- Published on Saturday, 03 October 2015 10:24
What do you call cheese that is not yours?
What cheese would you use to lure a bear out of a tree?
What did the cheese say to itself when it looked in the mirror?
What cheese would you use to obscure a small horse?
There was an explosion at the cheese factory. Everything was covered in debris.
How did Mr Cheese paint his wife?
A man threw a lump of cheese at me! I thought "that's not very mature"
Kindly provided by Rorie...
- Published on Monday, 28 September 2015 09:49
I fear there is no way to avoid the fact that summer has passed us by and we are now on the downward slope to winter. At least that's how it feels in my neck of the woods. This weekend the weather man is getting all excited about temperatures of 17C with sunshine – I wistfully look at the weather reports for Tuscany which are 'fine with sunshine' too, but their temperature is forecast to be 27C, not fair.
Why am I looking at Tuscany? Apart from being great fans of Tuscany, we returned from a week there on the 12th and it was noticeable the difference in temperature, but it was not only the temperature difference, it was about the difference in the feel of the air, the moisture and chill mornings you get with the onset of Autumn are already here.
Added to that chill feeling is how the allotments are performing now – my Italian garden has starting to look tired and sorry for itself; the courgette plants are withered and the Fennel had gone to seed.
I probably picked the last of the outside Tomatoes, Peppers and Aubergines at the weekend (Fig 1) I certainly picked the last of my wonderful white potato crop (Fig 2) and have started on the Red potatoes I use to store and feed us over winter. The Grapes are starting to ripen (Fig 3) and the Borlotti beans are drying on the plant. I have lots of weeds to take out and burn and need to start bedding everything down for winter and preparing the Onion beds for overwintering Garlic and Onions.
I have foraged some Sloes (Fig 4), they are already soaking in Gin. Autumn is here!
Roll on retirement!
- Published on Monday, 27 April 2015 10:06
At last, the allotments have turned from a water logged mess, to something that I can stand on; in fact, they have gone the other way if everything. Here in the south of England it has been very dry and warm over April, so much so that the soil has actually turned to that compressed hard surface which can crack if not raked and hoed, or turned over.
It has been a pleasure to get into the greenhouse and start sowing the summer vegetables. Such produce as Courgettes, Aubergine, Cucumber and Tomatoes are growing in trays and pots. Also, Brussel Sprouts, Leeks, Sprouting Broccoli, Kale, Cavolo Nero, Cauliflower, Sweet corn, Basil, Thyme and Oregano are all coming through along with Chillies, and sweet Peppers, these are all showing well and it's a measure of how hot it has been in the green house that they have shot up from when they were sown just two weeks ago.
Outside in the allotments, the over wintering onions and Garlic have done well, I planted 80 Garlic and 79 survived the winter, the gap in the Garlic row has now been filled with one of last years cloves that had formed a shoot; it is now growing on well; I love to see Onions and Garlic growing in rows, it is so neat and tidy.
I have now managed to set all of my potatoes, one row of Charlotte and two of Desiree, nothing exciting or different this year I'm afraid, we usually like to grow some of the French Ratte Spuds, but we don't seem to be eating as many potatoes as we used to. When I said to one of the chaps on the allotment that I was about to put my potatoes in, there was a sharp intake of breath, a shake of the head and he said, 'Aprils a bit late for spuds'; I had to point out to him that 'I was not in a race and I work with nature, not a text book'. It amazes me that for all I have been gardening for 50 years, there are chaps on the allotment that have read two books and gardened for two years and they feel able to tell me what to do; still you are never to old to learn (he says with tongue in cheek).
After having a week off work I now have some Broad Beans, carrots, Beetroot Kohl Rabi, and Borlotti bean set too; the fruit cage is doing its thing with loads of blossom on the Currants and Gooseberries, also on the Cherry tree. I have already harvested some Rhubarb, spring onions and all the over wintering vegetables. The Grape vine is budding, I have pruned back the Sage, Rosemary and Lavender, so in general, I am not feeling too bad; I'm pretty sure I will catch up with all of those early birds who are hoping to be the first to dig new potatoes, it truly is not a race.
- Published on Monday, 17 August 2015 11:43
I'm aware that I have not written anything for my Blog for some time now, so thought I should do so, albeit to just change the date of the most recent blog and prove to those who don't follow twitter that I'm still about.
There is so much going on in our lives at present it's difficult to find the time to cope with things, for instance, in August we've had a wedding, a garden party, still have a cheese course to do, a long weekend in London, then in September we are off to Italy again. This is extra to the normal day to day things like going to work, gardening, house work etc.
The allotments are producing well, but the tomatoes seem a little delayed, it's not just me, several of my friends feel they are delayed in ripening; anyway, you can check the July update on the grow your own page.
I'm still making cheese and have some more recipes to write for publication on the website and on The New England Cheese website too; I'm still doing the cheese making courses and still trying to manage the demand for these by limiting the number of the courses and the number of participants on the said courses.
I'm now staring retirement in the face (April 2016) and am starting to prepare for this; I'm promising myself, once retired, I will lose weight, have tidier allotments, run more cheese making courses and have time to do those things important to both myself and Jan; along with enjoying life.
I read a tweet the other day which was singing the praises of hand written letters to people and saying we should return to those days once again; the article stuck a chord with me, I connected with that viewpoint, but honestly, I don't know where I would find the time at present, hopefully in 2016 this might change.
Anyway, this is my first blog on my new computer, so that's enough challenge for one day; I hope the next blog will not take so long to write.
- Published on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 08:46
If you enter "Whiling away" into a search engine, it will come up with such definitions as : Verb - To spend time Idly or pleasurably; Spend time or cause time to pass pleasurably; so I suppose I did do just that this weekend.
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