't he? Also very gentle with the girls so far.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Persimmons

Just picked all our persimmons (they are from the certified organic orchard we have taken over).
They are looking absolutely gorgeous. There are several varieties, but unfortunately we don't know what they are. They are definitely astringent, that's for sure. Believe me, I tried them all. And I have
the furry lips, mouth, gums, teeth to prove it!
Now we'll have to wait till they are really soft and enjoy the lot. What a hardship. :)

Friday, 31 May 2013

The ladybirds are back!

They usually invade our house in Autumn. It's quite a conversation piece, when friends visit and they notice all these ladybirds along the cornices.
They slowly disappear and by Winter they are all gone again. Where to? Who knows?

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

First apples of the season

Galas. Super juicy, sweet and crisp. Absolutely delicious.

This year's crop is just great. Hardly any blemishes. Good size. And quite a few off the tree. The rain moved in, so we had to stop picking. So, two great things at the same time - apples and rain. (It's been an incredibly dry summer, so rain is an exciting and very rare event at the moment.)
Excuse me, I have to go and eat another apple! :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Eggplant 'Tsakonikis'

This is a Greek heirloom eggplant.
It's the first time I am growing this. It's a fairly early eggplant, and you can see this even at our place! I don't usually have such big fruit on our plants at this time of summer. I will let it grow a little big bigger, then harvest it. It'll be interesting to cook with it. Can't wait! :)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thank you, Mr. Fothergill's!

This parcel arrived out of the blue! And what a lovely selection of seeds it is. Grasses, vegetables and flowers. Some of them as a seed tape.
I had experimented with Mr. Fothergill's selection last Winter and Spring. There are quite a few pictures, too. (On the computer.) As you may have noticed, they and the write-up did not make it on to the blog. Life (and work) got in the way.
I absolutely loved the Tomato cup (just add water). The germination was fantastic, and the seedlings were extremely healthy. I did transplant them on to bigger pots, as the cup is too small to grow this little tomato plant in there for the whole season. The tomatoes are very tasty!

The seed tapes with the radishes rocked! Easy to put on the ground, cover and water. Lovely radishes they were, too!

The carrots were a winner, too. So far, the seeds I have received, have done well. Good germination, then healthy plants.

Thanks again to the good folks at Mr. Fothergill's! I'll try to write a bit more about their seeds and products throughout the season. :)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Honey

Our very first honey. We are very excited. I have taken heaps of pictures of the whole process - from taking frames out of the hives, the extractor, etc. But a lack of time has seen me only choose 2 pictures.

Here is the honey flowing through the honey gate of the extractor into another bucket. We are only filtering it roughly via an ordinary kitchen sieve.
And here we have our very first honey, filled into jars. It's the best ever honey. Obviously. ;)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Striped Turkish Monastery

Yes. There is such a thing.
And it is a tomato!

Here it is.
Very pretty, don't you think? Tasty, too.

We are picking the odd tomato here and there. The weather was a bit extreme for the garden (stinking hot, etc....) so now with the milder weather we hope it will recover and finally give us something to harvest. How is your garden doing?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Strawberry spinach

This is a rather funky little plant. You can eat its leaves, the flowers and the berries.
The berries taste a bit like hazelnut, in my opinion.
 It's just a great plant to have in the garden. Very easy to grow, too.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Purple okra

It just looks stunning, doesn't it?
Picked the first ones, and I am looking forward to eating them. I'll probably just slice them and fry them till they are crispy. Any other serving suggestions? :)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Jostaberry

This was the first year our jostaberry bushes have yielded enough berries to experiment with jostaberry jelly. I rather like the fruit. It is a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry. And you can taste both fruit in the one berry. Really nice.
It is also a very hardy plant, easy to grow and near maintenance-free. But I decided that come autumn or spring, I will give it a bit of TLC (weed around the plants, give it a layer of compost, some fertilizer, a layer of mulch and even some water come fruiting time). This may give an even bigger yield, and maybe even bigger fruit. We shall see.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Guard sheep....

...try entering through that door! She's not budging for anyone.
At a friend's place. :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Enjoying our berries

We are still enjoying our berries immensely.
This is a slightly decadent take on scones. Freshly baked scones, with a good layer of raspberry jam, then a good helping of thick cream. Then pile on as many fresh berries as you can. All sooo delicious! :)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Reaping the rewards

During autumn/winter we tidied up the berry patch. Now we are picking tons of berries. Oh, the joy of it! Yes, it's backbreaking work, as the berries seem to be not only at the top of the bush, but also hiding underneath the leaves. So there is quite a bit of stretching and then crouching and bending to find them all.

Raspberry jam is summer in a jar. In this case, I put the leftover jam into a cup, instead of filling a jar only 1/3 or so.

 Today we tried it on freshly baked bread. With home-made butter. Oh my goodness! What a treat. :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Berry platter

Tons of red raspberries surrounding some yellow raspberries, and just a few tayberries, boysenberries and silvanberries in the middle.