Grow your Own ~Planting time

Spring here in the UK has been a long while in coming. I think its been the longest 7 months I can remember, as last years wash-out Summer spilled into a wet cool Autumn, which ended with the coldest winter in over 50 years. Spring seemed to never want to spring as we had yet more deep snow, and even now the buds are only just showing us their green tips as they sleepily awake from their cold winters slumber. The chill is still in the air.

Onions and Shallots. White and Red.So today I went with Hubby to take a few photos..  as even I managed to get down and plant a few onion sets last week which were watered today as we have had strong winds which are drying out the earth this week.

In the front are 6 rows of Potatoes, there are 4 more rows to put in.The Potatoes are in, We have earliest and the main crop. We are putting 10 rows in this year.. Potatoes here have risen in price due to many farmers fields being flooded and waterlogged.. The potatoes are lying in the ground unable to be harvested as the machinery cannot get through the water-logged fields so they lay rotting.

The Bean poles are in, but the Beans are not set yet,Seeds being Chitted too early and cold. But we will start them off in the green house.. Like we are doing the sweet corn. which is already sprouting.

In front of the Beans Poles we set the Parsnips these were started off  by germinating on our window sills on damp kitchen paper, the term is called chitting They are soaked and kept damp and warm to encourage sprouting. Before being planted in the ground.. We did this with our Beetroot too and they are just showing above the ground new growth.

Rhubarb coming through and we transplanted the Raspberry canes

On the left is the Rhubarb coming through and those rows of sticks you see on the Right are the Raspberry canes which my hubby thinned out this year and transplanted. Our Raspberries rotted in the rain last year as did our Strawberries. The little bush to the bottom right is a Gooseberry bush. 

So this year I took all the newTop raised bed-Strawberries middle is Luttuce -bottom Spring Onions and raddish shoots off the old Strawberry plants and replanted in a raised bed freshly prepared with good compost and manure at the base. We created 3 raised beds seen here.  the others will have Salad foods grown in them such as spring onions, lettuce, and herbs.

Transplanted Strawberries

 

The weather has been so cold, that most of our plants have been started off on window sills in our home, then they have been transferred to the cold frame in the allotments.. Below you can see the brassica selections of Various Cabbages, January Kings, Savoy Kale etc just starting to sprout nicely.

In the cold frame, Cabbages Various and Kale

So, We have made a start, All the hard work goes to my husband who has been putting 2 hours in the allotments each day preparing and digging in the manure and clearing it ready for planting..

We have also put into pots the Tubas of the Begonias  which have been over wintered in dry compost in the side shed of our home. These are going in the baskets and pots around our home. 

I hoped you enjoyed your own garden and if you don’t have much of a garden you can always start growing various things in pots which look good on Patio’s and Balconies.  Such as Strawberries and Tomatoes in hanging baskets..

Enjoy your Garden and outdoors…and I am happy to once again be able to Grow my own in the outdoors as the weather is improving..

 

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Grow your Own is Back ~and Make your Own

Its always good to refresh the soul with Nature and Fresh air… today was such a day.. The Sun shone and it was time to go to the allotments and dig in some Manure.. We had a trailer load delivered last week but because of the weather, snow and freezing rain it was impossible to get started..

My husband dug while I cleared the shed out and we had a productive couple of hours..

For those of you who have just started to follow Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary you will find more on the page Grow Your Own of last years planting in our allotments.

Here are the photos of how it looks today..

Below is the view as we walk down through our allotment gardens. 

Our local Allotments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Plot

Above is our plot, ready to winter Dig.. the pile of Manure you can see ready to be spread.

Allotment muck spreading

There are around 54 barrow loads been deposited on top of the ground you can see here, they will be left to soak in a while, before being dug in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Making My Own~

On Monday I sat in my home feeling the wind chill blow through the bottom of my door.. While my exterior doors are well insulated a draft was whirling through from the hall around my feet.. So I set too to make a Draft excluder.. As I looked around to see what I could use. I found an old pair of brown trousers of mine which I had put to one side for the charity bag…It only took me around an hour and a half and Bill and Ben were Born…

 Meet Bill my sausage dog draft excluder

Above is Bill who I made using the trouser legs I made ears and a tail and put button eyes and nose on him, then I set about making Ben, his brother who you can see Below.

Meet Bill and Ben

We can all of us turn our hands at making those pennies go further, and I’m sure if your browse around the web you can find many Craft Blogs which can give you great ideas..

Have you made any new things recently and why not share them with others..

I hope you enjoyed my little Post today as I’ve had a few days off from work its been good to blog and catch up with many of you..

Enjoy your special Day and Loved Ones..

Blessings

Sue Dreamwalker

 

Harvesting~Growing Your Own

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.
~Standing Bear ~

 

There is a lot of satisfaction to be had in harvesting your hard work of growing your own vegetables.

Harvesting the Crops

This year in the Dreamwalker’s Plot, I have managed to get stuck in to help Hubby weed.. And I have come away with aches and pains in places I didn’t know existed! Smile  as I did battle with the never ending strength of Mother Nature as she reclaims back her Plot to be the wilderness she once was .. But the taste of eating your own grown far out ways all the effort, And you always come away feeling refreshed having worked hands on with Nature.

And to say its been hard work, I have loved every moment.  

This Year because of almost 6 weeks constant torrential rain fall its been almost impossible to go and get the weeding under control and as a consequence, several crops such as rows of swedes, parsnips and Carrots and other seeds which were set, just rotted in the soggy ground which didn’t germinate. It was good we tried an experiment this year with planting Carrots in a raised Bed, to combat the problems we had last year with Carrot fly. These are doing nicely..

Carrots in Raised bed

A casualty also is that of the Broccoli which has gone to seed, before even forming tight florets, as you can see from this picture here.. You can see the second to front rows have gone to yellow flower seed.. And many Cabbage tops got eaten by the pigeons this year which have decimated many an allotment holder’s cabbage rows .  

Cabbages and long view of AllomentsWe lost all the Raspberries and only managed to get around a good healthy punnet of strawberries off to eat which hadn’t been rotted and mulched due to the rain. A Big disappointment as we got Pounds off them last year and all my weeding and transplanting efforts, but that’s the name of the game.. You win some and lose some with Mother Nature..

But the Rain has been good for the peasPeas

and Green Kidney Beans With Lettuce and Sunflowers in front.

Lettuce, Sunflowers and Kidney Beans

Another success so far, although we need the SUN to ripen later on is the Sweetcorn, here you can see along with the leeks..after this photo was taken I cut the tops off the leeks slightly so they can thicken out.

Leeks and Sweetcorn

You know there are times when we don’t feel like putting the effort in. But when we can be fully present in every job that we do, and we bring the fullness of our bodies, minds and spirits to the moment, the rewards are harvested in our lives.

We may not think we have  talents or abilities, but when we give them willingly in life… Not only in the labours of gardening, But in life situations, they attract not only good results but also the right people and circumstances into our experience.

There have been days where I haven’t had much energy, but I pushed myself to spend just an hour in the garden, and it helped me feel brighter despite the hard work.. And like anything we do begrudgingly this limits the flow of our energy and closes us off from the good that is available to us in every situation. But by giving the best in us to make the world around us better, we open ourselves to receive the best from the universe in return.

This year despite the weather I have given my energy to add to that of Mother Nature and we are never disappointed.. For her bounties in her harvest is always there to be reaped.We just at times need to look how full our baskets are in life, as we see how empty others are!..

Doing any job from this place of love within us allows us to do our part with humility and gratitude, while also learning lessons that move us steadily toward our goals.

The Bountiful Earth has many gifts, and I give thanks for the lessons of patience, and knowing there are times for reaping as there are times for sowing..Times of rest and time of hard work..

But each one us are important as we give our energies to add to the whole.. And so what ever you do in life, whether it is gardening, creative writing, photography, Arts or crafts.. Know the love you add into the mix also adds that energy of Love into our World..

And you will then also reap what you sow..

To see updates of how the allotment has progressed since April ’12

Click Grow Your Own 

Sue Dreamwalker 

 

Setting the Vegetables ~Grow your Own~

The Kidney Beans are in

The Kidney Beans are In, and already climbing the canes,

Cabbage 

So too is the Cabbage we have since set the Red Cabbage along side, It is covered with Wire at the moment as the allotment soon has lots of Visiting Pigeons and they just love to eat new cabbage leaves..

sweetcorn

The Sweet-corn is one of our favourites, and we had a bumper crop last year, which we froze and are just coming to the end of eating from storage in the Freezer.. Family and friends always comment on how much sweeter home grown Corn on the Cob tastes..

onions

The Onions and Shallots have come through nicely now, and you can see the two Pea rows coming to the left of them.

I had weeded the two onion rows on the right, Next Job weeding the Shallots 3 rows..Arrgh my back aches!..

Weeding Onions

Great Idea, Go and get the chair out the the shed… Arrgh that’s Better, not so back breaking now.. Smile  

Just thought I would share How My Garden Grows! with Pretty maids All in a ROW!

Winking smile Now Of course I will leave you to guess about the Pretty maid! Smile 

Have a Great Sunday!

 

Natures Balm.~ Grow Your Own~

Runner Bean sticks

Here is another update as to the progress ofGrow Your Own. pages here on Dreamwalker’s.

When we connect back into Nature she never disappoints us. As in my last post toShine or not to Shine I explained how I had been feeling a little under the weather..( Maybe all the rain had also damped my spirits) But we all need the rain in our lives at times to enable us to grow and mature, as we appreciate the Sunny Days and those gifts we often take for granted. Just like our plants which wouldn’t survive if they had no rainfall.. Just like at the opposite ends of the scale, too much Sun and they dry up and wither, too much rain and they can rot and die also,.

So a Balance is needed both within Nature and within our own lives..

So after feeling quite low.. I took myself off to the allotments, we hadn’t been for a few days as it had been constantly raining. The weeds had quickly overgrown again, they always seem to flourish what ever the weather. My Hubby set too and rotavated, extracting last years parsnips and swedes which had gone to seed.

The Peas had been set and one or two had popped up whichPea Rows were pushed down again.. If the field mice get a whiff of them they can soon go down the row and eat most of them. The Onions I set a few weeks back you can just make out sprouting now to the right where the string is still across. 

The Top picture shows the bean sticks which have been erected for the runner beans/kidney beans. The Bean Plants are still in the greenhouse and will be brought out to harden off about a week before they go into the ground at the end of May.. This is usually when last of the Frosts have gone, but nothing is certain in Gardening, especially as the weather seems to be taking its toll around the world with horrendous hail storms.

Runner Bean Plants

After a couple of hours weeding in the allotments, I was tired and a little sore, but my Spirit was truly rejuvenated.

Its amazing how Nature sooths us with her healing Balm

When we are of low spirit, a walk out in Natures  Garden often is all we need to help heal our inner spirits.. I wonder just how many of us take Nature for granted..And how many in the modern day world understand that Nature is forever combating change, but she still goes on Growing.

As I looked at the Allotment, nothing much seems to be happening, but lots of things are going on under the surface, as the seeds are germinating waiting for that warmth to make them spring forth. Much is also happening beneath the surface of our Earth always its changing as Gaia too is Growing and reaching forever upwards in her vibration. 

So too we humans search throughout our lives for that warmth, that love in which  to feel nourished and nurtured . Without that love we too cannot grow in spirit..  So like all Gardens we need to weed out that which doesn’t serve us anymore and feed only that which we want to grow and flourish.

 So Happy Gardening both in your own Back Yards and within your Minds.. 

For we all of us grow towards the ‘Light’.

© Sue Dreamwalker – 2012 All rights reserved.

 

Digging of Weeds ~Grow Your Own~

Strawberry Bed full of weeds

Strawberries have always been my favourite fruit. there is nothing nicer than a bowl of fresh strawberries and some ice-cream, or fresh cream.

We didn’t get all that many Strawberries off our plants last year, I think we’ve neglected the strawberry beds for the last couple of years letting them spill over and get clogged up with weeds..

So my task this weekend when I went to see what needed doing in the allotment was to set too anStrawberry Bed half weededd start to weed them ..

I guess I didn’t realise what a task I had set myself, these beds run nearly the length of the width of the allotment which is 45 ft. And because the grass was so well rooted it was impossible not to disturb the plants,, So I decided to try and dig up and get as much twitch roots of grass out as I could, and then replant the new fresh shoots of plants back in..  I only managed about Half of the first square before my muscles protested. So Hubby took over,

I then replanted the strawberry runners which should produce, even though maybe not as many Strawberries for this first year. The other strawberry bed above it will get the same treatment later in the week… .

Shallots and Onions

In the mean time while Hubby took over the heavy weeding I planted 3 rows of Onions and 2 rows of Shallots..

We often bottle the shallots in vinegar which is boiled and spiced as pickled onions. Which make a nice little gift to add to our bottled beetroot in any Christmas Hamper. And they are lovely used as roasted vegetables or in Hotpots or stews.

For anyone wanting a recipe of how to bottle Picked Onions .. here’s the recipe I use..

Pickled Onion Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb (1.4 kg) pickling onions or shallots
  • 1 lb (450 g) salt
  • 2½ pints (1.4 litres) water
  • Approx 1 pint (570 ml) Spiced Vinegar (See recipe for Quick Spiced Vinegar)

Method:

  1. Make a brine by boiling the water and salt together in a pan until all the salt has dissolved. Leave until quite cold before using.
  2. Peel the onions and soak in the brine for 24 hours, using a plate or something similar to keep the onions below the surface of the brine.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Pack into clean, sterilized jars and cover with cold spiced vinegar.
  5. Cover and label with contents and date.

Note: Leave for a couple of months before using.  If you want a sweeter pickled onion, add a teaspoon of sugar to each jar of onions.

Quick Spiced Vinegar Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 in (50mm) stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 pints (1.1 litres) vinegar

Method:

  1. Place the vinegar and the spices (tied in a muslin bag) in a heatproof basin and stand the basin over a saucepan of water.
  2. Cover the basin with a plate or the flavour will be lost.
  3. Bring the water in the pan to the boil and then remove it from the heat.
  4. Set aside for 2 – 3 hours to allow the spices to steep in the warm vinegar.
  5. Strain the vinegar and cool.

I hope you enjoyed the day with me in the Allotment?~ Sunday I think is a day of REST Smile .. ~Sue Dreamwalker

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