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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mummy's little helpers

Sometimes you need a bit of help with the harvest - other times you don't but you get it anyway whether you like it or not! First up was the rogue pumpkin that had grown on the other side of the perimeter fence. To save my OH having to get out stepladders and climb over the fence, he went and got a net which made more sense. But something had crawled into the barn and thought it would be a good thing to pupate on!

Hang on, what's this attached to the net?

I'm pretty sure it's a Large White chrysalis (Pieris brassicae)! We turned the net inside out
and no future butterflies were harmed in the harvesting of this pumpkin.

Will you hurry up and come and cut the pumpkin vine instead of taking photos?!
(That pile of brown stuff is well rotted horse manure courtesy of my
horsey neighbours to be dug in later - have loads more of it).

All that just for this (courgette has nothing to do with it....).
But I've only three Potimarrons total so it was important!

And over in the orchard..... he's 6 foot 4" (195cm) so comes in very handy -
so does that harvesting net on a long pole.

Pathetic apple harvest this year - that's the total from our two best trees for eating apples
(as opposed to those best suited for cooking, which totalled even less). But you can't have it all
every year and this is just the start of the walnut harvest from my earliest tree (we have 3)!

Back in the veg patch it was time to collect coriander seed for sowing next year.

But Bertie decided he'd come along and 'help'.

This is his idea of helping, that's after snotting all over me when I was squatting down
with the camera and risking smearing my lens.....

I have to say, it was nice to be cool enough to get back in my wellies!
And please ignore the weeds...... ;-)

I love you, Mummy.

Needless to say, I gave up with the harvesting at this point!
All that greenery around the coriander is self seeded physalis, by the way.
To think I BOUGHT a plant this year! Now I know better as it's self seeded everywhere.

There's very little in the veg patch that is still in neat rows apart from the winter veg -
here the purple curly kale is growing really well and the PSB on the right is coming
along too. Those eggs from the Ornate Shield Bug on the kale just
completely disappeared though - I guess a bird or something ate them all!

I've got a vole gone beserk in here too, and has tunnelled under all my most
recently sown young veggies. :-(

I've no idea if Bertie caught it but later I found the soil dug out and all over
the place; the only good thing is that he didn't poo in the middle of it!!!

And finally - we have a lawn! It's greened up even more in the two days since I took this photo.
A bit of rain has helped enormously.

I have a load more photos to sort through from this last week but I just don't know where the time goes - I'm always meaning to try to blog more often than once a week!! Will try to get the others up over the weekend.


  1. Oooo I have serious kale envy! Looks lovely. And flowers on your strawberries, is that normal? So the daily hunt for walnuts starts, I hope iy's easier for you, all mine drop in with chickens and geese who are in your face wondering what they are misssing. Bella dog is a dab handat shelling her own and leaving sharp bits for you to stand on in bare feet!

    1. I'm surprised kale doesn't grow in your winter although I do appreciate that minus 30 is a tad on the cold side...... those strawbs will continue to produce the odd fruit through to the frosts and I think they had a new lease of life after a lot of rain in August. I only check the walnuts about once a week because they are in the orchard and sadly all our red squirrels have disappeared so I no longer have to battle them for the nuts! I'm not picking them all this year because I'm only about 1/3 of the way through last year's. I could eat loads more, I just haven't got the time to sit and crack them. :-(
      And I don't do bare feet here - never have done - too many ants and I'm horribly allergic to the red ones! :-)

  2. Your veg patch is looking good. My OH will envy you the PSB. Love the pics of Bertie- what a sweetie. And how sensible to have such a tall husband. :o)

    1. Don't you like PSB, CT? The rest of my veg patch is an overgrown jungle but a colourful one so I like it. All my cats are cute I just haven't taken many photos of them lately - when they stand still they nearly always have their backs to me, but if I call them to make them turn towards the camera they then come stomping towards me so it's really hard to get any decent photos of them! As for the hubby, he's handy for all sorts of things and easy to pick out in a crowd! :-)

  3. Veg looks great, have discovered a Walnut tree at the park, the green outer pod ! dose that fall off, or have you taken the nuts out ? know nothing about this tree.
    Amanda xx

    1. Hi Amanda - the green outer shell of the walnuts will split open and the walnut will come out and drop to the ground. You can always help the ones which are half split open on the tree though (especially if you are not there often or there are squirrels around) Tip: always wear gloves when picking walnuts off the ground and it's absolutely imperative if you touch the green bits as it stains your hands black for weeks and you cannot get rid of it!!!

  4. You have a veritable little farm there from what I can see Many! Veggie farm anyhow ;-) So much space and looks like you have made good use of every little bit too. How fascinating that you have walnuts to pick-would love that.

    What is t'other side of that fence that you can't walk around to get the pumpkin then? Is it just too far around your huge estate perhaps ;-) Maybe it's private property though?

    My little postage stamp of a garden (no veg) is still suffering from greenfly/aphid attack! Although, last night be fad the first frost of the Autumn, so we'll see how the little b*****s liked that ;-) It must mean an awful lot of labour caring for all that veg Mandy? Labour of love I guess?

  5. fad? Ooops...did it again...'had' ;-)

    1. Oh damn! My typing fingers have a life of their own today... be fad?...Ahem... WE HAD ;-)

    2. Hi JJ, sorry for the delay in replying and thanks for your comment(s). Having walnuts is great but I usually collect too many and can't get through them all because of having to find time to do all the shelling. The other side of the fence is a cow field but it's a long walk around through the hamlet, up the road then across the field - so easier to either pop over via ladders or my bright idea to use the net. :-) We haven't had a frost yet (pretty good) and yes it's a lot of work but can take a breather now for a while. We do have winter jobs to do though!

      By the way, you missed a typo where you called me Many. ;-) heehee :-)

    3. Doh! Should have deleted and started again ;-) BTW... that 'Notify me' thingy didn't work least not yet anyhow. I'll try and improve my typo count next time, I promise ;-)

    4. Oh that's odd - but a good thing as I got two spam comments on this post. I am going to have to put one of those annoying spambuster captcha thingies on - I absolutely hate them but although 99% of the spam gets caught by the spam thingy here and doesn't get published, I get the emails for it all. :-( And I prefer emails to know when someone has commented rather than keep signing into the blog and looking at the comments bit. :-(

      I like your typos, they are funny. :-)

  6. Is OH jealous of Bertie, who appears to steal the show? You've capture a slight air of Mafioso in the first picture. :-) Love the pattern and texture of the coriander seeds - nice one.

    Did you really mean vole? Never seen/heard of them producing mounds like that. And you'd be more suited to our garden in those wellies rather than your dry ground.

    1. Hi Nick.....just between you and me Bertie is actually cuter and more cuddly.... ;-)

      I wasn't trying to take a great pic of the coriander seeds, or any of the pics here, but thanks anyway. Sometimes I just want to take some snaps and don't want the pressure of trying to produce good/clever/artistic/blahblah photos. It's only a blog after all. :-)

      If you know that film Caddyshack, then you'll know that the Bill Murray character in this household knows that moles have holes which go down vertically and voles have holes which go off at an angle. Moles are easy to kill (sadly) but voles are indestructible; it doesn't matter how many ghastly chemicals, explosions and fire he's nuked down their tunnels (everything short of napalm I think), the next morning there are even more vole hills. Same with the kinder options. I keep telling him to just leave them alone and we'll reseed next year anything that is messed up this year. But of course it's sod's law that it only appeared about a week before we sowed the grass seed!

      It has rained several times now so wellies are back as normal footwear for the next 6 months or so. :-)