Thursday, 25 October 2012

One and one and a half

So I was poddling about in the veg patch, squeezing in four small rows of onions. My feet are not big, but they must have seemed enormous to the pour wee onions and carrots that had somehow survived, despite being totally neglected throughout the summer. Not watered enough. Not weeded enough. As I say, neglected were they. And yet most of them deemed to grow. The onions, well they are salad onions so are thin as yet. I use salad onions as a flavouring for a lot of things, so I am going to use them during the winter. If I forget they are there, which is likely to happen when the colder weather arrives, they will probably set up a flower head, then they will grow lots of little onions around the base. 

How do I know this? Because salad onions which were left in the ground last winter did just that. Now I have a lovely clump of onions. Lester would dig them up if he was let loose on the veg plot with his rotovator. All in its path would be shredded to bits, including the little row of salad onions and little row of carrots. Fortunately for all concerned, he is busy with other things at the moment so I am in charge of the veg plot.

So the veg plot has developed little rows and paths. This is because I get fed up with having to dig large areas, so I do small ones, a path being formed around these little plots by my size 5 feet walking round them. 

The thing is that little plots make for little rows. 

Today I planted four little rows of onions. On one side was half grown fennel, on the other side the salad onions, next to which were carrots, not many, just a few. 

Only there are less now because as I was ever so carefully planting the onion sets I was not paying attention to where my feet were treading. The result? Half the salad onions are bent over sideways, and several of the carrots have flattened tops. What to do. Pull them up, not expecting much at the end of the root. 

But I couldn't. They were stuck fast into the ground, because .......

....... they were huge! Ok, so I am exaggerating, but in all my life I have never managed to grow a decent sized carrot. I have also never grown a peg-legged one. 

We had them for lunch. 

I have left the bent over onions for another day. 

The wood has been delivered, all 5000 euros of it. Obeyed instructions about getting it under cover, but was saved the effort of struggling with the very large beams because, quite simply,  I could not even lift one end of one of them let along heft the thing into the Tall Barn. Lester did all the work, bless him, helped by a friend who happened to come along just at the right time.

Elise, our cow, is being a good girl about coming into the Tall Barn at night. She has to be separated from the sheep and the goats after spending all day out in the field with them and this normally means a hectic chase around the paddock. But now she stands quite still as Lester puts the rope on her, and trots along quite obediently beside him. 

Found two heaps of eggs today, one in the Wood Shed / Goose Bedroom, one under the DIY hay bales stacked up in the Gatehouse Porch. Nearly thirty eggs in total. Crikey, but those hens are chucking the eggs out at a furious pace at the moment. 

And today, oh joy of joys, a 2013 seed catalogue arrived in the post from the UK. We don't buy from the French seed catalogues because it is too much of an effort trying to translate their gardening jargon. We stick to the language we know for the buying in of the seeds. 

And the weather is still very warm. Now out of my thermal vests. Can't believe we are at the end of October. Living here sure does make the summer feel longer and the winter therefore much shorter. But I am still wearing my flannel petticoat because my knees get cold, although in the veg patch yesterday I did hide behind the clump of nearly finished Jerusalem Artichokes to take the petticoat off because I was dripping with hotness. I don't think any passers by saw me. I tried to make it look like I was not going to the loo. I didn't want people to think I was being that bold. 


Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, so glad to here that the building material (wood) has arrived. So glad that you are able to get the wood under a roof to keep dry. I am excited for you and would love to see the work when it is done. Have a wonderful week.

rusty duck said...

I've been out in the veggie garden today too. Dug up all the brassicas that the mice/slugs/whitefly got (sigh).

Next year I'm after those b*ggers big time..

Tomorrow we might have a frost. Envy your warm weather!

Vera said...

Horst, will post up some photos as we go! We were glad to get that wood under cover, it is raining really hard at the moment and it would have got soaked.

Jessica, I guess you won't be going organic then! I did put some brassica seeds in earlier on this year but what was left after the insects had had their fill of them the sun then burnt into nothingness! Hopefully you and I will have more luck next year. And doesn't gardening muck up the hands and fingernails!

Zimbabwe said...

I tried carrots the first year and they were a disaster, have been buying them ever since, they come cheap and in better shape!!
Our weather looks like we are going into mid-winter next week if the forecast is right. I managed to cut the grass today thank goodness as it is raining again outside. Now I have to think what I can grow in the greenhouse, some protection but no heat. Looking forward to learning how to use it though.
Have a good weekend Diane

Vera said...

Diane, I think I probably have put the onions and garlic in too late, but I needed to feel that I had made an effort in keeping the veg plot going. Good news though on the beetroot front. Took your advice, and have some growing. Will pull them up as soon as the temperatures look like going down to the minuses.
Oh your greenhouse! I do so envy you having such a wonderful bit of garden kit, and will look forward to seeing what you grow in it.
Thanks for the advance warning of cold weather on the way.

rosaria williams said...

What are you going to do with all those eggs? Can you freeze them, or pickle them, or give them to neighbors?
I'm busy planting garlic and fava beans. They can go through wet weather all through winter and spring and be ready to eat in the spring.

Niall & Antoinette said...

Looks like you're on the right side of the artic blast which has wooshed down from the baltic. We've caught the tail end. It was pretty darn chilly this morning and we lit the woodburner for the 1st time.
Glad you got the wood under wraps.

Vera said...

Rosaria, the eggs get eaten, either by us or the pigs, and I also give them back to the chicks and hens, but in scrambled egg form. I think you can freeze them but I haven't tried yet. Oh good, you have planted garlic as well, but I have not tried fava beans, so might have a go next year. Thanks for giving me the idea.

Niall and Antoinette, we have caught some of that arctic blast! Down to zero tonight, but we haven't got the fires on yet, we just put on more clothes, but I do have an electric blanket on the bed and that is on every night without fail!