Posts Tagged potatoes

Buckland St Mary Flower Show 2015

Yesterday (Sunday) was the day of the annual Buckland St Mary Flower and vegetable show.  It’s always good fun and categories are hotly contested, but all the money raised goes to charity.  This year it was the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  We entered several categories and won a few prizes.

I got a first for my peas in a pod. That’s the red ticket.DSC00428And a second for my lovely blueberries. that’s a blue ticket.

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Neil got a second place for his potatoes.

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And a second for our eggs.

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I got a third place for my lovely yellow courgettes, that’s a green ticket.

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Altogether we got, one first place, three second places and eight third places.  We got third place for Neil’s Blackberry wine, my strawberry cordial, my strawberry and red gooseberry jam and two of my photos.

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When we came home we put all our winning exhibits on the table and took a photo.

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We saw lots of our friends at the show, and were comparing notes on who had entered and won what.  We also had afternoon tea and cake there, so a very enjoyable afternoon all round.  We showed our B&B guests our exhibits and told them they could have prize winning eggs and jam with their breakfast this morning!!

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Digging up the first potatoes

Earlier in my blog I explained how we were trying the “no dig” approach to vegetable growing this year, growing through cardboard.  One of the first things we planted this way was our potatoes and this week we started to dig them up.

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The cardboard certainly stopped the weeds coming up, and meant that we hadn’t had to earth them up.  So we lifted the cardboard and this is what we saw.

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Beautiful potatoes lying in the ground.

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They came away quite clean and blemish free and we got all this lot just from one row.

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Last night I cooked some up with a little mint from the garden, delicious.  Its amazing how something as simple as a spud can taste so much better when home grown.

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Planting our potatoes with the “no dig” method and progress in the garden

We had read about it, so we thought we would give it a try – “No dig” gardening. What is that you ask?  Well the idea is that you cover the ground around the plants you want and it stops the weeds coming up, therefore you don’t need to dig them out.  We understand it can take a couple of years for the weeds to completely stop coming up but we thought we would give it a go.

So we started with the potatoes.  We laid cardboard across the ground and Neil made holes through the cardboard into the earth.

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I followed up by planting a potato into each hole and then we covered with the cardboard.  The idea being that each potato will grow through the hole in the cardboard, but the weeds won’t be able to.

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We then did the same with the onions.  We got the cardboard from our local convenience shop.  He would only put the packaging into recycling so we are recycling a different way.

I took the opportunity to have a look round the garden at what else is growing.  The rhubarb is coming along fantastically and we will be able to pick from it soon.

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Where I had pulled up all the dead strawberry leaves and exposed the new little plants coming up, they are doing well, still small but growing new leaves.

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I had created a border of daffs, narcissus and primroses around one of the lawns.  These have finally come into full bloom and are looking lovely now.

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It’s nice to have a dry day to get some jobs done in the garden.  Saturday was glorious with sunshine but today it is more cloudy, but still a good working day.

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Our first peas and glorious fruit from the garden

We have had a week of lovely sunny weather here and it has done the garden good, bringing on the fruit and veggies after all the rain we have had.  Yesterday we picked our first peas.

Our first peas

They were lovely fat pods of really sweet peas.  We have never grown peas before so this is a definite success.

shelled peas

We had them last night with baked trout and our home grown potatoes – yummy, followed by home grown raspberries that have been so abundant this year we have been eating them daily.

Home grown raspberries

We have the raspberries served with meringues and squirty cream, an unbeatable combination.  Not only do we have raspberries but loganberries and for the first time tayberries, which are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, so quite dark in colour.

Also the blueberries have been plentiful.  I think all the rain made them swell up, we have never had so many big ones.

home grown blueberries

Our gooseberries are now ripe and I have been picking both green ones and red ones.  I made strawberry and gooseberry jam with some of the green ones and raspberry and red gooseberry jam with the others.

Green gooseberries

Red gooseberries

So what with the blackcurrants and strawberries we had earlier our fruit garden has been bountiful.  With regard to veggies as I said we have harvested peas and potatoes, our beans and cabbages are coming along OK and we have had several courgettes, but our sweetcorn doesn’t look up to much, got dashed down by the rain we had, and the seeds of our carrots, parsnips and beetroot have all come to nothing.  Also there are very few apples on the trees.  Our British weather has a lot to answer for, but we must be grateful for the fruits we do have!!

Our B&B guests will be enjoying freshly picked fruits with their breakfast.  www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Seeding and planting in our Spring garden

 After the heatwave in March it has been cold this April with typical April showers and sunny spells.  So our gardening has had to be done dodging the showers.  Firstly we have 4 large areas that we have laid with lawn seed.  We bought a 25 kg bag of lawn seed off Ebay and mixed this with compost so that the seed had something to stick to and then sowed it by hand, all before it rained.

large area laid to lawn seed

You can see Tia, one of our cats, got in on the picture, and also you can see the border I created in the Autumn with daffodil bulbs and a stone edging, all stones taken out of the garden. Next it was time to get the potatoes in.  Our first earlies went in a few weeks ago and are already coming up.

First early potatoes already coming up

Our second earlies and maincrop had been left to chit and were now ready for planting. Here are the maincrop Anya potatoes that have chitted.

  Chitted Anya potatoes ready for plantingWe use newspaper as poor man’s weed suppressant sheet.  It keeps the weeds at bay for a while and then eventually disintigrates, so is quite handy to use. So then I got to planting out the potatoes.

planting out the potatoes

We also planted a bed of onion sets, and then under cloches I planted spinach, raddish, beetroot and salad leaves seeds.

You can also see the shrouds that are  round each of our garlic plants.  This is to protect them from the rabbits that ate the lot last year.  Elsewhere in the garden the purple sprouting broccoli is plentiful and we have been eating it with every other meal.

We ate the first of the seaon’s rhubarb on Tuesday this week.  I have 6 plants so can pull a couple of stems from each plant so not to weaken them by pulling too much from any one plant.

Healthy rhubarb plant April 2012

I made a lovely rhubarb crumble which went down well with our friend who was staying with us at the time. With the current cold temperatures and frequent showers it is not conducive to working much in the garden.  Oh well, there is always tomorrow!! visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Buckland St Mary Flower Show 21st August 2011

One of the highlights of the village calender is the annual Flower Show which took place in the village hall today.  It is very competitive, with entries from an 8 mile radius of Buckland St Mary. No exhibitor shall have more than one entry in each class, and all exhibits to be grown or made by the exhibitor. There were 115 classes in various categories: Category A = flowers and floral art, Category B = Vegetables, Category C = Homecraft such as eggs, honey, jam cakes etc. Category D = photography and E,F, G were childrens’ classes.  We entered in 21 classes out of the 115.

The Flower Show was very well attended with lots of exhibits.

Vegetable and fruit exhibitsMore exhibits at the Flower Show

Well out of the 21 classes we entered we got a win in 10 of them. We were well chuffed with ourselves.  Neil got a first place for his potatoes and his elderflower cordial.

Neil's winning potatoes

I got a 2nd place for my blueberries and my marrow under 12 inches long, 1 photo, my eggs plus my courgettes and cooking apples.

2nd place cooking apples

I got third place for 2 photos but there were lots of entries.

What a fantastic start for Neil and I in the flower show to get 10 wins.  We are very happy today.

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New Potatoes

Today we dug up the first of our home grown potatoes, and steamed them with a little mint for dinner tonight.  Yumm

our first potatoes 31st July 2011

It’s funny how home grown taste so much better than shop bought.  They took less time to cook and had taste.  No food miles here, just food metres!! Only had to come from the veggie plot to the kitchen.  Couldn’t be fresher than in the ground one minute and cooking the next!! Love this rural life!!

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