Wednesday 3 July 2013

Our New Potatoes Drying In The Sun.

These beauties were unearthed on Monday morning.  All that rain early this year and lots of home made compost and fym from my bovine pals, gave us these fantastic 'Orla' spudatoes.  I always grow the 'Orla' because they originate in Scotland and are less prone to blight unlike the Irish potatoes.  They steam really well and don't go to mush like other varieties if you boil them.

This area is now planted up with swedes.  I usually harvest them when they are the size of a tennis ball.  The person who once said:

"small is beautiful."

Must have grown vegetables.  Also if you pick them when they are fresh and cook them straight away.  The sugars in the vegetable doesn't have enough time to turn to starches.

The cardboard (remove any sellotape) is used to make paths (lasagna gardening) and mulch the nettles.  They say:

"Where nettles grow, anything will grow."

I know they love nitrogen and my potatoes grow well next to them.  This vegetable plot never gets any chemicals applied to it.  Just good old homemade compost and farmyard manure.


  1. They look well, wish we had a couple of stitches to lift, only got one in a bucket, it's doing OK, haven't a clue what variety though. Might get a dinner out of it in a few weeks, looking round there doesn't seem to be any ready for lifting here.

    Or as the old farmers said "If it won't grow good nettles, it won't grow good anything". Biggest problem is getting rid of them, but I've been told they make a good "garden tea" if soaked for a bit.

    Raining stair rods this morning, windy and cold, stopped raining now but still windy and cold, grey skies.
    Raggy cat in this morning but went out after breakfast, appeared on back kitchen window cill but didn't want in.

  2. Hi Cumbrian, The new potatoes are great but very filling. If anything it's too hot to eat a lot of them. Yes it's that time of year when we start saying:

    "Is it hot or is it me?".

    It's supposed to be a scorcher next week in the British Isles. I am looking forward to watching the first Ashes test from Trent Bridge. There doesn't seem to be any live cricket matches in West Cork. They seem to be made on Gaelic football and Hurling. Cricket is a science and unites the social classes. Another great English invention. Think it was invented in Pudsey in Yorkshire.

    I must have a go at growing some Christmas potatoes. I would love a little polytunnel (last one got wrecked in a gale) or a greenhouse. Especially when it's raining.

    Nettles used to be made into rope and army uniforms. They do make a great 'garden tea' for the plants. I have also used comfrey ("knit bone") and seaweed placed in an old pillow case and submerged into a barrel of water. I have also drank nettle tea and ate them. They weren't nice. Full of iron though.

    This summer is the best we have had for ten years. Yesterday started off with mizzle and ended up with glorious sunshine.


  3. I've heard of eating nettles but never tried them, my thinking being that something stinging my hands can't be doing my stomach a lot of good. Once made nettle beer, I was about 15 years old, it turned out drinkable, but that was maybe just the novelty.

    Yes, I've often wondered how more of the poly-tunnels don't disappear in high winds, they seem suitable only for very sheltered places, and there's not many sheltered places in UK. Or maybe they tether them down with something?

    Summer still hasn't arrived here, today we have a bit of blue sky, patchy sun, grey clouds, wind and it's keeping cool. A warm afternoon yesterday, but gets cool out of the sun.

    Cricket, that great English institution, never played it but used to belong to a cricket club, for the cheap beer and opening times, in the days when pubs closed in the afternoon, it stayed open, it had a special licence for some reason.

    Raggy cat spending most of the time outdoors, just comes in for milk and biccies.

  4. Hi Cumbrian, Was the nettle beer you made strong?

    You can't claim on the insurance for polytunnel damage. The worst thing we did was to keep the doors closed. I think if we had left both doors open it may not have got wrecked. We get some terrible gales from November to March.

    Glorious here. Twenty five degrees and rising. Hay tedders are active. Never thought I would see hay being made again.

    I used to love going to Scarborough on holiday and watch Yorkshire play. I was a Yorkshire supporter for the week.

    Domino seems to sleep all day at the moment. Watched him catch a moth and eat it last night.

  5. Suppose when you put up a lightweight structure like a polytunnel you can't expect it to last so long, more of a temporary housing. I've had 2 little light greenhouses, metal frame with plastic covering, did the job of growing a few tomatoes, but both of them blew away in the wind. Like you, we're near the sea and get some strong gales in winter. I've given up now.

    Lovely day today, 25 on the car clock, feels warmer, no wind, blue sky, bright sunshine. Actually saw a wuffler (your tedder) at work this morning, the hay looked well.

    Been for a run to Silloth market and car boot, it's not bad for the wheelchair, an old airfield disused since the war. Didn't want anything, but got 6 picture frames, small ones to frame Mrs cross-stitch pieces, £2; a new pair of crocs for Mrs, £5; 3 reading books, 2 for Mrs and a Jeremy Clarkson for me, £1; 4 cushions, Mrs decided they would look nice on the Chesterfield, £1. Plus 50p parking, they've started charging to raise enough money to put some black-top on the dirt track pot-holes leading to the old airfield.
    So a pleasant morning out under a tenner and a few things to bring home.
    Egg man's there, he's got a few chickens in a cage, 3 for £5, there doesn't seem to be many takers though. That won't mark his flock of "about 14,000" Rhode Island Reds. Mrs thinks I should have a few to keep me busy, but not allowed to present them for dinner. When I ask what I'm suppose to do with them when they stop laying for winter, she says keep them as pets. Good idea. We didn't get any, even though I pointed out they were cheaper than an oven-ready bird in Tesco.

    Raggy cat sun-bathing, hasn't moved all day, idle little sod.

  6. I have noticed here that the not so tall tunnels seem to survive the storms better than than the high one's. Would love another tunnel or greenhouse for Christmas potatoes, raising seedlings and veg plants. Especially when it's raining.

    The weather is 25 degrees today. Spending the evenings sipping Sangria on the patio. Stay out until the midges bite us to death. It's always a nice day after they have bitten you the night before.

  7. Yes 25 here as well, supposed to be even warmer tomorrow, the seasons seem to be moving backwards?

    Noticed my potted peas are starting to flower, might even have to water them tomorrow. And the trees in the back garden are starting to resemble a rain forest, could do with a wood burner.
    A bit more hay-making under way as well.

    Raggy cat not waiting this morning, it's spending most of the time outside, with just the occasional foray into the kitchen to see what goodies have appeared in is bowl.

  8. Hi Cumbrian, It's 27 degrees today. Absolutely amazing weather. Never thought I would see hay made again. Going to try to make a field of hay by hand this week. Neighbour loaned us his pedestrian finger bar sickle mower. She's a mighty yolk. Another West Cork expression.

    I have to water the veg every day and also the plant pots. Dogs and cat making use of 'dog pubs' (buckets of water around the house) we provided for them.

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