Windy weather, pests and a parsnip incident πŸ˜›

Monday: So our guests have returned to Wales, it was lovely to have them for a week and they were no trouble (almost, there was the parsnip incidentπŸ˜‰) I shall miss the washing up being done every time I turn my back, got to do it myself now lol. Sue had asked if she could do a bit of hoeing in the garden for me, naturally I said yes that’s fine and she is a keen gardener (flowers and shrubs) so I thought it would be safe 😜 Later on that day when we were having a drink in the pub she said ‘you didn’t have anything else other than broad beans in that raised bed did you? ‘ ‘ um, yes there were parsnips around the edge’ ‘ oh’ she said, ‘well there were’ I said and added laughing, ‘ we don’t eat parsnips very much anyway’ then she asked, ‘there weren’t any other plants in various places were there?’ now at this point I realised, as I had said in previous blogs, that I had been putting veg plants in every available space and someone who doesn’t do veg gardening may not necessarily recognise pepper plants, ‘yes there were pepper plants in the herb garden dotted around’ ‘oh’ she said again and went very quiet, we spent the evening ribbing her about hoeing down all my veg plants πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ as it happened when I inspected them on our return, the pepper plants were intact and a row of parsnips had survived, I’d like to think of it as, thinning, πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Today the rain has set in and it’s cold for the time of year, the weather has been very mixed over the last few weeks, all or nothing. Anyway the rain is a good thing, I don’t need to water and everything should put on some good growth, I did pick some baby broad beans last week but have left the rest to swell and mature. Except the beans in the ply tunnels appear to be getting eaten, mice is my best guess, I have beer traps for the slugs, I may need to set a mouse trap, they really have stripped every broad bean in there and I don’t want them starting on the dwarf beans and peas so need to sort the situation promptly. 

I’m thinking I’d like to dig out the recipe for rhubarb and custard cake and make one of those this week sometime, I’m sure I had put it on a blog last year but can’t find it, luckily I have a hard copy πŸ˜€

This is the recipe I use, I’ve tried making it with homemade custard but the thick shop bought stuff is a better result. 

The globe artichokes are coming thick and fast and I have sold a few, however I’ve not really tried them myself properly so I need to remedy that, I mean, I can’t really sell something I haven’t eaten myself can I lol. They always seem a bit of a faf for not a lot of vegetable but I am going to give them a fair trial, I will try a couple of different ways of cooking them and see which I like the most. I boiled them then finished them off in the oven with some Parmesan and a bit of olive oil, they are a faf 😜 but strangely morerish. 

Weather has got worse, it’s foul outside, I did the feeding in between lashings, June, phaa β˜”οΈβ˜”οΈβ˜”οΈβ˜”οΈβ˜”οΈ I decided that the horse would be better off in the stable than out in this, he will churn up the paddock and get a soaking so lucky him, he is in with a big pile of hay πŸ˜€

Tuesday: It’s still pouring down this morning 😝 so a quick round of feeding, muck out the stable, top up his hay and put the horse back inside, then off in doors to make some bread and cakes as it’s Johns birthday tomorrow. First the bread then a recipe for a gluten/lactose free cake, in the family we have two coeliacs and one that is lactose intolerant can’t leave them out πŸ˜€ Orange and almond cake for them and I think I will make an apricot and walnut cake too. 

Wednesday: The sun is shining this morning but it’s still windy, after the feed round I went to have a look round the garden to see how it had faired. I depressed myself slightly as all that was covered was now uncovered meaning the pigeons had been pecking at it, the brassica cage has been comprised in the wind meaning that the bloody butterfly’s have probably snuck in and laid eggs, the wind is still strong so I cant remedy that properly yet. The runner beans are looking a little bit ravaged but I guess they will recover, feels like a battle today, it will all be fine with a few days of ordinary weather and rain, fingers crossed that’s what we will be getting. I wonder how on earth the world gets fed when there are so many problems for growers to deal with, if I had the money I would build a walled garden, that at least would protect it from the wind and cold just leaving the pests to deal with 😜

This is roughly the problem here although the gradients are not that extreme, here it’s more of a soft undulation, it still has an effect on the veg garden, should have picked a better spot 😝looks like I need to dig up the paddock. 

Somehow Thursday has no notes lol and I can’t for the life of me remember what I did! Abducted by aliens I expect 😜

Friday: The weather is still unsettled, raining one minute then the sun comes out, but the worst thing is the constant wind, urrrgghh, its a pain to work in keep being buffeted, it’s affecting the taller plants and blowing off coverings that are there to protect the plants from every living thing that seems to be attacking them at the minute! I had a ‘I don’t why I bother’ morning, I’m up against, mice, chickens, pigeons, black/white/greenfly, woolly aphid, caterpillars, slugs, snail, cold winds, cold rain, sometimes I really think it would be easier to just nip to the shop 😝 and sooner or later it will be blight. I really need a holiday, thank goodness we have one on the horizon, that first glass of bubbly will be very welcome. 

Saturday: A busy morning in the veg garden, planting out all the remaining veg plants, weeding a couple of rows of seed in the tunnel which didn’t come up, a hard cap has formed on the soil, there is a clay seam that runs through so I decided to plant some spare cauliflower plants there they like firm ground so should do well. I went into the brassica cage and found a few clumps of tiny caterpillars so squashed all those and was chuffed to see the small heads of broccoli forming though the cauli have not formed yet. Sowed some rows of carrots and radish. It’s still windy and cold for the time of year although the early morning was lovely and sunny and I got very warm moving electric fencing for the horse and chickens. 

In the afternoon we went to my Uncles 70th birthday, sat in the pub garden with family and a pig roast doesn’t get better than that πŸ˜€

Sunday: Up early to get the animals done as we are off to the seaside for the day with the kids and grandkids πŸ–

Monday morning: I know I don’t usually end on a Monday but we are going away next weekend for a week and I don’t think I will have much time for blogging and certainly won’t have an internet connection to post! Overnight the fox has had the lonely goose up in the back paddock and the guard dog has had a chicken that I could not for the life of me manage to restrain behind any fencing, great start to a week πŸ˜” I need a recharge of batteries as all I seem to focus on are the negatives at the minute, a bit of warmth, a few bevvies and some time to clear my head will be just the tonic.

See you on the other side πŸ˜€πŸ–