Friday, 2 May 2014

First new potatoes and beetroot

First of all welcome to new followers - bojanpr and weekend windup who have clicked the Google button ( now at 168) and Sam and Sandra who are following by Bloglovin' ( now at 140). Hope you like reading about the Simple Suffolk Smallholding. Many thanks to Sue, Jean,Gill,Paid in Chickens, Out my Window, Laura, Karen ,Pat, Weekend Wind up and Shirley who commented yesterday. Pat said that writing a list of positive things must make us feel satisfied with the way we live - and yes it's nice to gather together all the good things that happen in the month. I just hope it doesn't come over as being a bit smug about our lifestyle. I think it is Shirleys' first comment  and she said she enjoyed reading the blog which is lovely to know.

Yesterday stayed fine just long enough for us to get the path between house and poly-tunnels finished. Since we had the kitchen extension, our back door is in a different place and  the path along the back of the house is narrower  so we've had rough rubble and a temporary bit of path bridging the gap. The new path is two slabs wide and looks a bit  straight and stark at the moment, although we are using old slabs, but when we get the new herb garden planted up on the left  and maybe some shrubs on the right it will look better. We know from experience how annoying it is to have a narrow path with things growing close so that every time it rains you get wet legs walking through.

What a treat it is to grow some potatoes and beetroot in the poly tunnel and to eat them as early as the first of May. We only needed 2 roots of spuds to feed 4 of us easily. The variety are Rocket and they were planted as soon as we got back from the potato day on the 8th Feb. Growing and eating your own food is just SO satisfying.

Which means that from our garden and poly tunnels yesterday we had potatoes, mint to flavour them, beetroot, radishes, lettuce, salad leaves and asparagus. Apple and gooseberries from the freezer in a crumble. Fresh eggs from the hens and home made bread.

With drizzley rain all afternoon yesterday C decided it was just the right weather for washing the 2 poly tunnels that haven't had new plastic this year. It makes such a difference. The plastic needs to be damp then a long-handled brush and Ecover washing up liquid gets the green off, then a bucket of clean water chucked over to wash off the bubbles.

This plastic on the big tunnel was new last year but you can see from the back half which has not been cleaned how green it was and how much more light is let in after it's washed

Today has turned much colder and we are planning to cover as much as possible tonight because a frost is forecast . How to cover the twelve foot high Apricot trees - that is the question.

Today  C has been at home again and able to get some more things done. Two more beds cleared and weeded and the old  overgrown herb garden has been dug out and leveled. I shifted the last few slabs of the old patio by sack barrow and potted up a few more self sown herb seedlings and a couple of young Ash trees - or they might be Rowans - that had appeared in the garden.

For most of the winter we have had 3 of the big 1000litre IBC tanks here waiting to be sold. They've been advertised in the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter each month, then suddenly we had 3 phone calls from the May ad and they've all sold and C will be visiting the place that chucks them out to see if we can get some more.We've also had some income from the campsite with people arriving for Bank Holiday weekend.

It's a good job we have had income as this months shopping was more than I wanted to spend. But several things  on the list  were reduced so I ended up buying two months supply. I also had to buy onions for the first time in 9 months as our home grown finally ran out. I'd been stretching them by using leeks instead wherever  I could but the leeks have run to seed so that's the end of them.

I think that's it for today
Back tomorrow - I might get the new herb garden planted up.


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