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Mo's Diary
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kaz
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Joined: 09 Feb 2007
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Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject: Mo's Diary  Reply with quote

If you look at our member Mo's signature, you will see that she keeps a wonderful blog on her activities around her smallholding. She has kindly agreed to reproduce her blog for us here on OTG.

This post will be kept as a sticky  on the Smallholding section for Mo's Diary- if anyone else has a blog that they would like to share in the same way PM me

Watch this space..................
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gulp!

I would just like to say thank you to Bodger & Kaz for the opportunity to post here.

Hope I don't bore you all to tears
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:18 pm    Post subject: How We Use Borlotti Beans Reply with quote

How We Use Borlotti Beans


Click to see full size image

Lovely to look at, delightful to hold,
Once you have tasted, Man you are sold!

We grow Borlotti Beans for three reasons:
They look wonderful as they are growing and add colour to the garden,
I love the feel and colour of the beans in my hand, and
They taste delicious and are very versatile.

The only sad thing is that they lose their lovely colourings when they are cooked.

Our Borlotti Harvest was a good one, despite my reservations back in April.
The seedlings from our first sowing rallied round and with a good second sowing we had many beans to harvest.

Click to see full size image

Some of our fresh beans went into the freezer au naturelle. In the past I have blanched them first but I discovered this year that there is no need to do this.
These will be added to stews or casseroles and Boston Baked Beans is on my list of recipes to use them in.

The rest I cooked, seasoning the cooking liquid with thyme, rosemary and bay.
As I was going to use some of the beans in a Jamie inspired sauce, I also popped in some unpeeled garlic cloves, potatoes and tomatoes.

I drained the cooked beans, saving the cooking liquid, and picked out the potatoes, garlic and tomatoes, along with any herb stems.

Half of the cooked beans then went into home made Tomato Sauce for good old Beans on Toast. Borlotti Beans are great for this as they are much more substantial than the beans you get in tins.
A little goes a long way, and I like that.
But the taste is so much better too, Borlotti Beans have a much creamier consistency.

Click to see full size image

The other half of the beans will also get served with toast but the sauce for these comes from mashing the garlic, potato and tomato that were cooked with the beans.
The mash is loosened with Olive Oil and a Wine or Cider Vinegar and thinned with some of the cooking liquid to make a sauce.

Both lots have been portioned and frozen for quick lunches or suppers.

Some of the beans had dried on the plant; here are a few of them.

Click to see full size image

I shall store these and use them once the frozen beans have been used. They just need a good soaking before being cooked.
Of course, some I shall keep for sowing next year.

Speaking of which, during one of our evenings with the Pigs and Chickens last week we decided that we shall only grow Runner Beans, Borlotti Beans and Broad Beans next year.
It is nice to grow a wide variety but for our own uses, these three beans will keep us happy.

Which beans will you be growing next year?
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sod
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Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: Masterton New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you I must get some Borlotti beans and plant we grow broad and runner, broad are flowering now and just about to plant runner beans
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sod wrote:
Thank you I must get some Borlotti beans and plant we grow broad and runner, broad are flowering now and just about to plant runner beans


Of course! You've just arrived in Spring down there!  
Some people call them Cranberry Beans but I'm guessing that's our American Cousins.
Broad Beans have a pretty flower with a lovely scent that some people miss.
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject: Giant Hogweed and Parsnips - Burning Issues Reply with quote

Giant Hogweed and Parsnips - Burning Issues

Last year I noticed a particularly large fellow growing in our garden.

Click to see full size image

I didn't know him, nor where he had come from, and he became known as "that big bugger round the back".

We ignored him.

This year I was heard to exclaim "That big bugger round the back has brought his mates round!"

I have only recently learned his name - Heracleum Mantegazzianum or Giant Hogweed as he is less than affectionately known.

Unfortunately, with that knowledge comes other, more alarming knowledge.

It is not the fact that he is poisonous that alarms me.
We have plenty of poisonous plants, including Daphne who we introduced you to earlier this year.
And I am quietly impressed that he has chosen Daphne, Foxglove and Lily of the Valley as his 'bed mates'.

What does alarm me is that it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to plant or cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild.

The Giant Hogweed is an escapee from the gardens of our Victorian Forefathers.
It's a familiar tale.
This particular plant is now a problem along our riverbanks and on derelict land. For some reason it can also be found in large numbers in Edinburgh City Centre.
(Link to report on River Usk) :http://www.environment-agency.gov...119798.aspx?month=5&year=2010

The Giant Hogweed contains furocourmarins which can be released simply by brushing past the leaves. They affect the cell structure of your skin, making it more sensitive to the UV radiation in sunlight. This is known as photodermatitis.
It can cause severe burns, with long lasting scar tissue, and once your skin cells have been damaged it can take several years to rebuild your natural protection from UV radiation.

Casualties include people strimming the leaves in blissful ignorance,  and children using the stems as blowpipes.

Not a nice fellow, although he is quite splendid when in flower.


He is the tallest herbacious plant growing in Britain.
You can download an ID Sheet from here.
https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/...ivespecies/index.cfm?sectionid=47

We are not required by law to destroy our "big bugger" and, whilst he and his mates have now seeded, the seeds do not fall far from the plant and we are unlikely to tramp them around on the soles of our shoes.

However, each plant can produce up to 50,000 seeds and they remain viable for up to 7 years. We shall have to be vigilant this coming year. Seedlings will have to be throttled and should we miss any, plants will need to be uprooted. At the very least, any flower heads will need to be removed before they set seed.

Scary stuff, eh?

Which brings me to the humble Parsnip.
He's a scary fellow too.
He also contains furocourmarins in his leaves.


Click to see full size image

It worries me that more is known about the furocourmarins in the Giant Hogweed than is known about the same chemical in a vegetable that is grown by gardeners across the land.

We do not know how concentrated the chemical is in Parsnips, nor whether the concentration varies at different stages of the Parsnip's life cycle.
We do know that handling the leaves may cause mild to moderate irritation. There have been reports of severe blistering and burning, although these appear to be few and far between.
I'm left dissatisfied with the information I can find.

All I can say, with a straight face, is


wear gloves when you're pulling your parsnips!

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sod
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Location: Masterton New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mo thank you for that about pasnips, as we spend hours every day outside and it is very sunny here even a lttle bit could be bad for us  
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers sod  

I have just been asked about feeding it to pigs and from a quick look on t'internet I'm being told it can be grazed by pigs, sheep and cattle but that pigs will eradicate it by root damage.
I've only looked at one source though.

Also, the Pig Site is telling me it can irritate the softer parts of pigs, so the snout and under belly, particularly sows.

Frighteningly I've also come across a Genesis song - The Return of the Giant Hogweed  
It's scaringly accurate, but a bit weird too  

http://lyrics.wikia.com/Gracenote...s:The_Return_Of_The_Giant_Hogweed
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Mo



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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Michaelmas 2011 Reply with quote

Michaelmas 2011

It's fun to be able to look back and see what I was wittering about on this day last year.

Our apples are only half harvested.

Click to see full size image

We have been threatening to make Cider for the past few weekends but I suspect that will now have to wait until the Large Blacks have gone. We expect them to go next week.

I haven't made any Corn Dollies this year and I haven't gathered any Corn. I am playing with the idea of using my Lavender Stems to try and create a similar effect though.

I have seen the Michaelmas Goose cropping up in news articles this year, mainly because of the traditional belief that if you ate one you would not be short of money over the coming year.
Oh! That it were so simple.
As we note in our Calendar, Goose fairs were originally held at Michaelmas.
This year the Nottingham Goose Fair runs from 5th - 9th October.
http://www.nottinghamgoosefair.co.uk/

Once again, we have no goose to cook but, happily, no debts to settle nor rents to pay.

Last year I was moaning about the wet, miserable weather.
This year the sun is shining on late bloomers such as this Rose.

Click to see full size image

She's a weedy looking thing and every year I think she's given up the ghost.
Every year she thumbs her pretty little nose at me and produces one, stunning bloom.

We shall be spending Michaelmas Evening in the company of Jilly, the pigs and the chickens whilst debating our garlic choices for the coming year, and generally putting the world to rights.

Will anyone be having a Michaelmas Goose?
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No not us. Our own goose was cooked last Christmas and it was divine but we weighed up how delicious it was against the poop and mud that we had to endure and decided not to have any this year. Its going to be way less hassle to buy one off someone else.
That giant hogweed is a real problem in some areas but the really noticeable invader in our area is Himalayan Balsalm. It seems to be cropping up everywhere.
We haven't harvested our own apples yet, I'm not sure if they are quite ready. This brings me on to the topic of how do you tell when apples are ready for picking? Rob came back from his cider course with a technical way of telling. You slice an apple and paint it with iodine. I'll have to stop here and find out from Rob as to what you are looking for. Unfortunately, he still a couple of hours away from getting up out of bed.

Super reading Mo.
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Mo



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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bodger wrote:
No not us. Our own goose was cooked last Christmas and it was divine but we weighed up how delicious it was against the poop and mud that we had to endure and decided not to have any this year. Its going to be way less hassle to buy one off someone else.
That giant hogweed is a real problem in some areas but the really noticeable invader in our area is Himalayan Balsalm. It seems to be cropping up everywhere.
We haven't harvested our own apples yet, I'm not sure if they are quite ready. This brings me on to the topic of how do you tell when apples are ready for picking? Rob came back from his cider course with a technical way of telling. You slice an apple and paint it with iodine. I'll have to stop here and find out from Rob as to what you are looking for. Unfortunately, he still a couple of hours away from getting up out of bed.

Super reading Mo.


Someone on my Blog mentioned problems with Himalayan Balsalm and she's up in Yorkshire. She says it smells like burnt plastic  

I thought you just looked at the pips to see if apples were ripe?
I can imagine a wooly headed Rob wondering why his old man is babbling about iodine  
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bodger



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Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that you paint it and it shows whether there is sugar or starch there. Obviously the more sugar thats there, the riper they are. I'll ask him how you tell which is which from the iodine test.
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Grandma Bodger



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Location: Stoke-on-Trent

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you Mo for the information on Hog Weed. My garden juts out into a field that has been allowed to go wild, and the hog weed is flourishing and of course I get the seeds, if I do miss some of the plants they are the devil to dig out,so deep,I will remember to wear gloves  
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Mo



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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grandma Bodger wrote:
thank you Mo for the information on Hog Weed. My garden juts out into a field that has been allowed to go wild, and the hog weed is flourishing and of course I get the seeds, if I do miss some of the plants they are the devil to dig out,so deep,I will remember to wear gloves  


Crikey! Think how many seeds must get blown in the wind!

The roots are one of the reasons I ignored the bloomin' thing in the first place. I gave it a good tug and thought well, you can stay there... I didn't know what it was then  
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Mo



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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Sayings That Mystify Children Reply with quote

Sayings That Mystify Children

(Just a mutterings post)

As a child, many sayings and expressions dribbled into my ears that I didn't really understand.
I couldn't ask because, more often than not, I wasn't supposed to be listening.
I knew that if I heard "Little Jugs have Big Ears" I should concentrate very hard on what I was doing or I would be sent out of the room on an errand, even though no jug I had ever seen had ears.
I had to wait for more information to find it's way into my ears to make the world a clearer place.

For example, I had no idea why something was "like tea from China" until one day, as if by magic, I knew it meant "far-fetched".

One of my Mum's favourites was "You're like my backside".
This was deeply mystifying.
Whilst it was directed at me, I had no inclination to find out quite why Mummy thought I was like her backside.
I knew it wasn't good, because usually I had done something that didn't "cut the mustard" as my Grandad would say and which I thought had something to do with gardening.
It was some years before I learned that it simply meant that I was "better out of sight".


Click to see full size image

When I see a person's bottom, my brain is pre-programmed to flash up the phrase "I'd recognise that face anywhere".
This was my first thought on seeing this photo, swiftly followed by the realisation that it was me, not my Mum.
I am very much like her, in ways and looks.
Indeed, my backside is much like hers - better out of sight!

What brings me to all this is the expression "It's dark over Bill's Mother's".


Click to see full size image

My dad was known locally as Bill.
This house was Bill's Mother's.
A mate of my Dad's used this expression.
This is Yorkshire. As this expression filtered into my ears, if I had glanced up, chances are there would be clouds over my Nana's house.
I thought it meant it was going to rain.

Having spent most of my adult years away from 'home' I have not thought about, nor used the expression for a long time.
Now, thanks to the Yorkshire Post who run a small, regular piece on Yorkshire Expressions, I know that this saying is wider spread than I had realised and that it means there is trouble brewing.
I still have no idea of it's origins , but I am pleased because I can now use it again.

These days of course, we can Google things we don't understand, sometimes with alarming results!

But I have a more up-to-date story to share.


Click to see full size image

My Cousin has Triplets and their first language is German, although they are also fluent in English.
On holiday at the beach with Granny, she called to them in the water,  "Be careful! The tide is coming in"
Three small children squealed with delightful terror and ran up the beach yelling "The tides coming!"
Sat huddled in towels with Granny, one child solemnly asked "Granny, what's a tide?"

Are there any sayings that you remember mystifying you as a child?

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