Monthly Archives: October 2008

Well, winter is finally here

Outside it is snowing, huge flacks but it’s been raining all afternoon so the ground is, touch wood, to wet for it to settle.

October has flown by; I’ve spent most of it working. I work right though from the 13th until the 22nd, two days off and now I’m back at work. Officially I’m on holiday, but only from one job this week. Next week though…

Everything is mostly indoors now, on the 12th I almost completely cleared up the vegetable garden. Planted out the kale and spring cabbage plants, pulled up all the nettles, potted up all the strawberry plants. The garden looks bare now, the purple sprouting plants are coming back well have being completely massacred by caterpillars. The sprouts are coming back as well, but the ‘sprouts’ aren’t forming as sprouts but leafy bubs. I thought that some of the red cabbages had survived the caterpillars but the remaining cabbages are rotting away at the stream and falling over.

We also mated Keris, Kniteshade is such a good boy. He could easily flatten any and all of us if he wanted to but he just does as he’s asked. Mother has taken him out for a few walks with the other goats and he’s been really good then as well.

Indoors I’ve been pickling lots of quail eggs, they are all indoors for the winter now and still laying at least one egg a day each. Working on pegloom-carrier-bag mats for the next LETS meeting.

Tonight mother took me out to buy my 21 birthday present, I didn’t know what I wanted when it was my birthday. I now have two drop spindles and a big bag of ‘rolls’ to play with. A while ago I was thinking about self-sufficiently and clothes, it’s just not practical to try to make all of your own clothes while working, tending to animals, processing food, etc. there just isn’t enough hours in the day but something on a small scale is doable. So I’m learning to make socks, right from spinning the wool to knitting them. That’s my plan any way, and that’s what I’m working on re-learning to knit and now spin. 

Campfire Film

I’ve up-load a new film to YouTube.

Nothing to do with anything really but I enjoyed it.

Busy Noise

At some point people will know what I think, they will know what is important & why things have to be that way.

At some point people will listen & ask questions, I won’t have to shout & jostle to be hear.

At some point this will happen, until then I shall just have to learn to be happy.


I found a new place to buy seeds from, I found SeedsUK on the Grow-Your-Own Forum where the owner of the website is another forum member.

SeedsUK sells seeds individually or in small numbers so it is the ideal place to buy seeds if you want to try a few of a new plant/verity to see how it gets on or if you’ve only got a small garden and don’t have room for a whole packets worth of seeds.

The owner of SeedsUK has very kindly said that any readers of my blog can have 30p off of postage which is normally £1.50. To get the discount put “alifelesssimple” (without the quotation marks) into the promotion code box when you complete checkout.

Please Note: Because of the newness of this business orders will not be dispatched until Jan ’09 (not long now Arrgg!) also (this is more a note to wordpress than anyone else) I am not making anything out of this offer.

Another week gone

This week I got behind on my posting because I a had a problem transferring a file from one computer to the one with the internet connection and lost everything I had written whist trying to do so, I think it was the first time I’ve ever completely lost a file, I’ve sometimes had a problem opening the odd one or two but have always managed to with some playing about, it was really annoying, and also this week has been extra busy, with lots of things to post about, so I haven’t had much chance to re-write what I lost.

Tuesday was this months LETS meeting and market, it was very busy with lots of people there. I ‘sold’ some paper pots, some mustard and another plastic bag pegloom mat. I had a fair few requests for more mats as well. I ‘bought’ a carrier bag full of material, a travel sowing machine, some photo frames and a couple of books.

Wednesday evening was the first semi-finals of the competition Rhys is in, he’s playing next week but we wanted to go along and see who won this week. Before that I went and helped with a youth history project I’m sort of involved in, both my sisters go to it and they are all doing Arts Awards which is something I’m trained to deliver but never have so have been helping out to see how it’s done.

Thursday evening I was off but catching up with things and this evening was meant to be a CSA meeting but no-one turned-up, too many people are ill, so I am at home writing this, watching TV and keeping warm by the fire.

Special little packages

My seeds arrived this morning! I now have all the carrot seed I should need for next year, and a few more and notice it didn’t say all the carrot seed I want, I have:

3000 Little Finger seeds, 2000 Flakkee (giant carrots) seeds, 1000 “Jaune du Doubs” (yellow carrot) seed, 500 Atomic Red seeds, 400 Cosmic Purple seeds and 300 Dragon, daucas carota var. sativus (purple Carrot) seeds 

All but the Little Finger and Flakkee are not F1 so I might be able to try saving some seeds from them, I’ve read a little bit about saving carrot seed, I can’t remember any of it, but I don’t think it was too hard to do.

I also bought 15 “Golden Nuggets” squash seeds, they are a very pretty pink and white colour, 12 “Little Gem” winter squash, pretty little black squashes and 10 “Celebration (F1)” winter squash seeds, the squashes for these are really pretty..

Food Showcase

Today was the local food festival; it’s a nice little event. The weather wasn’t so good for it, it rained all day and then started to brighten up just as it was time to start packing things away. It was still busy though.

I was working as a Play Ranger, drawing and making snow flakes, so I don’t really get to see much of the event but it was a good day. I always enjoy events more if I’m there doing something than if I’m just there visiting. I like to watch people, that’s the most interesting part of events for me and sitting drinking hot chocolate and watching people, in between drawing and snow flake making, is a very pleasant way to spend a day.

When I got home I watered all the plants in the polytunnel, in the bucket of carrots you can see little baby carrots forming they’re about the thickness of my little finger, they don’t look very purple though, more a pale pink colour. There is still a couple of months to go until they need to be ready so I guess they will get darker. When I get time I think I need to earth them up.

Plant haul

Today it has not been nice, it’s been cold and raining all day. Not nice rain either, cold, wet, drizzly rain that starts every time you go out to try to do anything. Still the weather forecast has been storms and rain since Wednesday so we’ve had a fair run of good weather. It’s been nice as well to be indoors with all the stoves lit, yesterday morning I went and got a new chain for the chainsaw and my brother spent the afternoon cutting wood while me and my sisters fetched big arm full’s of wood to him and cleaned out both the woodburners and got them going. The house is full of a warm, fresh, smell now that you only get when you haven’t had the fires lit for a while and it sort of creeps through the house.

I’ve been trying to spent my time filling in goat registration forms but not very successfully, it’s not a hard job, I just keep getting distracted by looking up different goats pedigrees and chatting with my mother (who was only in the other room) on the internet. I also got a little bit distracted by the fact that now I have a computer with an internet connection in my room and I no longer need to fight my littlest sister for time on the internet, I can now use BBC iPlayer and look at lots of other interesting things without someone standing behind me saying “Poppy, you said you were just going to check your emails, and that’s not checking your emails!”

My brother gave up on trying to dig out the drain, that’s not really draining very well, and him and my dad started work on fitting the new Rayburn in the kitchen. After moving it into place work was halted by the need for olives, some sort of something for pipes, of a different size than we had so me and mother were sent of to Focus to find some.

They didn’t have any in the right size so work on the Rayburn was halted for the rest of the weekend, but they did have seeds, and reduced plants.

I bought seven pots of strawberries, all for 10p each, two thyme plants, one golden and one green for 49p each, four chilli plants for my sister and a load of pansy’s for my dad.

I also bought two packets of pea seeds, one verity to sow now for an early crop next year and the other packet to sow first thing in the spring, two packets each of Focus’s own brand carrot and beetroot seeds, for growing in tubes in the polytunnel over winter, a packet of parsnip seeds, to try in tubes in the polytunnel over winter to see how they do, and a packet of cabbage seeds for next year.

100 Foot Diet Challenge

I don’t normally read the Path to Freedon but mother sent me this and it looks like a really interesting idea.

I don’t think that there is enough produce in the garden at the moment to be able to join the challenge but it’s something to aim for, and hopefully by this time next year then most of meals coming from things we produce will be the norm.

Free Seeds

I started ordering some more seeds for next year today, lots of different colours of carrot. Some red, two different purples, yellow and some orange (mini and giant.)  I’ve tried to order non-F1seeds, the mini and giant are, so as I can have ago at saving some seed from them, and the yellow coloured ones are an heirloom verity. I’m a member of an online survey site, were you fill in questionaires, mostly about shopping, and you collect points which can be exchanged for lots of different things including PayPal credit. 

I’m really pleased with myself, I picked out the seeds I wanted a while ago and have been saving up my points until I had enough for the seeds I wanted. It feels good and I can’t wait until the seeds arrive.

The new T&M catalogue came the other day, I’ve add up how much all the seed potatoes that I want and it’s £50 worth, ouch. There are two heritage/heirloom collection that I want, I want all the different types potatoes but both collection add up to 160 tubers so I have posted a ‘potato share’ in the LETS newsletter and the Freecycle café and have had a fair few responses from people interested. One of them is someone from a community garden who have offered to swap for some of the heritage seeds that they have saved.  

One of the other kinds that I want is a new verity called Mimi. It is a first early and are “unique cherry-sized, red-skinned salad. Huge numbers. Delicious tasting. Dwarf foliage and ideal for growing in containers.”

It started to feel like winter today, it was a nice day and the sun was out but it was cold, and still is. I think there might be a frost tonight. I’ve said for a couple of days running that I think we need to light the wood burner but it really had to be done tonight. Tomorrow I’m off and one of my jobs is going to have to be getting a new chain for the chainsaw. Normally we use a handsaw for cutting up all the wood for the wood burners, it’s always been everyone’s job to saw a box full of wood each day in the winter when we were growing up but this year we’re all almost grown-up, not that I feel at all grown-up, and there just isn’t the time in the day anymore.

We’re getting ready for Apple Day at work, it’s in two weekends time, and today I went out collecting apples (from Freecycle) to put through the press and it was really nice. I wish we had apple trees, the only ‘useful’ tree we have is a sweet chestnut tree. When me and mother went to get Kniteshade on Sunday the motorway was lined with apple trees covered in fruit, all going to waste. My dad has a theory that the reason motorways and railway lines almost always have fruit trees along them is because of people throwing their cores out of the windows.