0 comment Wednesday, July 30, 2014 |
Today has been my recovery day; I've been on the go now with an appointment nearly every day of the week and as I'm not totally recovered, it's been a real struggle. Even walking about has placed a considerable strain on my endurance and I'm now having to consider getting some mobility aids in the form of a scooter or electric chair or something similar to get me around. Not fun, but better than never going anywhere at all.
So today I've had a chance to do the piles of laundry, to give myself a facial and try to get a better wash than I've been doing (I haven't been able to get in and out of the bath lately, so I've had to be a bit creative when it comes to bathing), and also a fair bit of pottering about in the garden. I'm not really anything hugely intensive as I just can't manage it, but a bit of a water this morning as well as transplanting some herbs and doing a little bit of harvesting - I'd have taken photos if I had the energy but like I said, I'm in recovery mode at the moment.
The ginger I started in pots early this year has been growing very well, and I've transplanted the roots into the raised bed for the rest of the year. Ginger takes about as long a time to grow as garlic so it's a matter of keeping it well watered and just leaving it to do its thing. However, I'm finding if I pull a root here or there, I can leave the rest to grow as it likes, and I can always plant the one piece of ginger I didn't get to use up, and it will sprout anew. This is bonus! I'm hoping I can keep some ginger growing at all times, but the winters will be the telling part; probably will have to dig the roots up and bring them indoors or otherwise give them considerable frost and cold protection.
I've planted some basil plants and some coriander - normally this is false economy but with the weather as hot and sunny as it has been this year, the plants have a good chance of growing very well - well enough that they might seed and resow themselves without me having to fuss! It's an experiment and I'm not sure how successful it will be, but it's worth a shot.
I've also harvested herbs - sage, basil, coriander, and garlic; the garlic is drying nicely and one bulb should be ready to be picked apart for storage and replanting, but I've found that I really prefer to freeze my herbs rather than dry them. The flavour is very intense, as the frost breaks down the cell walls and releases all the trapped essential oils, so that's become my preferred way of preservation. It's not foolproof of course - if the freezer goes I lose my herbs - but I think it will be a good solution for me when I just don't quite have enough fresh to go round; where I live my herbs tend to keep going, albeit quite diminished, even in January.
I've also started to hill up my leeks; I could start harvesting some of these now, but I've got more than enough onions at the moment to keep me happy. Most of the red onions are being used in marinades and rubs and anything and everything else I can manage to use them for. To think of the cost of spring onions in the store, and I've got three boxes full! I'm very chuffed. Shallots are just coming to the point where I can lift the lot as they're beginning to go yellow, but I'm going to give them a few more weeks - not TOO long though. I've divided up the first batch I pulled as they've finished drying and they've been stored in the under-stairs cubby hole along with my brewing supplies and my first harvest of tatties. I'm hoping I will have a fair few stored items in there before long.
The squash at the moment is giving me a bit of concern - it's only just starting to set some flowers, which is very rather late, really. I'm still keeping the hope and fertilising now and again, though not too much. I sincerely hope these squashes are able to make at least some progress this year. Failing that, I do know a local pick-your-own which has a whole field dedicated to various squashes and I've already promised myself to head on over there during the fall and gather up as many different varieties as I can manage for storage here at home.
The toms are doing well - the plants which I thought were the Hungarian Hearts are, in fact, my pear toms! I realised this today as I discovered a few of the little tomatoes are actually starting to ripen - yay! I'm now turning my mind toward some exotic salsas as I now have all the ingredients in my own garden for making it. How great is that? The HH toms are, sadly, still not doing much but I'll hope for a bit more in the way of productivity provided I can keep the water levels up. The chili peppers are doing what chili peppers do, and happily peppering away. I'm using the first few while they're fresh, but when they really start getting down to business, I'll be smoking and drying the rest after a bbq session. It's not difficult to do and really gives these peppers the smoky taste one expects from anchos.
I bought (why?!) some fizzy lemonade and realised the bottle bragged "With 5% lemon juice!" Yeah, great achievement there....so in a fit of irritation at my self and my suckered consumerism, I bought a load of lemons and limes and have been making my own lemonade, adding my own little touches here and there: a few sprigs of mint, some loganberry juice, or crushed raspberries or ginger. I've been delighting in the different flavours I can create and I am also happily hydrated. Sadly, sprog can't partake at the moment as he has an enormous mouth ulcer, but he's more than appeased with the fruit smoothie lollies I have for him right now.
I'm really happy with how things are going outside, although it's not 100% weedfree by any stretch and there's no real order or reason to the space. I gather in huge stalks of butterfly plant and cram the fragrant purple blooms into old pasta sauce jars; rose blooms in vases and nasturtium leaves in salads and wraps. I unabashedly eat strawberries right off the plants, and go outside to pick whatever happens to sound good at the time, throwing it all into a pot and leaving it on the boil - bean soup today, with onions, chard and herbs, and a glass of mint lemonade at my side while I sit on the daybed and look at the rambling garden do its thing.
It's a good day.

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