Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Grabbing some normal while we can

Life is gradually getting back to normal for now.  Our youngest son will need further surgery when he is stronger but we are making the most of the everyday simple things that you miss when it all gets taken away.  Our lives are gradually expanding from hospital rooms, to care at home to getting out and about again.  I am now back at work and our son is enjoying little trips out with friends.  He is getting used to life with a stoma and is determined that it will not stop him enjoying life to the full.  Our worlds are expanding once again.

I love a simple life, I'm never happier than when I'm pottering around in the garden, cooking simple food, watching nature re awakening after winter.  I have missed these little things so much over the last few months.  It may seems boring to other people but these little things make me very happy.  When my eldest son asked me what I would like to do for Mothers Day, I didn't want to go out for a meal, I asked him to come over and help me shovel barrow loads of manure into the poly tunnel.  Yep I know weird.

I am in a desperate race against nature at the moment to get the garden and poly ready for planting, I just wish my old bones could achieve more in a day.  The beautiful weather over the weekend meant I was out working in the garden for 2 whole days and I'm knackered!  I am starting to see a little progress at last.......just a little.

We still have a little frost around

The fence that followed the line of daffodils which was blown down before we moved in will need replacing to protect the veg patch from the high winds we get here.  It looked very strange when all the daffodils started popping up across the garden.

I managed to get hold of some more cardboard so have progressed with the no dig veg beds.

Recycled, UV resistant pallets that were lying around at work and an old curtain rail have been put to good use to make compost bins.

I have been busy clearing the totally over grown polytunnel ready for growing our summer salads.  The grape vines and kiwi have been totally cut back, hopefully they will survive but I wouldn't have been able to grow food that we could actually live on without this drastic action.  It was also full of ants nests which didn't take too kindly to being disturbed!  It is as dry as an old boot in there so plenty of manure and compost is going on top.

and yet another no dig bed in progress to accommodate all the seeds I got carried away buying

The piquant pepper seeds sent to me by fellow blogger Dani over at ecofootprints a couple of years ago are still viable despite moving house.  Hopefully now I have a poly I can get some peppers to grow although it is nothing like the South African climate in Cornwall.

I have been doing a little bit of mindless easy knitting, yet another shawl.  This time I made up the pattern which is turning out to be a strange shape!

I planted some winter lettuce in a container in the poly a few month a ago which has gone to seed after being totally neglected, but isn't it pretty!

Well that's it for now, all very garden focused at the moment I'm afraid.  When I have a little more time I'm looking forward to trying some new vegan recipes which I will share with you.  I am keeping an eye on you all, just not having the time or brain power to put together coherent comments!

Chickpea xx

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Plan - I hope!

Sorry for the random posts, life is hectic as usual.  Our son had another operation on Monday so I have been spending an awful lot of time at the hospital then I came down with a jippy tummy, the only thing I could put it down to was a coffee at the hospital cafe, I do wonder if they clean the machines properly!  

Anyway I have lots of plans for the house and garden but with a very sick son plans have been put on hold for a lot of things. It would be very easy to just give up on it all what with everything else that has been going on, however I am determined to grow some of our favourite things in the space I have managed to clear.  By writing this down I'm hoping to give myself a kick up the backside to get on with it.  I'm sure it will all be very hit and miss as I am very new to this grow your own malarkey, but this is what I have managed to do so far.

I am a huge fan of the 'no dig' philosophy so have been putting this into practice on my totally overgrown veg patch.  Rather than try to tackle everything which is pretty impossible at the moment, I wanted to get at least two little plots ready for planting.  I covered the ground with cardboard to suppress the weeds then put several inches of compost and well rotted manure on top.  The paths around the plot will have cardboard and compost put on them and the rest of the plot will have black garden plastic to suppress the weeds including bindweed until I have the time to work on them.  I am hoping to get another small bed ready for herbs.  The polytunnel has a few weeds and nettles around the edges which I can easily deal with then cover the rest with compost and manure ready for my tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, courgettes etc.  This will mean a lot of lugging barrow loads around but I will do as much as I can each day.  In the mean time I have planted some early potatoes in bags and buckets in the poly.

I have started to put cardboard around the beds, but ran out!  These will be covered with compost.

Fleece covering the first bed.

Starting some early potatoes

In the first bed I prepared  I have some garlic growing and recently sowed radishes, kale, chard and shallots which I covered with fleece.   In the second bed I sowed some carrots in a manure free section, ( I read somewhere that they can 'fork' with too much manure) I will be sowing spinach, beans, sweetcorn and pattypans.   I have sown some peppers in a heated propagator so fingers crossed these will make an appearance soon.  

Bindweed everywhere!  I'm sure it will take forever to get rid of it all

It doesn't seem like I've done much, but looking back at the plot when we moved in there is some progress and hopefully we will have some veg to show for the effort in the summer.  The previous owner used it as a dumping ground and had bonfires there to burn all sorts of rubbish before he moved out.

Another bit of progress with the house is the wood burner, i'm chuffed to bits with it. It even has a little oven on the top.  Having a living fire makes all the difference to a room, I love sitting a listening to it crackling away, so relaxing.

I hope you are all keeping well, I will be popping around to visit when I can,

Chickpea xx

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A little premature?

Last week I put the cucumber and tomato seeds into pots and came down this morning to find them popping up through the soil.  Being a newbie when it comes to starting them from seed I am now thinking I probably started this far too early.  Are they likely to be o.k. or should I get some more seeds to plant later?  Any advice appreciated :)

Chickpea xx

My turn to be trolled

I am afraid I have had a visit from  'anonymous' who is too cowardly to put their name on their sick posts.  It doesn't bother me one jot, I'm used to fighting trolls but I don't want you to have to deal with their pathetic attempts at attention seeking so have put comment moderation on until they get bored or take up one of my suggestions on my last post.

Chickpea xx