Japanese quince (chaenomeles) karinshu, wild boozy tart and game.

Well that’s the most exciting title Ive written to date I think. Sounds like fun. I’ve had a number of discussions about these very recently, so have decided to write up a blog post and share some recipes. For the … Continue reading

Happy Samhain!

You will all undoubtedly be aware of the commerciality of halloween, the ghoulish plastic ‘scarefest’ that will likely go on to pollute the earth in a genuinely scary way. Halloween bares little resemblance to the original ancient festival of Samhain … Continue reading

Garden update

A little round up of what is still growing in the garden as we head into the colder half the year at the end of the harvest.

The ‘radiator’ idea seems to be working and we may well yet manage our first butternut 🙂

First time at butternut

I may have to pick them and find uses soon

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Some of the flowers that are picking out the blazing Autumn colours.

 few sunflowers left to collect seed from, calendula still blooming wonderful autumnal colour, as are the natrutiums, a few self seeds from summer/spring have taken and grown too. even a little pea 🙂

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The Russian vines leaves are dropping fast now

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Tomatoes are still swelling on the vine

I will harvest any before the first frosts and use a heavily spiced traditional russian recipe for green tomatoes (or apples) for making chutney

 

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some even ripening in the autumnal sunshine.

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cabbages are doing great

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I intend to make a ruby sauerkraut with some and sweet pickles too

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The medlars  are new trees and I am pleased they have fruited well enough for me to use something. I am starting to grow my own trees for the future.

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 Medlar need to stay on the tree untill after the first frosts when they have been softened or spoiled slightly. You can pick them and leave them to ‘blet’ in the traditional way.

This means leaving them until they have just begun to rot slightly. It deepens and sweetens the flavour making them more useful and much more appetising.

I have never tried Medlar I shall update with how we get on.

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Leeks are doing well too

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Permaculture and pallets

I know a few people with a crazy pallet obsession 🙂

They can be very useful. I decided to have a go myself.

I was quite keen to introduce more herbs and salad leaves that I use everyday around the kitchen door to ‘zone one’ as the ‘permies’ might say.

It turned out that a couple of spare pallets donated from a friend were perfect for this.

No need to purchase/buy/invest in a single thing. Little effort for a lot of reward.

“The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.” -Issey Miyake

 View from the doorway.

Salads and herbs close to hand.

How much might I be spending on bags of fresh salad leaves and fresh herbs to use everyday?

This has cost absolutely nothing

and I haven’t contributed to any destruction of the environment either through supporting the farming practices that would have been used to grow something I could have bought in a supermarket.

“We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name – we call it recycling.” -Neil Labute

 No DIY skills needed either turn the pallet over stand it up and secure it with bricks in the bottom or anchor onto the wall.

Makes a useful storage or tidy space too

plant pots sit right in

“There is no away” Barry commoner. 

These are his 4 laws of ecology.

  • Everything Is Connected To Everything Else.  There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.  Humans and other species are connected/dependent on other species.  With this in mind it becomes hard to practise anything other than compassion and harmlessness.
  • Everything Must Go Somewhere.There is no “waste” in nature, and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.  Everything, such as wood smoke, nuclear waste, carbon emissions, etc., must go somewhere.
  • Nature Knows Best.  Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is “likely to be detrimental to that system.” 
  • There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.  Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.  In nature, both sides of the equation must balance, for every gain there is a cost, and all debts are eventually paid.

  I have also reused containers from the kitchen that were saved waiting for a use

 My two year old put this little empty pot in here after we’d finished some raspberries. Its *that* easy.

You will undoubtedly have seen this but it always makes me smile

“The world generates about a billion tons of garbage a year. Those who live with it and from it are the poor – like the people of Cateura, Paraguay. And here they are transforming it into beauty. Landfill Harmonic follows the Orchestra as it takes its inspiring spectacle of trash-into-music around the world. Follow the lives of a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of children from a Paraguayan slum that out of necessity started creating instruments entirely out of garbage. Landfill Harmonic is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution.”