These two are the latest knits and we’re still carrying on with the purple and green theme it seems.
Both knitted in 100% alpaca and modelled by the sisters with a secret 😉
In the polytunnel the tomatoes are ripening as fast as I can roast them and make chutney with them.
I have a ripening production line going in the conservatory.
You can never have too many empty, clean jam jars.
Meanwhile, we’re picking other bits here and there.
The corn is helping by ripening one cob at a time so I can keep pace with them. I’m freezing a bag of podded haricot beans every day and thankfully the courgettes have eased off, finally. The thornless blackberry bush I planted a couple of years ago has been wonderfully productive this year. It’s still small but has produced a large punnet every day for the last two weeks. We’re all a bit ‘crumbled’ out now since we have lots of apples too. I’m having to invest in another freezer this week. I’ve run out of space now and I would make and store so much more if I had one..
Last week, following Monty’s advice, we sowed turnip seeds and this afternoon Joe and I planted 5o baby onions and a few more leeks.
and now we’re podding beans and pretending they’re magic 🙂
Hope you’re enjoying the same sunny weather where you are 🙂 x
I am no seamstress. I need a manual to know how to thread my sewing machine. In my defence it’s an old one I bought a few months ago in a charity shop and this is the first time I’ve used it. You don’t need to know any more about my sewing skills than that 🙂
However, I had a clear Sunday, good sunlight, Venus Dodge by my side and lots of potentially wonderful fabrics..
..and second hand baby clothes that I’ve been hoarding for years for the day when I would be overcome by the urge to sew something for Sasha.
Today was that day.
I chose a baby dress, all white embossed cotton with ready made pin-tucks at the bib. I only had a day, not a week 🙂
I struggled with lining the bodice. Knowing which bits to sew together and which bits to leave open….you don’t need to know that when you’re knitting, so it doesn’t come easy. After a few flicks of the ‘quick unpick’ or seam ripper, I more or less got it right and managed to put together a very simple, sleeveless dress. Then I couldn’t find my button-holer, which I know I have somewhere (!) so I went with press-studs.
And then when they were on and it looked like a real dress I got a bit pleased with myself and probably went a bit too far and added a bit of vintage cotton lace around the neck.
I don’t know why I did it, it’s not a style I’ve ever seen or wanted to wear, but I just had some lace, a needle and some white cotton and I was on a roll. I might well take the collar off, but here is the finished dress, well maybe I’ll also add a petticoat because Pintucks looks to be having a Princess Diana wardrobe malfunction silhouetted against the light. Now remember I’m a novice 🙂 ……
Unrealistically mad with power now 🙂 Next week dungarees !
Sasha wanted to stay in and finish her ironing (she doesn’t get this from me) ..
Rufus wasn’t too happy about that..
but Joe and Pintucks were desperate to get out and play and in the sunshine. Even though they know play = work in harvest season 🙂 Today was all about picking what we grow. Some things are easy to pick..
..and some need a bit more effort
and team work.
The plums are delicate so Joe wheel-barrowed them to the basket for careful packing.
The blackberries are ready too. These are the thornless ones we grow on the allotment.
We have plenty of apples and blackberries to make lots of pies and crumbles and jams.
The sweetcorn isn’t quite ready
..and the strawberries are having a final fling but they’re not ripe yet.
..but lots of things are ready to pick and bring home to freeze and make jams and chutneys with. I hope Sasha’s finished her ironing. Look’s like she’ll have another job when we get home 🙂
There are always a few jobs that need doing on the allotment but even more jobs occur to you when you start to look around. We often go to the veg plot to do a few quick jobs but end up staying there all day because the weather’s nice and, well, it’s a shame not to when the tools are out and you’ve got your wellies on.
There’s nothing quite so appealing as a freshly dug-over bed…just waiting to be filled with whatever has a chance of growing at this time of the year. It’s so irresistible that we found ourselves just having to fill up the empty space left by the potatoes with a few young leek plants that will be fine over the winter and be ready around April/May.
They’re very hardy and very easy to plant. Even Joe can do it. It doesn’t seem like 2 minutes since the last time he planted leeks here, with Angela
This time he was the expert and showed novice Becky how to make a hole, Becky used my trowel handle,
then drop in the leek and ‘puddle’ them in with water. The deeper the hole, the longer the white stem will be.
They’ve filled half of the long bed ( and left tiny little footprints all over) but we still have more space that is too tempting to leave.
Between now and next week we’ll have a good think about what to do with it.
We’ve now filled up the space where the broad beans were too. The kids helped me plant cabbages last week and today they planted some baby broccoli/calabrese plants. They need to be netted up because there are still lots of Cabbage White butterflies about. The farmers use chemicals and powders to stop diseases and pests but we just cover them with nets and hope for the best.
Becky tricked Joe into going under the netting to look for butterflies and then promptly trapped him under there
and wouldn’t let him out until he promised to show her around the plot. Joe wasn’t too worried….. he thought he’d pretend to be a ‘cabbage zombie’
..and Caleb would laugh at the pictures when he got home 🙂
Becky had a quick tour and saw the kale,
the sweetcorn the new little pumpkin, the aubergines, melons and beans and even found herself introduced to the caterpillars on the ragwort.
The tomatoes are beginning to ripen and one aubergine is big enough to pick now. That’s our first ever aubergine and we’re very proud.
The kids hung up their watering cans…
then helped me pick a lettuce, an aubergine, some beans and a few chillies.
We haven’t decided yet how to store the chillies. Pickle or freeze ? We can’t eat them all but they need picking so the plant will produce more. We were very chuffed this week to see how much bigger and better our chillies are than Monty’s. Can’t say that often !
We still have lots of room to fill up so if you have any ideas as to what we can plant now, we’d love to hear your suggestions. There’s a limit to how many cabbages and leeks we can eat/freeze. Maybe swede ?
Joe and Kiltie survived their night under canvas on the allotment and kept guard over the tender kale and the tasty beans. I never doubted them. I knew they’d be sensible. I found them sunbathing this morning under the apple tree. They’d both been bitten by tiny mosquitoes overnight so they were glad they’d packed the Sudocrem. More of that later.
They showed me how they’d put up a wire cage around the beans and the kale so now they’ll be safe from nibbling bunnies.
This should do the trick.
They wanted to pick some of the haricot and borlotti beans but we’ve already picked more than we can eat or give away and the freezer’s full so they’ll have to grow a bit more and maybe we’ll dry them this year..
Joe got very excited when he found a melon bigger than his head 🙂
I know about these. I’ll leave them alone..
Hey Mum ! This is like the poster for the film you said we can’t watch until we’re older…..’Dr. Strangepants’, isn’t it ?
But it’s not all messing about today. We had a few jobs to do. We dug up a sack of potatoes,
pulled up the last of the broad beans and weeded the bed ready for some winter cabbage. Kiltie wanted to plant the cabbages and tried to wield my trowel but it was a bit big for her.
The small-sized ones are better for the kids and Joe carried one over his shoulder singing, ‘Hi ho! hi ho! It’s off to work we go..’
..and very soon they were all planted and watered and protected under netting.
Then the kids wanted to play a bit. Joe’s a bit of a photographer and he’s usually got his camera with him. Today he wanted a really close-up shot of the bees on the Marjoram. They roll in the flowers and cover themselves with pollen. It’s been flowering for months and they love it. He got himself into a good position and just planned to wait for a bee to come to him. He just had to be patient, and maybe make a wish.
Got it !!
Kiltie found she was very close to a bee but she didn’t have a camera so she just buzzed to let it know she was friendly 🙂
They both managed to see bees very close up, possibly a bit too close up. The bees weren’t sure what to make of them and decided to sting first and ask questions later. Luckily for the bees and the kids, their stings can’t really hurt vinyl kids so none of them was badly hurt.
The kids had superficial stings and found another use for the Sudocrem, while the bees lived to roll in more pollen.