I am quite particular about the food I eat and I like to know its origin if at all possible especially the meat and fish that I buy and cook for us. I think there are a lot of people today who are concerned about the amount of pesticides and chemicals that are used when our food is mass produced and reared intensively so I try to grow as many vegetables as I can and I don't spray them. We buy our grass-fed beef from friends who farm and we have a small flock of chickens. I also try to support local Farmer's markets when I can. That said, I would not say that I am a purist in the organic sense, it is just not always possible to buy or grow everything organically and certainly food that we buy at the local market is not organic but at least we do know where it comes from. So I try to do what I can.
My organic 'Colleen' seed potatoes arrived earlier this week and once the veggie patch dries up a bit I will get them planted. We have had so much rain here that I think most things will be a bit late going in! No matter, there needs to be a bit of sunshine and warm weather to get them started off so it is not a great problem. We tried this variety last year for the first time and they were delicious! I was drawn to them simply for the name alone. My Mother's name is Colleen so it was as they say a 'done deal!' There is also a huge satisfaction in digging up potatoes. I have always wanted a veggie patch and last year was the best year ever. If you ever toy with the idea of having a vegetable garden and you have the space, just get on and do it! It is one of the most rewarding things to do especially if you enjoy food and cooking and you really don't need that much space. There really is no comparison with shop bought carrots, even organic ones to those you grow in the garden.
The eggs in the picture are from my Cream Legbar hens, they are a rare breed and lay the blue eggs you see in the bowl. The khaki coloured egg at the back is from one of my neighbour Lucy's hens. The hen is a cross breed of lots of different blue laying hens and her eggs are this colour! I have to be inventive with egg recipes especially during the summer. I have usually about a 10-11 eggs a day so I sell some to friends and it covers the cost of their feed. They also get most of the household veggie waste and they love a bit of pasta and rice! So all in all we waste very little and it all gets recycled! They naturally kept laying all through the Winter this year so I did not have to buy one egg from the supermarket.
The builders are back at the moment but only to build a small porch on the back of the house so that we have somewhere to put coats and boots and so that the wet and mud does not go straight into the kitchen. They also made an exciting discovery!
What you can see in this picture is the original well to the house! It has been capped off but all of the pipe work is still intact and it leads to part of an old pump. I had noticed what I had thought was an old piece of pipe in the corner of the garden but had no idea that it was the original pump! I think we will try to get it going for the summer so I can use the water for the garden and the pots and baskets outside of the house. I was a bit conservative last year and only had one or two pots as we had a hosepipe ban and I did not want to waste water.
Well I think I will toddle off and check out the greenhouse, it's quite a sunny day today although chilly and I love the sense of being in the garden but sheltered behind all that glass! I really thought that Winter had returned with a vengence last week with a few snow flurries and some cold east wind. I normally overwinter some tender plants in the greenhouse so I need to check them out and also get it ready for my tomatoes this year. One of the varieties I normally grow is Brandy Wine, a big tasty variety that are easy to bring on and lovely to eat. Hopefully I will have some photos of them later on in year when I will be asking for all of your lovely tomato recipes....Have an enjoyable Sunday!