Creative Captures.. Happy Halloween Everyone

You would think that Retirement would lend itself to giving you more time . Yet as my Hubby said when upon retiring several years ago he wondered how he had found time to go to work?.

Life in the Dreamwalker household has been busy busy to say the least since I took the plunge and retired.. I still have lots of catching up  to do with your beautiful blogs . And for all those who have taken the time to visit my posts I am in the process of returning your kindness..  But for now I will leave you with a flavour of what I have been up to mostly  in picture format.

So along with alterations around our home, we have been putting the home garden to bed for winter and sorting out the allotments. Hubby moved a row of raspberry shrubs as we learn by our mistakes as they grew I got nicely tangled in their tendrils.. So more  space has been created between them and a support made for the Logan Berries..

Before 
Fruit Bushes, Black and Red currant and Raspberries,  this is the view from the sheds looking back up the garden.

Fruit Bushes, Black and Red currant and Raspberries, this is the view from the sheds looking back up the garden.

  After.

Fruit Bushes tied up and moved to create more space for picking.

Fruit Bushes tied up and moved to create more space for picking.

Click onto Photo’s for slide show or hover  arrow over picture to read writing. 

I have also been busy in the evenings as those darker nights draw in. I am in the process of Knitting a Baby shawl which I was requested to knit. I have about another 15cms to go then it will measure  a metre in length.. I then have to knit a boarder which will then be sewn all the way around it.. So still a ways to finish.

 And Lastly.. wishing you ALL a HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Below is my Granddaughter who over her last few visits has been busy with me Baking and tasting 

 

Pumpkin my granddaughter helped create

Pumpkin my granddaughter helped create

Have Fun!

HappyHalloweenfromDreamwalker

Busy in the Kitchen..

They a woman’s work is never done.. But neither is that of man.. As we have both been busy this week in the kitchen and the garden harvesting the ripened produce and putting in the Freezer..  We have shelled around 10lbs of peas weight after shelling, and I have frozen strawberries, Broccoli with stalks made for soups, recipe here   courgettes have been coming our of ears as we have eaten most days with salads both cooked and raw ( lovely if sliced in ribbons raw with dressing ) Beetroots we have had daily in both salads and smoothies…  Potatoes have been on the menu with salads too as  well as lettuce and spring onions..  Not to mention the Curly Kale, Cabbage, and Beans.. oh and few raspberries… and the harvested Garlic.

Below is what was picked just this morning alone..

One mornings pickings from the allotments

Below is a recipe I found in a magazine..  Being as I had all the ingredients I gave it a go and wow… you should really give this one a try… Delicious!

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb and Strawberries

Serves 6:

Ingredients

500g ( 180z) slim rhubarb ( trimmed weight)

225g (80z) golden caster sugar

300g (11oz) strawberries

150g ( 5oz) plain flour

150g ( 50z) Ground Almonds

150g (50z) unsalted Butter chilled and diced

Clotted or extra thick cream to serve..

Have ready an ovenproof dish about 2 litre ( 3 1/2 pt ) capacity, for example a 30cms (12inch) gratin dish.

Preheat oven to 200C /180CFan Oven/Gas 6

Method

Cut rhubarb into 3cm (1  1/4in) lengths  Toss the pieces in a large bowl with 75g ( 30z ) of sugar. Hull and halve the strawberries, combine with rhubarb and arrange fruit evenly in oven proof dish.

Tossing the fruit with sugar

Whiz the flour, ground almonds, butter and remaining Sugar in a food processor. If using a processor stop whizzing before before it turns into dough you want crumb texture.. or if like me rub in the butter and flour until resembling fine breadcrumbs and add the almonds and sugar  and mix in last.

Mixing the crumble 

Scatter the crumb mixture over the fruit and bake for 30 to 35 mins until the top is crisp and golden and the juices are bubbling..

Cooking until golden and crisp

Leave to cool for 20 to 30 mins, its also very good eaten cold, especially with thick cream.. or even vanilla ice cream..

I just loved this with our home grown rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble with Cream

 Now back to the Kitchen to sort the Peas into bags to freeze..

Enjoy your weekend…

and Be Good to each other ..

~Love Sue~

Allotment Progress in May ~Grow Your Own

 

Parsnip, shallots and onions

The weather has been just right for planting out.. I took these pictures over the weekend.. But since then Hubby has planted the sweet-corn plants and the runner beans have gone in.  As they have now hardened off from the green house..

So today I am taking you on a different walk.. As I take you down to our allotment garden

Above you will see there  are two rows of parsnips then shallots and onions..

Curly Kale, Cabbage, Brococoli

On the left here are the Swedes and under the netting is Curly Kale, cabbages and broccoli..

The nets are in place to stop the White Cabbage butterfly from laying her caterpillar eggs.. which last year had a scrumptious feast on our mature cabbages…

We are hopeful this year our Strawberries will yield more fruit I moved the strawberry bed last year and replanted the new shoots out.. We only had a few helpings of strawberries .. But this year by the look of the flowers. I hope to have enough to make some jam too .. Fingers crossed …  I need to get some straw to put under the forming fruit to help keep clean and to stop rotting if we get lots of rain.. 

Strawberries now in flower and filling out

 

Outdoor Tomatoes, and Leeks hardening off

In the cold frame lean-too on the side of the shed.. are some outdoor Tomato plants..  you can also see a tray of leeks..

 

 

 

 

Below you can see how we showed our Granddaughter how a seed started to grow.. Thanks to Jack for this idea too..We used a Runner Bean on a damp paper, also a Potato in a jar of water to show how it would sprout and know how to send roots down and leaves up!.. Amazing even now if we think about how each cell knows how to multiply into being a leaf or a flower.. Even more so when you think of the Human body and how each cell splits and knows what its going to form into! .. Makes you think about the Miracle Life really is..

Beans SproutingPotato growing

Gooseberry Bush

 

Below is the Gooseberry Bush.. Looks like we will have enough for that Gooseberry Fool too this year.

 

 

We also have 6 rows of potatoes in this year.. 2 row of early ones and 4 main crop.. We have grown less potatoes this year, as last year we planted 10 rows.. and although none got wasted, last year and they saw us right through winter, ( We gave loads away ) This year we are planting other things such as chard, squash and Spinach. So  we have not used up as much room..  In this next photo you can see the potatoes, 2 rows of peas and the sheds at the bottom of the allotment.

Peas and potatoes 2

Runner Beans

 

On the left is Runner Beans and below is Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn

 

Below  you can see the sheds and the shrubs of fruit, the Raspberries Redcurrants, Logan Berries, Blackcurrants.

View of the Sheds and Fruit shrubs

Pot plants for cut flowers and rows of Garlic

Above you can see pot plants such as Gladioli, and lupines also dahlia’s mixed in is Marigolds.. Which we have planted too among the Vegies ..

 

I hope you enjoyed your walk in the Veggie Garden..

Thank you for reading

~Sue~

 

People Power and Plants..

I asked you in a  post last year How do we put the world to rights? Suggesting we look in the mirror starting with ourselves.. As Spring is urging us to start and plant seeds as those who grow their own vegetables like my Hubby and I, we have  already prepared the ground and the veggie seeds are already germinating.

Below you will see a short TEDx talk from Pam  who is a co- founder of the Incredible Edible Todmorden initiative, which encourages ordinary people to take control of their communities and their surroundings through civic engagement and food.

I urge you to listen to Pam who  6 years on from starting the project informs with her humorous  banter how that transformational journey in her town of Todmorden has progressed..

She shows how through planting and growing food and sharing it with the town, by turning waste land into gardens that produce food which all the town are invited to pick and eat for free.  She has shown  how the Belief in small Actions have snow balled  in a knock on effect in the community..

And it shows how we each of  us can make a difference in creating a better world.. Where we are not relying on the local authorities.. She speaks how it has set in motion a chain of interests which have benefited local farmers, shops and education as children get involved. And how people are sharing their skills with each other.. 

Change Begins with Us.

We are the Change

She speaks of how crime also was reduced and people started to take pride in their environment… And how local police liaised better than ever with their local community.

Enjoy the video and expect to laugh as some of Pam’s expressive language.

As I go and plant some More Seeds !

 

Thank you for reading and viewing..

~Sue~

All Hallows Eve is here..

Now All Hallows Eve I have wrote about before on my blog where you can find out all the facts how Halloween came into being, and about  Bonfire Night in the U.K. and how Halloween was developed from the Celtic Feast of Samhain..

To read more about its origins and how back in history Celts acknowledged the beginning and the ending of all things as they saw the leaves fall from the trees and the coming of the winter. It was a time when they turned to their Goddesses and Gods, seeking to understand the cycles of life and death..Due to the facts that many people died in the winter, and the people were so dependent on the natural world, they believed that this day the boundary between the living world and the dead opened up gateways. To find out more of this History lesson, I wrote in full about in in 2009 on this blog. and you can read more   HERE ..  Emoji

These days we have all fell into the trap of commercialism as the shops are full of Halloween products from Costumes, masks, treats and baubles and bangles that tweet and whistle at us to buy buy buy! Halloween like every other Holiday has become Big Business as we get sucked in deeper still…

Now don’t get me wrong, Some may call me a bit of witch myself LOLEmoji  as I have been known to speak to the Dead!.. But I won’t go there todaySmile.

I enjoy the children coming around  showing off their various costumes and scary boooos and have my dish of treats at the ready.

Scraping out the pumpkinToday I share with you not the spooky Halloween, but the joys of sharing time with my Granddaughter not yet 3, who loves nothing better to stand on a chair in the kitchen with me and bake…All finished Big Smiles on Both Faces So Yesterday we had fun in carving out a Pumpkin, now this was a first for me, and she got stuck into the slimy middle and extracted the seeds. The pumpkin will be lit outside for the Big Day.. 

We then enjoyed making a little house for some peg dolls, The house was made from a cardboard box, she insisted on doing it all herself, except for me cutting out windows and doors, she dressed her peg dolls in cut out pieces of paper and spent most of the afternoon playing with her new friends. She gave them names and took them home, Informing her Mum and Dad she was going to take them to bed to sleep in her room.  She made them a table and chair and bed to lie in…

Peg doll house

Sorry this was the only photo I took which isn’t very clear an Ariel view

Imagination is such a wonderful tool and we can get so much enjoyment out of the simple things in life..

Today I carried on the theme of Halloween as I had saved most of the pumpkin, and roasted in the oven to split it between making some Pumpkin Muffins.. The muffins could have done with more spices, these I followed the recipe to the letter and they contain fresh Rosemary but omitted the seeds. I should have followed my instincts and added some cinnamon or mixed spices Pumpkin Muffins  The idea of the pumpkin Smoothie was set off by my visiting a new follower who posted a recipe on her blog called A Sincere Soul’s Life Experiences I adapted the recipe adding Banana and Almond Milk. I will share with you on my recipe pages when I get more time to post it. 

I hope you all enjoy what ever you have planned for your various celebrations.

Take care and thank you for taking the time to read and comment

Alchemy Gothic Halloween Graphics Happy Halloween Comments

Connecting to Earth~Grow your Own

Caterpillar loveHonour the sacred.
Honour the Earth, our Mother.
Honour the Elders.
Honour all with whom we share the Earth:-
Four-legged, two-legged, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.
~ Native American Elder ~

Just where have the last few days flown too? These last few days seem to have been hectic with my day job, harvesting, and granny sitting which I just love.  Above you can see how my little granddaughter not yet 3 loves to interact with nature… I am trying to teach her not to be afraid of the creepy crawlies and she had this little fellow crawling up over her arms for over 20 mins as she helped us in the allotments…The caterpillar got safely put back in the grass as she gently lifted him, and now knows that caterpillars poo too Smile as she discovered Open-mouthed smile

I seem to have discovered my love of cooking all over again too, and even Hubby who is usually the head cook, has opened his eyes wide at my new found urge to bake more often.. Maybe its the changes in energies as my creative mood seems to have had another boost… So  I will share a couple of recipes with you later in the post.

Ok so remember those Lovely butterflies we have had over Summer?

Peacock

Peacock Butterfly in our Garden

well we also have had our share of the caterpillars and while some in the allotments have sprayed chemicals to get rid of them, we do not use anything like that so its been a case of share and share alike!.

Devoured by Caterpillars

Devoured by Caterpillars

Remember this when I showed you the lattice leaves on the Brussels sprouts ?

Caterpillar Heaven. Herbert the scare-crow, couldn't scare the caterpillar's :-)   The sprouts are just visible below

Caterpillar Heaven. Herbert the scare-crow, couldn’t scare the caterpillar’s 🙂 The sprouts are just visible below

Well my hubby set two and stripped off the leaves which were covered in our little friends and then I went and did the same along the cabbage row.

The potatoes are now all dug up, we had  around 10 rows, and some are still drying out in the shed awaiting to be sorted, but we should have around 8 large sacks full.. These sacks hold up to 25kl and have only been filled half way or we would not be able to lift them ..

Potatoes Drying

Potatoes Drying

5 sacks of potatoes, onions and Apples in store

5 sacks of potatoes, onions and Apples in store

Yesterday we gathered the last of the sweetcorn in, and that is now all safely frozen. we cleared weeds and hoed where the onions were and potatoes were harvested from

Below you can see the sweetcorn patch along with the Leeks and spring onions we set between them. 

Harvest clearance ... Click for more info

Harvest clearance … Sweet corn Patch and leeks in background- Beets in foreground 

 

Blackberries

We are lucky in the fact that we have some wonderful Blackberry brambles around the back of our Allotment shed and have had an abundance of Berries we have picked this year.. In fact upon my travels I have seen many brambles in hedgerows, but would not fancy picking them from the roadside with all of those exhaust fumes which are deposited upon them.

Preserving in air-tight Jars

So I made a wonderful Blackberry and Apple Chutney, the recipe you can find HERE. as I added it to my recipe pages you can find on the top bar under Home Cooked Recipes

Potato and Beetroot Gratin

Then as we have had an abundance of Beetroot my daughter has been adding them to her smoothies and I tried out the Potato and Beetroot gratin which I had never tried before, and we loved it, and I will be making it again..  You can find this recipe HERE upon my Recipe Page.

On the home front in the green house the tomatoes are coming along now nicely as they are ripening, so that green chutney may not be needed. 

Green house Tomatoes

Green house Tomatoes

Ripening Tomatoes

Ripening Tomatoes

I may be quiet again for a time as another busy couple of days coming up again.. I hope you give those recipes a try I was amazed how easy they were to make and they both add that little extra something special to a meal.

Until next time take care and be good to each other..Oh and I am still wading thought the back log of all of your posts 

~Sue~

Friday Facts~Veggie Power!

Veggies picked July 2013

We all know as young children our parents told us to eat up our greens as they were good for you. Well maybe in our modern day ‘Fast-Food’ society we have lost some of our basic healing knowledge in what our Great Grandmothers would have in their own Kitchen Pharmacy.. Which many of us now shun because we think they were ‘Old Wives Tales’..

And yet many of our everyday vegetables which seem out of fashion now with our Younger generation are proven to not only to be good for you. But extremely good for you..

I was reading an article from a study founded at Queen Mary University of London. that showed from its study of a number of patients and lab conditions that eating vegetables rich in Nitrates such as beetroot, lettuce, Cabbage, Fennel, etc could help Lower Blood Pressure. Another well known miracle worker is Garlic which is well renown for its healing work. (Click on the links for information about each healing property.)

When you think about how many now must be taking High Blood Pressure tablets in our high stress modern day world.. And you look at how our eating habits have changed.

Blood pressure can be lowered by changes in our lifestyles such as eating less salt, being more active and correct diet.. 

Professor Peter Weissberg said.. “ This promising study shows, that it may be possible to reduce high blood pressure by eating more foods containing large amounts of nitrates such as green leafy veg and beetroot.”

High Blood Pressure affects about 16 million people in the UK alone!.. increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes..

So this brings home yet again those interesting facts about Cabbages in my post What a load of old Cabbage in my other Friday Facts Here

While I am on about veggies  I may as well update you on how our allotment is growing.. Boy oh boy what a difference a week away made.. And you will see the differences since I last posted.. Here below is what the allotments look like this week.. taken July 4th.

Enjoy and I hope I have give you FOOD For Thought!

What we Eat does make a difference to our health..

Enjoy your Weekend….

Love and Blessings

~Sue~

Click the individual Photos to activate the slide show and see more information details..

Take Care..

Dreams

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