Thursday, 28 June 2012

A little accident done good?

So, I bunged a few rows of broad beans into a bed, pre tomatoes going in - just to act as a green manure. Lots of different varieties - about 100 plants I reckon. Only half came up.

Thing is, they grew really fast, and overtook the cultivated and 'looked after in the greenhouse' ones, so I left them. My lottie neighbour has been drooling over them for weeks. I've been harvesting for ages - and decided today to get all the rest in.

Well, after about 45 mins, I had to leave half the plants otherwise I'd not have time to de-pod them tonight. That trug is half full, and it's my biggest trug.

Also had a good run on the strawbs [only 2 nibbled too much, 2 nibbled that can be chopped out and the rest ok], plus the first day's rasp harvest, again another 45 minute session, as under all those strawbs are the rasps. So many more rasps to come, I need to take a huge clean tray now to keep them all dirt free each day.

Now, to clean, destalk and de-pod.

On a minus note, I flicked some mud down my top when planting out the Long Red Florence onions, and even though I'd shaken my top several times, when I got home I could still feel it. Yes, it was a little slug. Ug.

Flaming June?

Now, I don't usually post on here when I'm working from home, but today I am prepping for running 2 pickling workshops on Saturday and when I went to go and purchase the provisions to run it - this awaited me...

For the love of all things GYO - will you BRIGHTEN UP AND GIVE US SOME SUNSHINE

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Rocket Stove Workshop - more detailed text to follow...

We basically used 2 and a bit of these large oil cans to make the stove

One had to have the lid off, as above [the start of the snipping], and one had to have the lid and base off, as these bits were used to make the chimney extension and the fuel inlet

Once the two tubes were made and riveted; they were put onto the clay pre-made elbow [see if you want o buy one...

If you don't want to buy one, you can make the elbow out of metal yourself, and use a square inlet and chimney, as shown

The third can is cut in half to make a lid and somewhere to rest the pot [and also acts as a skirt to keep the pot hot], and the middle chimney needs to fit into a hole in the middle so make a hole to fit, and bend tabs down to make the fit even tighter. Then once you know it fits, fill the bottom with an insulator - we used vermiculite - fill right to the top.

Supplied with the elbow are two spacer tubes, and a grate just like in normal fires - make sure these are fitted and in position as shown. The wood to be burnt goes on the top and any ash falls through.

We used a separate oil canister to add height to save bending down when trying to get it lit

It was a tad windy so took a while to get it going...

Once we added dry wood, it was burning away - you can see we snipped out somewhere for the pan handles to drop the pan lower down the skirt.


And this is it, in situ - 10 minutes after we finished making it with popcorn on the hob.

And even though the pan was hot, the insulation meant the sides were still cool. Genius!

This one [which I made with Tracey] will stay at the Windmill Community Garden...and I'll make a few with my students later in the year [next term I think]...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Plant Revelations

I'm just posting a link to this website, as this is a newish exotic nursery in Beeston Nottingham UK. They do mail order, and have lots more that isn't on the website so if you are looking for something, they might just have it.

We bought a Smokebush, a Black Elder and a Amelanchier from him - and I'll be using him again at some point....

So, here's the website link.

The plants were of a very good quality indeed. Hence posting this link.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Trip to Brugge

 No gardening for the last 4 days as we popped to Brugge to avoid the Jubilee gubbins. 

I decided to mainly set my Oly EP-1 to the Black and White 'Grainy Film' filter. i usually choose which filter, if I use any, that corresponds with the film that I would use if I were shooting in film. Hence lots of B&W.

Mark patiently waiting for a beer...

A man who was wandering around the door, and the jukebox in the cafe we were in


COFFEE - this was most excellent I have to say

Our guide book, lent to me by the lovely VVG. Thanks chickadee.

Mark's first beer. 

The beer wall behind something much more interesting, a city gabion. Made by Kubric. 

One for the nieces, the Choco-holic shop. Yes, we bought you back some chocolate. Hopefully I'll drop it off soon. K. 

Coach and horses, these are the background noise in this city clip clopping everywhere. 

Cobbled street. Nice. 

Ahem - another coach and horse. 

No idea but this fine chap was in the doorway of an art exhibition we visited.

It rained. Quite alot. But less so than Oslo. Luckily we were in the camper and had tea and biscuits to keep us occupied. 

On the whole, a lovely long weekend - I'd recommend it if you like quietish city breaks. If you are after lots of activity then perhaps don't visit. The only cringeworthy moments were the Brits we encountered being their usual loud brash selves. Sober as well as half cut on strong Belgian Beer. Asking a barmaid how to say 'Thank You???'...honestly - some of these people are idiots of the highest order. We kept a low profile as usual and hoped that our lack of fashion sense didn't give us away.

Upon our return, lots of plants had grown - or seemed to. That made us very happy. And nothing in the greenhouse died. Excellent!