Tag Archives: ratte potatoes

A tour round the production garden.

8 Jun

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The tunnel is chocabloc right now and the good weather is ensuring rampant growth.

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Lettuces I like to have lots of as we eat salad most days. There’s red ones…

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and green ones. Full Moon is coming up next Friday so it’s a good time to plant new seeds. I don’t follow the Moon calendar religiously but plants do seem to germinate more quickly and be somewhat stronger. If nothing else it’s a good way to divide up the work. Thursday is a leaf day so the new Lettuces and other leaf crops will go in then.

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These oriental salad leaves have gone crazy. Interplanted between the garlic I think I planted them a little too thickly. Still lots of pickings though to spice up our salads. I think I’ll plant some fresh supplies of this too.

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Strawberries have started to ripen.

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There’s great joy in heading to the house with that first precious handful. Slugs are a big problem this year. I’ve already used as much of the organic slug pellets as I used in the whole of last year’s growing season. Whole trays of seedlings have been devoured overnight. I was particularly peeved at the Icelandic Poppies which I’d overwintered in the conservatory. I potted them on, quite big plants at this point, only to discover the whole lot devoured next morning.

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Courgettes will be fruiting soon too. When we went out for my birthday meal Andy had raw courgette pasta with a pesto sauce. It was delicious. The pasta is made with a tool called a spiraliser and I am going to get one. The place we went to was in Westport, County Mayo. Called the Purple Root Cafe it is a raw, vegan cafe and the food is yummy. Highly recommend it if you’re going that way.

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Broad Beans are cropping now. Don’t think I’ll plant them in the tunnel again though. They are in the ground such a long time and become so gangly that they need staking. Outdoors for these next year.

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Outside the potatoes which were planted in pots in April are doing very well. These are Ratte, a French variety that has a lovely nutty flavour.

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The main crop of Setanta are now above ground. These are said to be a floury potato and are also blight resistant.

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Red Cabbage is starting to heart up nicely

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and the Tuscan Kale is doing well.

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It’s looking like a good fruit year. Apples and Plums have set lots of fruit. Home grown Plums are so different to what one buys in the shops, juicy and delicious. Actually I never buy shop Plums anymore as they are mostly inedible. I freeze a lot of Plums when we have them. Just split them, take out the stones, bag them up and into the freezer. Lovely for preserves and baking.

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There’s even a chance of Cherries this year. The big challenge here is to get them before the birds. Netting will be required I think.

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In the conservatory the Grapes are doing really well this year. This grape was here when we bought the place. It was much overgrown and produced little fruit. It has responded well to being severely pruned last year.

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So it’s looking like a good productive year here at Flynn’s Cottage. Hope your garden is doing well too.

Under Hunter’s Moon.

18 Oct

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As full Moon approaches the weather is still very mild for October and of course the impending full Moon…which in October is called Hunter’s Moon…means that the nights are just fabulously bright. Well they were until last night but today was a wet day so tonight will more than likely be cloudy. Not much chance of seeing the eclipse then!

During the dry days of last week I decided to try out something I’ve been reading about for some time. Vinegar makes an eco-friendly weed killer. Newsflash: it doesn’t work! We wanted to get rid of some of this perennial Geranium as there’s far too much of it. Our usual method would be mulching but that can’t be done here as the area is planted with Spring bulbs. Looks like we’ll have to get digging!!

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Indoors work continues processing the fruit harvested and frozen during the Summer…this is Blackcurrant wine. The sourdough starter which used the grapes to get it going is now active.

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Autumn fruits are so plentiful this year. The hedgerows are dripping with Elderberries…Ireland’s Echinacea…excellent for the prevention and treatment of colds and flus and building up one’s immune system.

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I used some of this lot to make a tincture and the rest…along with Rosehips and Crab Apples to make a Hedgerow Jelly. As I write more are simmering on the stove to make into Elderberry Cordial tomorrow.

The tincture is very easy to make. Just fill a large glass jar two thirds full with berries then cover with good quality vodka. Leave for at least a month then strain off the liquid.

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Store in dark bottles or jars. Ten drops a day is a good preventative medicine…up to 30 drops if you have a cold or flu. If you look closely you can see I got the date a bit wrong on my label here. Ready in 2313! Must change that!

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Lots of garden produce at the moment too. This meal is completely local grown. The Potatoes are Ratte which I grew in pots outdoors. One pot to eat the other to keep for seed if we liked them. Boy do we like them…they are delicious!  The leftovers were used for potato salad next day. Best spuds ever for potato salad. Shall certainly be growing more of these next year. The Kale and Cucumber we grew ourselves while the Red Cabbage was from a friend’s garden. We ate that raw mixed with Apple as a coleslaw.

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Andy has been busy too. Grass is still growing strong…that’s his department. He also makes sure theres lots of logs cut to keep the stove ticking over. In between those and all his other jobs he took advantage of a few spare hours earlier in the week to paint this lovely artwork for the glass in the door leading from the kitchen to the utility room. Surrounded by his trademark brightly coloured flowers…

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with a lovely Sun in the centre…I love it!

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