Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Staycation 2017...the final week....5

Well my last week off work was really busy and I am happy to say much of it was allotment orientated so actually fits in with the blog title for a change!!

So what have I been up to...well harvesting lots of stuff....beans of various varieties and fruits mainly.

The victoria plum tree was stripped and then the produce I collected prepared in various ways....here's a few pics...didn't feel like being wordy today!!

Lots of lovely plum tomatoes

Many went into the dehydrator to
become tomato powder.

The rest were made into pasta sauce.

Here is some lovely Victoria Plum jelly and
syrup. Some fruit leathers and sorbet were
also made.

This is the first of the onion powder,
plenty more to come!

Bubbling away in the pots are
blackberries ready for some
blackberry syrup!
 I also put a few blackberries in the freezer whole....there are plenty more to come too.
You may wonder why I have onion and tomato powder? Well the onion powder is for me o add to dishes as I wish when cooking. The Hubby doesn't dislike the taste of onions but detests the texture and this way I get the flavour in without the fuss of him moaning.
I tried making tomato powder a few years ago and have never looked back! I love the versatility of it...it's easy to store and takes up less room than any other preservation method and can quickly and easily be added to any meal to give it a huge hit of flavour...you can also reconstitute it to make tomato juice or soup!!

I am going to try dehydrating and powdering some blackberries this year too...my nephew is eager to see how well they go with milk....I do love a good experiment so I'll let you know how that one goes!!

I did take some time out Monday to go over to Melton Country Park with the Hubby and Polly on Monday and it was really nice...since then it's been pretty much work....but another two days and then I can get a bit more done on the allotments!!
.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Staycation 2017 weeks 3-4

Okay...so I was going to post each week as a separate post but to honest with you time has run away a little quickly and besides which week 3 was a little mundane so probably wont take very long to catch everyone up!

So week 3 was home after hols which meant the usual mundane of catching up on washing and ironing and cleaning...there were a couple of family birthdays thrown in and also me realising that I couldn't put off decorating the kitchen and downstairs hallway any longer so I went on a paint hunt.

I did pick out some beautiful colour choices...limeade, jelly bean, a touch of silver, bumblebee...and a sort of lavender colour...all bright and glorious ...and not one to the hubbys taste!!

After this I made him go and pick colours...I wasn't overly bothered to be honest...I just wanted to get them decorated....so he went with soft lime for the kitchen and duck egg blue for the hallway!!

There was also a little bit of allotmenting in there somewhere too!

So week 4 was then of course decorating....and pretty much a lot more decorating...I am so happy that it's done...the colours do look great.....

The kitchen has soft lime walls!!
The 'Duck egg blue' is a bit of a stronger colour
but is a lovely backdrop for my fairy plates and..
Is a lovely backdrop colour for Trojan and Polly's
picture. Thanks Jen, we love it so much!


There was a few other things that happened that week...a bee committee meeting which had a few good outcomes, a bit of time on the allotment (purely to clear my head!) some wonderful walking...oh and Polly had a photo shoot!!!
I am lucky enough to know John Perring of John Perring Photography and he came out walking with us and got some fantastic shots of Polly and I really couldn't be happier with the results...here are just a few of the finished pictures,

Chilling out after the walk! 
 Fun in the straw!
A perfect pose.
I love my ball!!

I kind of picked a random selection from the walk so you can get the idea, I can't say I picked the best shots as I am having serious trouble deciding which ones I should have printed?!?!
John travels quite far to do his photography so if you're looking for a photographer then please bare him in mind...it is well worth it!!

So that was week 3 and 4...week 5 will be over as my head hits the pillow tonight so I will be sure to update you on the last week tomorrow...after I finish work of course.

Hope you've all had a great bank holiday!!
.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Stay- 'Vacation' week 2 2017

So my second week off was a week away with family and dogs...still a staycation as sorts as we didn't leave the UK!!

We had a lovely holiday in Norfolk. We stayed in a small village called Thornham about 5 miles from Hunstanton.

The village was a very picturesque and there were some beautiful walks and beaches though the local amenities were a little pricey!!

Whilst staying in Thornham we also visited Hunstanton, Wells-next-the-sea, Brancaster....and a few other 'somewheres' in between but the names escape me!

The youngest has his first taste of lobster...we went crabbing, caught a jellyfish and some prawns and shrimps and Polly got her first view of the beach and see which went down VERY well.

Here's a few pics from the hols for you to have a look at!!











Thursday, 24 August 2017

Staycation 2017....week 1

So I promised you some updates of what I had been up to over the weeks that I have been off.

To be honest the first week was a little mundane and involved mainly on catching up with housework though to make it a little more bearable I did go down to the allotment quite a bit for some fresh air and as always much needed weeding.

I didn't take too many ics whilst there though I did find a few I never got around to posting so here they are now!!


You can see from these first two pics that I have had some pretty horrific jungles to deal with...it doesn't look like this now but I do need to get radical this autumn so that I have a better start next year!!




As always the fruit has done well...


So much better than I was at picking it...


Nothing went to waste though..as always what I didn't manage to pick the birds thoroughly enjoyed!!


I was really leased with the cherries this year...not many made it home though...I ate most whilst I worked...delicious they were too.


As always the top fruit is doing well.


Though small here I have already started harvesting the pears and it won't be long now before I start harvesting the apples too.


Below is my allotment plum tree.


 I bought a victoria plum but it clearly isn't. The fruits are a lot smaller and a very deep purple when ripe. Any ideas what variety it may be?

I also managed to get a super of honey off the hives and get it spun....beautiful liquid gold as always!!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Just one left!!

Yep just the one...of course I'm talking weeks off work...I actually have had four weeks off already and I just don't know where the time has gone....I have been using my holiday time very wisely though and I am quite pleased with my summer (and I use that term quite loosely!!) achievements.

I've been away for such a long time I don't want to bombard you with info and then not be back for a while so I will write about the last four weeks in four separate posts...it will be easier to digest, make the post less wordy and also enable me to get some pictures sorted too.

It's not just my posting I haven't done recently...it's anything with the computer in general but that has changed a little today and I have been catching up with you all though I haven't comment as I've read....it would have taken so much longer...and besides...who really wants comments turning up on posts they wrote two months ago!!

so this was just a little 'Hi' really....just to let you know I'm still about...life is busy as always....and I really feel that I would like to write which is why I will be getting some posts done....for now though the best thing to leave you with are a few pics....will just grab a couple off my phone....
This is in fact an allotment, a very unkempt
one but at least you know what I was up
against!
A very worn out Robin who visited my greenhouse,
he was so bedraggled you could barely
 see his redbreast!!
So that was just a random two...but of course I can't leave without sharing a Polly pic...it just doesn't seem right!!

So here's Polly...charging through the crops, yes I know it's
only half of her but have you ever tried to get an action
shot of a spaniel on your phone camera??
Gotta love those ears!!
Hope you all have been having a good summer.
.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A fruitful year.

So I went to the allotment last night to water the greenhouse and got happy with the camera but by the time I had sorted paperwork and all that stuff it was 11:00pm so i didn't get a post done last night.

Off shopping this morning which is one of my pet hates but hey ho...we have to eat and unfortunately I can't grow everything!!

Anyway that's besides the point....just thought I'd share some of the fruit with you....I have been slowly picking at the soft fruits but think by the weekend I will be able to harvest in earnest...take a look.

My autumn raspberries are always ready
in summer!!

The strawberries are managing to hold their
own in the little wilderness.

Mental currant bushes!!

Gooseberries ripening nicely.

I always love the way redcurrants
look like perfect glass beads.

Can't wait to make some blackcurrant
syrup.

I never really know what to individually do
with the whitecurrants, what do you do
with yours??

So that just leaves the blackberries to ripen, I have
plenty dotted around the plot and do love
my bramble jelly!!


So that's the soft fruits covered. I have some gojiberries in the greenhouse but they won't be ready to plant out until next year. I would like a few more soft fruits....anybody got any that I don't have which I could grow. Obviously I need them to flourish outside in the lovely U.K. summer!
.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Alnwick Poison Gardens.

Well I did a little impromptu weeding last weekend but in true Tanya style I forgot my camera so I have just been going through the archives and found a few picks from Alnwick last year....

My Nephew and I visited the poison gardens. They were beautifully set out but you did have to book in for a tour as they are behind locked gates!!

At the gates you are gently warned about
the dangerous plants....

This is then reinforced by the
guide before you enter.


The gates really are beautiful to look at and into the
wrought iron there are different poisonous snakes
and spiders,just in case  you didn't quite grasp
the concept the first two times!!













Some of the more dangerous plants...or those that are listed are in cages to prevent the public getting anywhere near them...but not all of them can kill, there were obvious things such as cannabis and opium poppies, irritants such as nettles and thistles, but then also a few surprising ones. Aquilegias were in there, not poisonous as such but when ingested by someone with child do cause miscarriage, this was a new one on me...never harmful at any other time though.


The Prince of Wales opened 'Phase 2' of the garden in 2007.
The bench is a nice touch but you don't really get time
to sit down in the guided tour.



One of the last parts is a walkway through
the poison ivy tunnel!!

It was a nice tour and I enjoyed it and would recommend it...you don't pay extra for it but you do need to go and book your place when you first get to the gardens. Then you are free to explore until your allotted time!!