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Garden Smallholding Blog

Blogging about growing fruit, vegetables and herbs and keeping chickens and ducks.

Strawberry progress

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Strawberries , Greenhouse

I previously posted about some horned melon seeds - see Attempting to Grow Kiwano Horned Melon Seeds

I dried the seeds, and have now planted them following the instructions contained in the post using B&Q multipurpose compost.

Fingers crossed they grow, I have kept some back for next spring. The two pots in the foreground have a lychee seed in each.

Horned melon and lychee seeds planted

Romital Chilli

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Greenhouse , Chillis

The Romital chilli has taken off.

Over the past week, the fruits have grown like billio. The definition of billio taken from the highest rated Urban Dictionary comment is;

from the australian outback. a billycan was something aborigines boiled their goodies up in, or whatever it is they eat. anyway billio means boiling things up. therefore "my cheeks ached like billio" means-very achy. i dont know why we say it. its a mystery like many things. but that's the beauty of life.

But I prefer;

An extremely high rating of excitment
WOW! I just got 100% on my maths exam. I'm stoked to the billio

20th June 2011

nasu chilli growing in greenhouse


23th June 2011, have a look at how much the chillis have grown in just a few days;

nasu chilli growing in greenhouse

Fathers Day Cake

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Baking

Check out this bad boy -my eldest made me a fathers day cake - she made the sponge, and the butter icing and topped it off using Kent strawberries - it went down a storm at the BBQ we had on Sunday.

Home made fathers day cake

My eldest, made a batch of butterfly cupcakes using duck eggs supplied by a friend who has a smallholding in Lyminge, Kent, and our homegrown raspberries.

They looked and tasted fantastic! She knocked them up to support her school sports day, and they were sold at the PTA 'after party'. 

Milly's butterfly sponge cupcakes using duck eggs and raspberries

Spitfires and Lancaster

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Untagged 

I know that this is completely off topic, but I had to share the image of last weekend. I live near Manston Airfield. In the second world war, Manston was a site that Spitfire fighters were scrambled from.

There was a local airshow and a Lancaster Bomber, with two Spitfires attended, and they flew right over my house after taking off from Manston Airfield. The last high profile engagement for these world war two planes was the royal wedding back in April. I am gutted at the absence of the Hurricane.

Any Brits over the age of 40 reading this will probably appreciate the nostalgia, and if you are German, too bad, just sit there smugly in the knowledge that your economy has trounced ours in the last couple of decades, and that everybody aspires to drive German designed and built cars, such as Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen. My great grandmother is turning in her grave at this point. I'd like to think that, although the two world wars were horrific, that we, in Western Europe, have moved beyond this, and embrace our shared values. I guess the British love of German engineering (and beer, amongst other things!)  is representative of this.

Peace, folks.

spitfire and lancaster bomber flying from manston airfield uk

Kids appreciating the flyover;

Cherries Galore

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Cherries

Apologies for the lack of updates, work has been manic. Now for the flurry of update posts;

This year has been amazing for fruits, we are in the South East of England - Kent, and the raspberries and redcurrants have appeared in abundance about a month ahead of a normal year - and in far greater numbers.

This morning, Gem and I picked a couple of punnets of cherries to take to work. Our colleagues loved them and scoffed the lot. Have a look at the following image, even though some are still slightly yellow, they are still ripe and taste really sweet;

 Two punnets of morello cherries picked this morning


Have a look at the following images of the tree taken this evening - there are loads left to pick that should ripen over the following month;

Morello cherries on the tree in south east kent england

Morello cherries on the tree in south east kent england

Morello cherries on the tree in south east kent england

All I have to do is hope that there are sufficient cherries to keep the birds fed - I seem to have a couple of particularly voracious blackbirds that help themselves to all the fruits in the garden. I am fortunate that there are enough raspberries for us and the birds, and I have moved the blueberries into the greenhouse to stop the little scroungers helping themselves - the blueberries are far too valuable to me to let the birds help themselves!

My Wife Has Given The Chickens The Run Of The Polytunnel

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Untagged 

This was a temporary measure over the autumn/winter- my wife gave the chickens the run of the polytunnel. My wife (Gem) decides, I implement - with copious quantities of wine - preferably a nice Pinot Grigio, to numb the pain.

They promptly ate/destroyed the plants that were in there - the old tomatoes, strawberry, basil, chives and rocket. Within a week, everything was gone, they operated like locusts. The only thing that they didn't nail was the nectarine tree. I am surprised that they didn't work their destruction magic on this - I am guessing that access to a chainsaw was their biggest stumbling block. They can be resourceful,  so watch this space! 

Anyway, the polytunnel is out of bounds for planting, so I have had to use the greenhouse, which is not the best - the heat is intense, and this necessitates more frequent watering.

I padded around this morning at about 5:30am - it was great. There was no noise at all, it was warm, the birds were twittering, and I was walking around on dewy grass barefoot. Absolute heaven. I got myself a mix of red and yellow raspberries, loganberries and cherries. It made a nice addition to my morning snack at work, the proof is in the pictures;

I really couldn't give a carrot as to how this contributes to my five a day - when it comes as good as this, you really don't give a stuff!

Munching Out On Raspberries

Posted by: admin

I meant to put a note on here in the middle of last week, I have had a few dozen raspberries over the last week, the yellow ones were ready sooner than the reds. They all taste amazing, and up until this evening, there were not enough ready for a desert - meringue nests with strawberries, raspberries and some loganberries, dusted with icing sugar - yum!

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