So here we go...There are many changes to be made to this page. Let's call it work in progress shall we? But at least we're up and running. So excited!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Get In Ma Belly!...

Before I start, thank you so much for taking the time out to read this. I really do appreciate it. Hope it's even the tiniest bit useful to you. If you like it, please feel free to click the 'Follow' button, either top left of your screen or in the left hand column. THANK YOU! x

I don't mean to brag, peeps, but I really do have some cracking pumpkins! Well, if truth be told, I'm having a ton of success with nearly all my crop so far. Since my last post the veggie patch just seems to have gone crazy. One day I'm out watering a few little seedlings, and the next, I'm practically having to wrestle my way through the garden amongst foliage and hanging fruits! Well, not quite, but I think you get the general idea. 

As this is my first year of growing my own I don't know any different.  However, I've been informed by many of my lovely followers on here, (and on Twitter) that this year happens to be quite exceptional. The crops are impressive and plentiful...we will not go hungry in our house, that's for sure!

Most impressive of all has to be the courgettes.  I mean, seriously, they are MAHOOSIVE! We're eating at least one a day, and we're still not sick of them.
I've been making a scrummy spicy ratatouille with mine.  Nicole absolutely loves it too. You should see her little face when we go out to pick our dinner from the garden! I've been using our own tomato's, courgettes, French beans, garlic and chili's (which I omitted from Nicole's portion) for the dish and, if I'd let her, she'd lick the plate clean.

My Very Own Ratatouille

2 big hand fulls of tomato's
1 onion
handful of French beans
1-2 fresh chili's
1 clove of garlic

Brown the courgette in a pan. In a separate pan fry onion, crushed garlic, chopped beans and chopped chili's. Chop tomato's and add to the pan. Add the browned courgettes and simmer for 20 mins.
As an optional extra, add a dash of double cream at the end...if you're feeling naughty!

The beetroot's doing really well, (although I'm not 100% sure how to prepare it....I'm thinking of boiling it)as are the pumpkins. By Halloween they are going to be huge!
We can't eat the rocket fast enough, and I hate to say it, but some ended up on the compost heap because it had grown so big that it had started to flower.

Blueberries, raspberries and spring onions are all doing me proud. I was just about to give up on the mange tout when I saw THIS bad boy beaming away at me! Neverappier!

I have to admit, I've been so scared about picking them, thinking that they may never grow back. How wrong could I be? I've since done my homework and discovered that the more frequently that you pick them, the more fruits they will provide...and with that, I'm off out amongst the wild to pick tonight's dinner. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Fruits Of My Labour...

Firstly, can I just start off today's blog by saying a huge great THANK YOU to all you gorgeous people for taking the time out to read it. I'm absolutely loving the experience and welcome all your hints and tips. I would massively appreciate it if you would take a couple of seconds to register with me by clicking either of the FOLLOW buttons, (top left of the page or in the left hand column). Thanks again. You are all officially amazing!

Right then, where was I? The sixth raised bed is finally down! The compost has been worked through and I'm ready to plant my cabbages and cucumbers. I started to think I was going a little over the top with my seedling purchases, but the way I see it, I'm going to have a go at growing as much as I can handle, and if they aren't successful then I'll hopefully learn from my mistakes next year.

Anyway, EXCITING NEWS! I'm finally starting to see proper results of all my hard work.  Myself and Nicole went out armed with watering can and water pistol the other morning, and as we were going through our usual routine, (which usually consists of Nicole firing the watering pistol at me and sniffing the plants!) she suddenly started to shout, "Mummy, Mummy, look at the tomato's" Sure enough, Nicole's tomato plant had suddenly decided to sprout a whole bunch of little green tommy's! (still not a single one on my tomato plants, but hers are practically dripping in them).  I have to say, it's possibly the most excited I've been since giving birth!

Just when I thought my day couldn't get any better, I went to see to my chili plants and noticed two absolutely beautiful green chili's hanging from one of them! I swear they weren't there yesterday. I'll be honest, I'm not sure how long I have to leave them before I can pick them. Exactly how big should I let them get? And more importantly, will they grow back ever again?! As I'm fairly new to all this, I have to admit that sometimes I forget that you can actually EAT all the stuff that's growing! I often need reminding that that's the point of the whole exercise!

Nothing makes me happier than seeing Nicole tucking in to her veggies. Our neighbours are growing peas and Nicole sits around eating them like sweets. Seriously, if you have kids and can't get them to eat their greens, get them to help you grow them. They suddenly become far more interesting. There's something about picking a pea pod off a plant, popping it open and eating them fresh that's far more fun than any bag of crisps!
Finally, our good friend Jamesy who grows tons of his own vegetables, gave me a great little tip for keeping bugs and slugs away. Dilute a tiny amount of washing up liquid with water and spray sparingly all over your plants. Not only is it a relatively inexpensive way of treating them, but it's organic too. Everyone's a winner! x