Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Frugal Food From the Garden. (NB: We don't eat the quail, we eat and sell their eggs.)

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Photo from the old corn mill, Port William
Aside from the fact that I am constantly being distracted by butterflies at the moment, I did, eventually, manage to get around to doing some work in the garden, mainly by way of tidying up the greenhouse and sorting out the tomato and cucumber bushes. The tomato plants were becoming so leafy that no light was getting to the dozens of little fruits that were hiding among the greenery. Hopefully, I haven't done the wrong thing in removing many of the lower leaves to allow the sunlight to get at the tomatoes. I was very late getting my tomato seeds planted this year, so they are well behind some of those I've seen elsewhere.

I literally had to thin the coiling tendrils of the cucumbers because they were taking over the entire greenhouse and there's little enough room in there at this time of year. The closer I look, the more cucumbers I can see!

 Down in the frugal poly-tunnel, I'm beginning to wonder if I've done the right thing is leaving the pumpkins - one each side supposed to be for each of my grand daughters in the hope of having pumpkins for Halloween. They are spreading at a terrifying rate and already have tiny pumpkins about the size of golf balls on them. The cucumbers will need to hurry up in there or they'll be swamped by 'the creature' that is a giant pumpkin plant!

Comfrey as green manure
A few weeks ago, some fellow frugalers and I were having a bit of a swapathon. I received some ginger mint, which is doing really well, and some small cuttings from comfrey, of which I had none in this garden. It's used as green manure and for speeding up the composting process, so I was hoping to be able to harvest it before the year ends. It's looking good! The above are the cuttings planted about a month ago. I'm delighted to say that the quail eggs I sent in exchange for the plants have, since, hatched - photo courtesy of Shaz.

Da- old Japanese Coturnix Quail, (fawn x tuxedo)

The herb gardens here are still growing at a an amazing rate, supplying herbs galore for friends and neighbours alike. The newest of the spiral gardens was constructed during the last week of May but it is already filled with herbs - and some unexpected 'guest' plants in the shape of sunflowers that have grown from seeds dropped by the birds. (Apologies for photo quality, the sun had set by the time I got around to taking these photos last night.)

Hands up all of you who have courgettes to spare! I know that several of out regular readers have, so we are now organising a courgette cake challenge. Chocolate and courgettes go well when baked together and I'd like to thank Gill for linking us to her carrot and courgette recipe in my previous post.

Yet another courgette trying to break free!
The Frugaldom potato patch is in full bloom and we have already had some of the potatoes. These were all grown from past their best potatoes left over from early in the year - left to sprout and then planted. We have a major slug and snail problem here, so things do tend to beat us to it in the veg-eating stakes, but there are enough potatoes here to last a few weeks at least.

We are still picking raspberries here but the rhubarb has now all gone and the bed being prepared for winter. I need to get a load of manure and straw to cover this over until next year. The next person past my door on a horse will be accosted and a request made for the contents of their stable. :) Next to be picked looks like being some blueberries and then there should be apples ready.

Well that takes care of the garden update for now - I'll pick and freeze the blueberries for ice-cream making, as there aren't many of them while the bushes are establishing themselves in my 'log-man' acidic (ericaceous) bed but here's hoping they start picking up for next year. That's them been in there for about a year, now.
Rounding up on the £4,000 budget challenge, I have £1,137.43 remaining to last me until the new year. That's after paying this month's telephone bill and purchasing the tickets for the frugal friends' fun day out to explore Carrick-a-Rede and the Giant's Causeway during our mini cruise to Northern Ireland later this week.
And just for good measure, here are this morning's photos. Yes, you got it... more butterflies!
Small Wall Brown Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly

I really tried my best not to include any butterflies in this post but they made me do it, I tell you, they made me do it! The above three photos were taken this morning while I was hanging out the washing.

I promise, no more butterflies unless I spot something really unusual.

Have a fun and frugal day,

NYK in Frugaldom.


  1. Pumpkins are the original triffids, I'm afraid - they do tend to take over rather. For best chances of having a decent Halloween pumpkin per plant though, you should take off all but one of the tiny ones on each individual plant (wait until you are sure that they are actually plumpening up) and then feed the plant with nitrogen-rich food (comfrey or nettle feed is good) once a week.

    1. Brilliant! Thank you so much for that golden nugget of info, I have comfrey, nettles and worm juice from the wormery, which is what I'm feeding the plants at the moment. Do I cut back the wandering tendrils or just remove all the tiny pumpkins?

  2. Just the tiny pumpkins - if you cut back the tendrils, you run the risk of letting bacteria in through the cuts and killing the plants (don't ask me how I know - I've been growing pumpkins for five years now, and learnt it all the hard way, lol)

    1. OK, thanks for that. I'll let you know how they do - or if they do. :)


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