Monday, 18 April 2016

Stones out, potatoes in, duvet done.

"The potatoes aren't up yet", Lester said.
"You only planted them a few days ago, give them a chance!" says me.
 
 
.... and here he is out in Paddock Two, getting the job done. I am not sure why this Paddock looks so huge in the photo, but I suspect it felt huge to Lester when he was getting those potatoes in. And yes, we have planted quite a lot of potatoes this year, but we wanted to have enough to get us through the winter and we also wanted to have a good stock of canned potatoes in the larder. Canned potatoes are such a good fast food for us.......jar opened, potatoes sliced, in to frying pan, add onions, peppers, courgettes, anything which will cook fast, fifteen minutes later, job done.
 
 
I shall not mention Paddock Three at the moment, although will say that it has been ploughed and rotovated, and what a horrendous job that turned out to be because of the amount of stones that where hidden in the soil, which were big enough to upset the tines on the rotovator. What I mean is, that the spinning metal tines colliding with the hard chunks of stones / mini rocks threatened to do unto death the workings of the rotovator, which would not have been a good thing. The cost of a new rotovator is just under one thousand euros. It is an expense we would prefer not to have at the moment.
 
And so Lester had to slowly rotovate for a couple of metres, then get off the tractor and pick up any stones which had been unearthed. There were lots of them. I said that perhaps we should give up on using that paddock for veg, and maybe turn it into a small orchard, or even let it go wild and let the pigs forage on it, but no, he was adamant that we were going to use if for vegetables, so with a stoicism which I can only admire, he carried on until the job was done. It is going to have courgettes, squash, and other such like vegetables planted, far too many for our own personal needs, but we do have a family of animals to feed which will use up all the surplus.
 
As for indoors, nothing much is going on. I should be carrying on with the painting, I should be doing a lot of this, that, and the other, but my engine is still running a bit on the slow side. Not to worry, I hope to be revving up again soon.
 
But I have finished a quilt cover made out of scraps of fabric. I don't know why I am unable to buy such an article because the cover has been on the go for months, and all I can say is that I have not had a proper sewing area, that we really did need more than one duvet cover for the bed, that every time I decided to buy one I couldn't bring myself to do so, and I don't know why I feel such a need to make everything because that only makes more work for myself. Anyway, that duvet cover is now on the bed, and the other is in the wash and will replaced soon because it was part of the soft furnishings of the caravan we lived in when we came here. The caravan is long gone, and that duvet needs to go somewhere else as well. I don't think I could throw it away, but I will most likely make some aprons from it.
 
 
The new cover....
 


 
Ummmmmmmmm.......... well....... it was only when I was changing the size of the photo so it would fit the blog that I noticed that I had put the centre of the duvet the wrong way round before I sewed the rest of it together........
 
 

.....the left is the bottom of the bed, but the big square and the row of smaller squares in the middle should be at right angles to what they actually are, with the row of smaller squares being joined to the row of squares at the bottom of the bed. and the bigger square joining up to the row of squares at the top of the duvet so that everything looks reasonably symmetrical.  Crikey's sake....Oh well so anyway and all that my excuse is that I used creative license and shall not admit to not paying enough attention to what I was doing when I was joining all the pieces together.
 
I must now go and  have a lie down. Actually, .....I have just done that, but feel that I could do that again. I seem to be falling asleep a lot of late. Just the tensions of the last eight years catching up with me I think. Ah well, not to worry. I forgive myself the assembly error of the new duvet because at the age I am I think that I deserve not to be too tough on myself!
 
Bye for now,
 
Vx

17 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We have a ridiculous amount of stone in our soil too. Not so nice, when tilling. I hope your potatoes do well. I have ordered sweet potatoes. If I have room, I'd like to try potatoes too - it's been a few years since I've grown them.

Kev Alviti said...

that paddock is huge! You're going to have serious amount of potatoes! I like the idea of canning them and it's something I'll be doing this year I think! Great idea.

Vera said...

LISA, we would like to try sweet potatoes, but not sure if they will grow here. Thanks for putting that seed of thought in to my head, and I shall now investigate the growing of sweet potatoes further.

KEV, canning potatoes is very easy, it's the peeling of them which takes the time! Great idea for quick meals though, and well worth the effort.

PioneerPreppy said...

That's a lot of potatoes or gonna be it looks like to me.

minwks said...

Hi Vera, Good to grow potatoes as they are one of the Dirty 12 vegetables or fruits that we commonly eat that are grown using so many pesticides or chemical fertilizer.
Hope you are able to rest and revive - lovely weather on the way.
Regards Janine

Cro Magnon said...

I don't bother with spuds, they take too much space and are so cheap to buy. I've put in some Caulis, Broccoli, red Cabbage, and white Cabbage; still lots to do. My cheap rubbish rotovator is on its last legs, I may convert it into a 'car' for the boys.

Vera said...

PIONEER PREPPY, it does seem like a lot, but the photo does make the area larger than it actually is.

MINWKS, we try to grow as much of our food as we can, and we do eat a lot of potatoes. I am reviving!

CRO MAGNON, oh dear, sorry about your rotovator. The one we bought only lasted a couple of years and then fell apart. I think it was trying to cope with the stones in the ground that did it!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

wow!!! i cant sew anything so i'm completely impressed! yay! ps 'rotovator' is still my favorite word.
;-)

The Broad said...

Your duvet cover looks charming and very cheerful to me! Well done, Vera. Enjoy your sleeps and get as much as you can, that is my advice!

Peace Thyme Garden and Weather Station said...

How do you can potatoes so that they do not get mushy? Whole small? Parboiled?

DUTA said...

"Canned potatoes are such a good fast food for us.."
I thought only people in the city are usually in a hurry and therefore looking to grab some fast food. By the way, potatoes are quite a hit in some of our cities. They're sold either as baked potatoes or as french fries.

Vera said...

OHIOFARMGIRL, bless you, but you could throw together a scrap quilt if you wanted to because the more bitty and untidy it looks the better the end result is. Rotovators? Not a good word in this house....ours has just broken again!

THE BROAD, thank you for appreciating my wonky duvet cover!

Vera said...

PEACE THYME GARDEN AND WEATHER STATION, Hi, and thanks for visiting my blog. As for canning potatoes......I use smallish potatoes, peel them, put them straight into warm jars, warm water over the top with a dash of salt, into canner for as long as the canner info says. The only potatoes which went mushy were some I parboiled first, so this I don't do. Hope this helps. If you would like to know more then please do contact me again.

DUTA, ooooohhh noooo, people who run smallholdings are also in a hurry, mostly because there are so many jobs to get done in a day! We eat a lot of potatoes because they are such a versatile vegetable.

Kerry said...

Your quilt looks fantastic, so pretty. I have no patience to do anything like this but I admire those who do x

Vera said...

KERRY, thanks, it is so worthwhile when the creative work in hand is finished, although along the way there is a lot of frustration when things don't work out as you want them too!

Anne Thorpe said...

Thanks for the info on canning potatoes. I use a home preserver but only for fruit and Italian tomato sauce. As the potatoes here (in Dhaka) are often soft, the idea of bottling them (same process) is a good one and I loved your idea of whipping up a quick meal in 15 minutes. My target is less than 30 minutes but 15 minutes is even better.

The quilt is lovely - only you will see the problem with it, everyone else will admire the colours and the fabric mix, as bad quilter let me assure you of that!

Vera said...

ANNE, I need to have plenty of DIY fast foods in my larder because I am often too busy to cook, so potatoes are a good staple food to have stored. And thank you for your kind words about my quilting efforts......I actually do like the 'homemade' look my quilting efforts have, and find that perfectly made items tend to look mass produced. Well that's my excuse for not having the patience to get seams exactly lined up!