Inspired by reading about permaculture, I decided to build a herb spiral. I needed to relocate herbs from the front of the house, and thought this spiral bed would work well close to the back door. There is a lot of information online about how to build a spiral bed like this, as well as the ideal arrangement of herbs to accommodate different growing conditions.
This is obviously not at its peek, and will look better once the grass grows back around it and the herbs really take off. But I like the locations, and already I can see how it is the start of something, and the beginning of defining space, and there will be more planting, I can just feel it. For a while, until these herbs grow up a bit, I will probably still be wandering about the property to visit the various patches of herbs; oregano and mints in the “goat pen”, chives and sage round the front, basil (later!) up in the veggie patch. And on a fine day, what could be nicer? But ultimately I think it will be more convenient having the herbs close. Quite a satisfying project.
Filed under food, gardening
It doesn’t look like much, but in the last few days I’ve been working on a little garden in front of the chicken coop. I’ve been browsing Free Range Chicken Garden and while the book is perhaps more oriented to those keeping a small backyard flock it is nonetheless inspiring. The current chicken arrangements involve some time in the coop in the morning, then out “to pasture” in a large area we had fenced off for the goats. In the evening we let them out to free range around our property. So this little garden won’t have their full (damaging) attention. I planted it with some so-called “chicken resistant” plants as well as a few of their favourites, like kale. Tiny kale plants are protected by a chicken wire tent and I seeded some greens under the cover on the other side. I’m hoping these will give the plants a chance for a good start but after that it will all be fair game.
I hope to get a few more herbs that will be useful for sprinkling in the coop and look forward to seeing nasturtiums spilling about. I recruited a few wild strawberries and cowslips from the lawn. G and Little R built the stone path yesterday. Looking forward to seeing it grow up!
I made some lemon curd a week ago and while I stood over it and stirred it occurred to me rhubarb would make a good curd too. We have lots of eggs, we have lots of rhubarb. This afternoon I tried it out. I was hoping for a pale pink mixture but I guess it must be the eggs that give lemon curd its colour, not lemon, so the rhubarb curd is also a cheerful yellow. It tastes lovely. I still want to perfect my recipe but this first attempt is quite passable. Seems like a perfect spring delicacy.
High up on the list of my favourite things is gathering from the garden and using my finds as inspiration for a meal. I love that. And it’s early, and there isn’t anything ready in the garden yet, but thankfully there is sorrel and dandelion greens in profusion. And a healthy clump of chives. And add to that the eggs collected daily. (Oh, if only I was an “egg person” and could enjoy an omelette, or indeed any kind of egg dish, then a collection like this could be a meal in itself. I’m serious, I really do regard my dislike of anything eggy as quite a handicap, but I don’t think there is any hope for me in that regard.) So the eggs go in the fridge and I turn the rest into this dish:
Pasta with sorrel pesto (sorrel, garlic, olive oil, roasted almonds) dandelion greens and mozzarella.
Not sure why I find this transformation from gatherings to meal so satisfying but I do. And I have so much more of this to look forward to as things begin to grow.
Nothing beats the real thing, of course, but sometimes being able to use a more cohesive (less messy) “potting soil” is just the thing. This is coffee play dough and some old seed packets filled with beans and other goods from the pantry.
Queen Anne, our Silver Laced Wyandotte hen, is broody. After a few days we decided to let her have some eggs to sit on. We moved her from the hen-house last night and this afternoon we gave her a clutch of eggs. (Blue/green eggs courtesy of a friend.)
Here she is, shortly after egg-handover. In a few moments she pulled all the eggs in, where they will be warm and cozy. And now we wait and see. 21 days, if she proves a committed mother.