Friday, 6 July 2007

Little Foodies Veg Patch News

Hmmm. The veg patch. Hubby, Little and Small are being very resiliant. There doesn't seem to be the same emotional turmoil that they were experiencing in the very beginning. I think this is because there have been so many lows that it's now just par for the course. I don't think the rain is helping. Summer - what Summer? Ah yes, the thing we had in Spring this year. Thought I'd sneak some pics of the cats in as they're very much a part of the family too...


Qualities you need when growing your own fruit and veg for the first time.
The patience of a saint
The calm of a buddhist monk
The resolve not to be beaten by super slugs
The resolve not to be beaten by continuous rain
The ability to congratulate yourself for trying even though your harvest is exceptionally poor for the amount of work and initial outlay (of £'s, many, many of them).

If children are involved you need a steadier resolve than any of the above.

Our successes so far have included...
The sum total of about 32 broad beans. I don't mean 32 full pods, that would have been wonderful. I mean 32 actual beans.
A handful of cherry tomatoes, most of which have rings around the top - who knows why?
A handful of blueberries (whoopdeedooo!)
1 courgette.
3 strawberries (2 of which went mouldy overnight. We'd left them on top of the fireplace to show the boys in the morning!)
A few meals that have included rocket.
A lovely load of potatoes which did 2 meals. This was our favourite success so far.

Some of the lows have included losing a courgette plant which snapped at the base. Overcrowding of the carrots which has meant they are not getting good growth on them. They do however have beautiful big bushy green tops. I think this gives us a clue as to part of the problem. Not realising that you have to put purple sprouting in way before we did. The slug patrol which seem to have trained with the SAS, they are able to outwit us but we're taking notes and will come up with a much smarter defense plan for next year. If there will be a veg patch next year that is... HA! What am I saying. Of course there will be a veg patch next year.

As most people know England seems be under some sort of cloud at the moment. Literally, and it's not just one cloud there are thousands of them and they leak a lot! Hubby mentioned last night that there may still be a hosepipe ban this summer. I can't actually write what I want to about this because it includes a lot of expletives. But if they do then I think we'll put the house on the market and move to another country, because, well just because.

As a friend of mine used to say "if you can't change something troubling you, change how you feel about it..." Wise words...

23 comments:

Margaret said...

I can relate to your fruit and veg adventures, being a fellow grower of edible things. Not all goes to plan though, does it? My strawberries are also failing, I only seem to get one or two strawberries a day!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ha, rain Amanda, you think you've got rain do you. Dallas paper had a big article in it this morning - 44 days of continuous rain! every major river in the state at or above flood level. hasn't happened in 50 years!
I think you're doing great with the garden! You're way ahead of me. A few tomatoes and htat about it.

Aimée said...

Wonderful photographs! At least they relay the impression of a lush and bountiful garden...

Nora B. said...

Amanda, I think that the amount of vegetables and fruit that you were able to grow is commendable. Even blueberries! That's amazing. Due to our small patch of dirt which we can't even call a garden, we will have to stick to herbs and a small variety of lettuce (which actually is enough for only two salads, so we haven't had the heart to use them). I am still impressed by your potatoes!
p/s: lovely photos

Elle said...

Gardening takes everythung you mentioned and then some. It is wonderful that your boys are involved. They,unlike many kids these days, will know where food comes from. I love the collage of photos.
Wishing you hot summer weather soon, but not tooo hot.

Cynthia said...

Sneaking the kitties in there huh. :) As I said on a previous post this evening, I like to see entries like these. They are very inspiring.

KJ said...

I think we are at opposite ends of the sprectrum. I have had to watch my veggies wither and die due to drought. If only we could combine our climates and get a happy medium for both of us.

Pat said...

Amanda, love the photos. I can wholeheartedly agree with you about the rain and the slugs. Since moving to the UK I have had a struggle growing vegetables our garden is very tiny. So gone to container growing. Still struggling, but starting to find the right stuff to grow. I have potatoes in a barrel and the red currants this year are out doing themselves. Lettuce seems to be doing well. And my herbs are okay. The other crops though are having a huge battle. Also have a hazel nut tree that I think will do well this year. And just planted an apple tree. Back in the US I was battling insects and animals for my veg and fruit, here it is slugs and the weather. Keep at it girl and don't give up hope!!! Next year will be different and you will learn from each year.

Marie said...

Just playing catch up on all I have missed since I've been away. It looks like I missed alot of rain!!! Not sorry about that though! Great photo! I wish we could grow vegetables here where I live, but we have far too many rabbits! They eat it all whenever we try!

Cottage Smallholder said...

I think you've done well, Amanda. Everyone that I know has had a terrible year for vegetables. It’s not just the rain but the cold snaps in the spring.

I actually cried last night when I discovered that some of my garlic was going to seed. The heads were tasty though chopped up and stirred into a bulgur wheat salad.

Asha said...

Great bounty Amanda.I wish everybody posts their garden.It just makes smile looking at them.
I fully agree with your friend there,attitude makes or breaks us indeed:))
Have a wonderful weekend.

Kelly-Jane said...

Great pics, I feel disappointed for you with your overall yeild, although I couldn't help myself from giggling - 1 courgette?! I thought they were supposed to grow like weeds!

Margaret said...

Hi Amanda

Just wanted to let you know that I have tagged you for the
“8 Things You Don’t Know about Me” meme. Mine is on my blog today:

Hope you don’t mind.

Shaun said...

Amanda - I couldn't even dream to have a garden like yours now - too much attention is needed, and I have NO experience in the garden whatsoever. I have heard, though, that the first year doesn't really produce much, and for some trees, like strawberries, you shouldn't let the fruit grow, so the plant can spend its energy on fortifying itself instead of creating fruit. But what do I know?! All the best for next year's bumper crop!

Feeder of the hungry beans said...

It all tastes better when you grow it yourself, though, doesn't it? Even 32 broad beans. Although we've seen only about a pint of raspberries this season, it's still magic. My four-year-old found two (!) the other day and shouted, "Mama, we grow our own food!"

Sure, pumpkin, if you can survive on half a raspberry a day, sure we do.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Margaret, one or two a day? you lucky thing! Re: your later comment. I don't mind at all. I'll get on to it asap. Thank you

Tanna, the world has truly gone mad! There are areas of England which have completely flooded. Homes and more lost, people sleeping in temporary shelters, so really we've been let off lightly in South East England. So much so I feel bad for moaning.

Aimee, Ah, thank you you sweetie!

Nora, I have to say I was pretty impressed that we have blueberries too! My husband took the boys outside in their pyjamas last night and they got a whole load more of potatoes. Put smiles on all our faces and today we had sun - lots of it!

Elle, thank you so much. Fingers crossed eh?!

Cynthia, thank you lovely!

KJ, Shall we try and invent something that does just that? I'll submit my drawings soonest!

Pat, the hazelnut tree sounds very appealing! I hope we do learn from each year and don't become completely discouraged. I think we were a little over ambitious and with all the rain it just didn't work so well. It was always going to be either spectacularly good or, er, not so good.

Marie, Hellooo, welcome back. Hope you had a lovely holiday. You've missed some beautiful weather!

Fiona, Thank you. I don't blame you. We've been close to tears a few times. That b'wheat salad with the garlic seed heads sounds tasty.

Asha, It does indeed. Thank you! :)

Kelly-Jane, Never mind. Your comment made me giggle. I wouldn't care it wasn't even a big one!

Shuan, I'd heard that about strawberries too but it's just so difficult to do that. Saying that we're not exactly getting anything from the strawberries anyway so maybe we'll go with this. It does take a lot of work. My husband and I were talking about it this evening questioning if it was worth it. We came to the conclusion that it is and that it just wasn't an ideal year to start weather wise.

Feeder of the hungry beans, hello! That's very cute. Children are just so very... I can't think of just one word to do them justice. I'd need to write lots of them! They're just beautiful!

Pat said...

Amanda, I think you get years like that in gardening. But when winter is here and you get to thinking of what you want to grow next summer... you get all excited all over again. That is part of gardening I think Anticipation. :)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Ah yes...the complete lack of summer here...I hear ya! Spent most of today (yes - there was SUN!) trying to salvage my poor herb garden. And yet, I have no plans of throwing in the towel! I shall persevere!

Keep the faith - it's worth it!

Jann said...

your photographs are wonderful,including that sweet kitty cat. Living in Florida in the summer, it is impossible to keep a garden-it is just too hot! It must be wonderful to be able to walk out to your private little market and fill your basket with all sorts of goodies!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Pat, So you forget the pain and go back and do it again. Currently sounds crazy but like children so worth it when you've actually done it.

Caffeinated Cowgirl, Wasn't it great! The sun coming out that is.

Jann, It is great. I think we just had such high expectations and we were definitely over ambitious. Like I said to Pat, It was either going to be spectacularly good or not at all.

Thank you for your comments
Amanda x

susana said...

hi amanda!

thank you for your 4th of july email! it has been hot hot hot here - in the 90's!

dave and i have had a successful year in our garden. we have lots and lots of roma tomatoes, basil, rosemary, parsley and mint. our cilantro sadly went to seed.

lots of love to you!!!

susana
xoxoxo

Meeta said...

You and the boys are doing brilliantly with the garden. Soeren has lost a bit of interest at the moment and wants to play soccer every free minute so at the moment I am the one looking after his veggie patch!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Meeta, Thankfully the oldest isn't into football but I think the youngest will be - give him a couple of years.

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