Last years potatoes

I was tidying up the vegetable area and found lots of giant potatoes, which I had missed, hiding in the soil. It was like finding lost treasure!  They had survived really well which surprised me.   We had a go at making made potato gnocchi with tomato sauce, and it tasted rather delicious!!

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Carving names in trees

So why do we have the fascination as a child to carve our name in trees? Is it because we see ancient towering trees graffitied with notes of love, or our ancestors names, eternally engraved for everyone to see, forever captured In time?

My first memory of tree carving, was my grandfathers friend, who carved his grand children’s names in a tree, by the graveyard he was buried in. Now these children in their 50s can run their fingers over their initials, fondly remembering their grandfather, encapsulated in time.

As I grow older I am aware of the damage tree carving does to the tree, so I tell my little ones to be gentle, and not to go deep, so it does not damage and it does not expose the under layers.

Eternal, forever.

Seed potatoes

I enjoy this time of year, the promise of the gardening ahead.  I have bought my potatoes ready to put in the garden, and they are nestled in my potting shed chitting away.

This year I have purchased Early potatoes (these you can harvest a lot quicker than your main crop. They  are like a new potato) and main crop.  I have bought Maris Piper and King Edwards.
When you purchase your seed potatoes take them out the bags and leave them to chit.
It is essential that you chit your early potato seeds.  To chit a seed potato, place it in a light space (not bright light) which is frost free , it allows the roots to grow easily.

Lie them Rose end up, (if you look closely at your potato you can see lots of dents and eyes in the potatoes, that is the rose end.)

One potato seed can produce up to 10 potatoes. So work out how many your family will need and purchase that many.

When the roots are 3cm long they are ready to plant out :-

First earlies you can plant in late march
Second earlies mid April
Main crop mid to late April

My little window

When we first bought the property,  I dreamed of watching kids playing in a garden.  It took 20 years to build this dream and we got there.  The majority of the renovation has been done ourselves, we learnt the hard way. No google!  I read a readers digest DIY manual in my dinner hours at work,  and talked to people.  Saving up for wood and materials.  We were given our tools by older relatives who had them stashed away in cupboards.  The majority of our stuff is second hand.  I have encountered many electric shocks …..none fatal! I hold a drill and drill bits like my knife and fork.  I can mitre door frames, put up skirtings, shelves, plasterboard, hang doors , brickwork, pointing, gardening, animal care well the list is endless,   The only thing I haven’t done is plaster, but I do know if I needed to, I could.

I always remember my sister-in-law standing in this exact spot, she breathed out dragons breath it was so cold, and she said we were mad wanting to live here! We had no heating but a fire and cold water.  You will see the finished product, the end of our journey, but the beginning of the relaxation.

Our children have watched us build and grow, they learn by watching and getting involved.

Life is a journey, I enjoyed this one immensely , I hope to share some of our achievements with you.

 

Off grid cooking

We have a Huntington wood burning stove, and whilst it’s lit I rest a pan of stew (see the recipe at the vegetarian family at CST), to slowly cook for the afternoon.

We use the stove to heat the house and occasionally to cook a stew.

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