Monday, 13 September 2010

Growing your own

Regular readers will know that I took on a large overgrown allotment in the late spring this year.

Yesterday evening, I gathered from it all the vegetables needed to go with the sausages we were having for dinner - potatoes, an onion, peas, broad beans and cauliflower.

Back in the kitchen, and preparing the veg took me back to my childhood. Dad (a keen gardener) would bring in vegetables from the garden, and my sister and I would often sit at the kitchen table with the job of shelling the peas or podding the beans - marvelling to inspect the way they had grown.

There is just nothing about the cultivation of the land, growing of the crops, preparing them for the pot, or the eating of them, that is not a real pleasure. The soil is lovely to dig, and working it provides useful exercise for me, in the wonderful fresh Skye air, with a view to the sea every time I look up. Planting the seeds and tending the crops as they grow is a delight. Watching the miracle of nature turning tiny seeds into big healthy plants, and keeping the whole plot looking tidy is so rewarding. My allotment doesn't match the perfection my Dad used to achieve though, with his immaculate straight line planting and neatly manicured grass borders. I'll work towards that...

Then there's the preparation - the cutting and cooking of fresh vegetables produces aromas that are totally unique. Tired, shop-bought produce just isn't fresh enough to smell the same. And as for the final delight - eating - I can leave the pleasure of that to your imagination!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sparrow in the birdbath

Errr... SparrowHAWK that is....!!

It was a bit of a surprise to glance out of the window and see this chap sitting there. I guess he was hoping for his evening meal to pop by. He stayed long enough for me to get a few photos!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Monsters in the allotment

I've been away 'down south' for a week or so. Now back home, there's a few things to catch up with...

Skye is not usually associated with long periods of dry sunny weather, so as it is both dry and sunny just now, I have decided to do some harvesting in the allotment. Here are a few of the champions - (that's my gloves at the top of the picture, which give an idea of the wonderful size of the potatoes, onions and swede).

And just look at the cauliflower... There's quite a few this size. We're having cauliflower cheese tonight...

Everything I planted has done sensationally well. I won't grow peas again though, because the plants have been blown all over the place in the wind. I'll put the brassicas in more shelter next year. But the dwarf runner beans are fantastic!