Tuesday, 28 September 2010


We managed a couple of trips down to site this month, mainly to keep tidying up the 'garden'. We made some fun and tasty surprise discoveries while we were down. The yellowstone carrots had been planted last September, in some pipe, and although they had split a bit, they were really, really, tasty.

The beetroot (also planted September 2009) were really making the most of their time in the ground. Could they be a world record? Not quite a record for the tastiest veg, especially not the big ones, but some of the little ones were pretty good.

Here I am on discovering some of my beetroot surprise.

A close up ...

and here's the rest of them .. (with the glove for scale)

Some of the kale had sprouted under the old foliage, and as I'm partial to the joy of sprouted seeds, I was delighted to get a free and unexpected snack.

The kale nero was still going strong.

and the goji berry (in the middle of the picture) is really growing strongly .. no fruits yet though

The lemon balm is delightful

and nasturtiums are still flowering well

as are the calendula

We started to 'rescue' the two beds that were at the side of the tunnel, near the house. They had sunflowers, peas, brassicas and flowers last year .. and the ducks and chickens loved to hide away under the brussel sprouts to nest :-)
As the picture shows, they've been completely covered in grass (and nettles etc). Here, Sam has been strimming and I've been clearing.

Here they are a little later. The bed on the left is going to take more work to sort out, as the grass was strong there. The one on the left fared much better .. and I'm already itching to get planting... well, I could put onion sets and garlic in now).

There have also been surprises of a less desirable nature. The planning permission was set to come through yesterday, but instead we received a letter asking for further information about our sewerage (which they passed initially). We sent them a professional survey and report, agreeing to their suggestions, with the last application and nothing more was said, but now they aren't satisfied with it. We're now officially a year trying to sort this thing out.

It would try the patience of a saint. Were it not for the beauty of the place, the loveliness of the local people and friends we have made there and my determination to be positive ... we'd be demented by now.

I'm not completely zen about it - I've cried, shouted, sulked, been terribly upset, worried, fretted etc, but, it doesn't do any good (and it is surprisingly difficult to snap out of such negativity and feeling that things are out of our control).

I have to keep reminding myself that in a few years, these troubles will just be a distant memory and we'll be well settled and well productive!


  1. Hi Ferris, You DO have the patience of a saint. I'm so sorry this is taking so long and there is so much red tape. You're right though. In a few years this will be a memory and you'll be so glad you stuck with it.

    Those veggies are amazing. The beets look like a world record to me. That must be some nice soil they're growing in. I especially love the kale nero. I have some seedlings I planted about a month ago. If they look as nice as yours I'll be one happy gal.

    Cheers dear friend. I hope the planners get their act together soon.

  2. Hi Grace, thanks for your cheery words - it all helps :-)

    We have a meeting with the planners this Friday - so fingers crossed we move forward.

    I was pleased with the surprise veggies .. and still tempted to pop in some garlic and onions now, even if we aren't there much right now, I reckon they'll do ok.

    Good luck with your kale nero, bet they'll taste (and look) great.

  3. Ah so lovely. I miss my allotment plot. I don't know if you know but i lost it in a fire early this year, hence having to grow now in my tiny garden plot. I am so sorry that the Planners are being a nusinace to your growing dream.

    Your beetroots are Awesome. So big. Mine were the size of gold balls, my husband was not happy with them. He wanted big ones. May I ask what variety you grew?

    Also envious of your cavolo nero. I had some growing in my plot, but the cabbage fly got them all :(
    Kind wishes.

  4. Hi Mangocheeks, good to hear from you.
    Sorry to hear about your allotment plot problems, at least you still have a wee bit of space to grow veg in your garden. Even a little bit of home grown produce is cheerful.

    The beetroots were mighty! According to my planting records they were beetroot bolthardy - and they certainly didn't bolt, as I sowed them on 30th September 2009 .. and harvested them in September 2010. So, it did take them a while to get THAT big .. and they'd probably have been tastier when a little smaller too.

    Sorry to hear about your kale nero .. maybe try camouflaging them with other plants .. I think thats how they did ok for us.

    Thanks for dropping by - love your recipes.


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