This Week’s Garden 

It was beautiful on Sunday so we tidied up the garden. 

In the quasiallotment, the onions & garlic (don’t ask me which is which!) are doing well, the field beans made it (I hadn’t seen anything by late November when I stopped visiting), and the kale was still perfect. I didn’t harvest the kale all winter. I thought it would have gone off, but I picked a bunch and vowed to consistently visit the plot next winter. 

And the bulbs are up! 

Forgotten Photo Friday: Lost Gardens of Heligan II

My absolute favourite part of the Lost Gardens of Heligan was the actual garden area. The walled garden and greenhouses were impressively productive and I imagined just pitching a yurt in the grass in the walled garden and living there. I wanted to share these images in their own post.

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Lost Gardens of Heligan II | Riotflower's Realm

Forgotten Photo Friday: Blackberry Leaf Medicine

When we got back from our holiday (which I will write about eventually!), one of our blackberry canes was bent over. Although the full branch was still green, I expected the weight of the ripening fruit to strain the bend further as the season went on. So, I trimmed it back.
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When you prune your blackberries, save the leaves. Blackberry leaves are a perfect herbal medicine for diarrhoea. Put 1-2 dried/fresh leaves in a glass pint measuring jug and pour in boiled water to steep. Drink 2-3 mugs spread throughout the day when diarrhoea is severe.

I have used this natural remedy when apples did not work and I was desperate enough to ask a neighbour for immodium. The immodium they had was not vegetarian so I couldn’t take it. Luckily, logic and my mom’s teaching kicked in and I headed into the garden for some leaves. One day of doses stopped it in its tracks and one more mugful the next day sent it packing. To make sure I’m not stuck without this medicine in the dead of winter, I’ve stocked our cupboard with some dried leaves.

Sweet Spot, Early September

Right now, it’s that sweet spot between summer and autumn that feels calm and slow. A place where I can still be barefoot and the sun rises and sets at perfectly agreeable times. A place where all I want to do is sow, pot up, harvest or preserve plants and these efforts are turned to bringing indoors as much of the outside as I can while the barrier between the two remains fluid. I don’t want to cover up or close up the house, but I know it is coming so I take this moment to give thanks for the summer we’ve had and dream up ways for it to fill our hearts, stomachs, and homes in the seasons to come.

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Gather, preserve, remember, savour.

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Current soundtrack: summer songs (campfire songs) or Rites of Passage.

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Potatoes

We grew a bunch of volunteer potatoes (from last year’s patch and a compost trench) in the veggie patch and intentionally planted ones in the quasiallotment plot.

Although so far I’ve only plucked a few from the soft soil in the veggie patch (top photo) and harvested about 8 small plants from the plot, those from the veggie patch yielded larger potatoes.

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This could be for several reasons because the veggie patch soil is softer and richer and the plants were also ‘ planted’ earlier.

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The first harvest was dug up on the last week of August and the rest are soon to come.

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Mid-August Garden

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The drying runner beans are flowering but we’re still waiting for something to set. They’re determined to grow into the sky; the top of the poles is about 10ft!

The purple climbing beans are podding up.imageThe sweet peas have come up. I’d love to be able to give Honey some flowers before the plants die back.imageTurnips yielded a decent crop. Pick smaller next year for more tender roots.imageThe soup peas are beginning to dry and the flowering has stopped. I have another few harvests waiting on the plants.imageThe peas are ending and the asparagus peas have given us a modest harvest for a few weeks. I picked the last major blackberry batch this week. They’re soft, juicy and sweet and I realised I picked some too early a few weeks ago!imageAnd here’s a beautiful sunset we’ve had recently.

Blackberry Jam, Diner Style

Yesterday I picked nearly 3 Lbs of blackberries: certainly the season’s peak and the most we’ve harvested so far.
After Honey amused me by holding the harvest up for a large volume of photos, I washed the berries and knew I wanted to taste them this winter. I have a few containers tucked away in the freezer, but thought I’d see how much jam I could get out of the day’s loot.

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I blitzed the first batch of berries in the power blender with about 1/2C water and then used the blackberry juice for the rest of them. I added one apple and at least 1/2C honey to taste. I like mine fruit flavoured and authentically astringent. Since I haven’t properly made jam since ditching sugar, I wanted it to set and have the jars seal well. I put in a few Tbs agar agar to the mix and when it was set (about 2 hours later so I don’t know if the agar agar made a difference), put it into these wee jars with brand new lids. The jars are about 4oz.