Let’s hear it for wonky veg

Why should your carrots all look the same shape or colour? I grew purple carrots last year and they tasted just fine but I still prefer the orange ones for some reason… Whatever the colour they never grow as straight as you see them in the shops

Why should a parsnip be straight and pointy? This year is my first attempt with parsnips and I was quite impressed with this first one. Very tasty and really easy to grow once you can get the seeds to germinate!

Do all swedes have to be round and look the same? Another relative success story in my first year with growing them. Why would I be bothered what shape they are if I’m going to boil and mash them?

So let’s hear it for home-grown, wonky veg …

There's nothing wrong with wonky!
There’s nothing wrong with wonky!

New neighbours soon?

Having been given a very nice nest box some weeks ago, the local owl population have made quite a fuss lately because I hadn’t got around to putting it up. This was finally done last weekend and the results look quite good.

A suitable tree was picked out which wasn’t too close to the buildings and (with the aid of a ladder) I soon proved that you’re never too old to climb a tree!

I had hoped to put this up with absolutely no damage to the tree at all but this was not to be.

My original idea was to run some strong wire through a length of old garden hose around the tree trunk to hold it in place while also resting the nest box on a handy protrusion. Unfortunately once I’d done this it soon became clear that no sane owl would move into such a wobbly house and remedial measures were called for.

You can fix quite a lot of things with a hammer and a few nails!

A very desirable area for owls
A very desirable area for owls
Should I put up a FOR RENT sign?
Should I put up a FOR RENT sign?

Where did September go?

Almost without my noticing, the time has just shot by with no blog updates for quite some time. The various demands of the day job and the associated travel have become more of a priority. On top of that, more time is needed to process the pork from our pigs into bacon and sausage then distribute the results to friends and family.

It’s already October and autumn is well underway – at least it is in our part of the world. The success from the relatively small collection of leaves last year has provided some lovely leaf mould so there are plans to increase these efforts this year.

Given the lack of updates recently, this seemed a good time to bring together a few pictures to illustrate the recent results of this years growing season.

The purple podded peas proved to be very productive but for some reason the dwarf beans didn’t do as well as last year. The leeks and carrots were slow to get established but the beetroot performed well as usual. The biggest surprise for me – apart from the crop from the existing strawberry plants – was the swede which I grew for the first time this year. It’s doing very well and proving to be very tasty!

There are hopes for more to come over the next few weeks particularly from the new raised beds. But it won’t be long before thoughts will have to turn to planning for next year!