Thursday, 16 April 2009

OCG Lost But Not Forgotten!



Did the last 18 months really fly by seemingly in the blink of an eye?
Did my ideas hatch into something resembling a vegetable patch?

Here's a selection of pics from last year's growing season to put you in the picture..





Sunday, 24 June 2007

Courgette Footballs?

We are going to the USA on Tuesday en famille to stay with Jo's brother and his family. The men are staying for eight days and the women and children for an extra week - am I going to find courgette footballs when I return?

With such a proliferation of fruit, I am hoping that a couple of footballs won't matter too much! We should still be able to harvest some at the perfect size....

Sweetest OCG Harvest

What a treat just before we go away on holiday! The Build-a-Ball cage and netting was a sound investment, especially as they can be re-used year after year.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Our First Salad

Taken nearly a week ago now. Our first baby salad leaves were delicious. We have had three meals with homegrown salad this week and I have also enjoyed the leaves in my lunchtime sandwiches! I have planted 6 more rows of these delicious greens, using 6 different varieties and must remember to continue to plant little and often.
With the recent heavy rain, I am finding it a bit of a chore to wash these tiny mud-splashed leaves. Does anyone know of a good salad tumbler system or something similar? I know 10mins of washing is a small price to pay but time is precious in a lunch hour!



Friday, 15 June 2007

Lollies and the lesser of two evils

I have a dilemma.

Lollies. I love lollies.

So much so that they started to impact excessively on our weekly shopping bill and the number of wrappers that I was throwing away began to hurt my green credentials. I was happily munching through 2 a day, recycling the boxes they came in by either sticking them in the wormery, the compost bins or the recycling bin and washing and using the sticks as plant labels.

So, a reasonable effort regarding waste disposal but still a disturbing habit for a grown man, albeit one with a sweet tooth.

It wasn't until I noticed that my children had started to take on a similar hunger for lollies that I paused to reflect on my own appetite for these frozen wonders. I'm happy to stuff my face with sugary delights because I am long enough of tooth to understand what my body can take without suffering any ill effects or weight gain (I've been between 10 and 11 stone for the past 20 years) but to see my children eating brand lollies stuffed full of sugar and god knows what else started me thinking of alternatives.

Enter Annabel Karmel's Ice Lolly Moulds and pure fruit juices!

I no longer baulk when Milly or Tom ask for a lolly as a special treat. I happily open the freezer drawer and ask them what flavour they would like. Pineapple? Apple? Orange? Cranberry? Made where possible with pure juice, not from concentrate, these lollies are not just a treat, they're good for you too!

No more asking for a chocolate coin when she's been a big girl and done a poo - choc rewards are out, frozen goodness is in!

Guilt free lollies for me - brilliant, I can eat two and it's not even a glass of juice and if it was, it wouldn't matter!

Back to the dilemma. The Lolly Makers can be re-used hundreds of times which is a good thing. Their end product is healthy but just as much of a treat as those that Tescopoly offer - brilliant.

I can't recycle the juice cartons. Ah.

Can the Gods Of Green forgive me? Have I forged the greenest and healthiest path through my addiction? Answers on a postcard or in the comments section if you have to!

Personally, I don't like having to stop eating something or buying something because of its packaging but I have done and I will do again. The answer? Food manufacturers have a collective responsibility to produce recyclable packaging. Simple, eh?

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Finally Some Green Stuff!

A seemingly long winter of digging and construction at OCG and a further wait for seeds to germinate before planting out has finally started to pay off.

Ably assisted by under-gardener, Milly!

My single row pea experiment seems to have worked in spite of this horrible-looking wormy thing that did for half the seeds before they had a chance to germinate. I have searched the hinterweb trying to identify it but to no avail. There are thousands of them in this particular bed which was part of the turfed area of garden originally. Wire worm perhaps? Any help on this would be much appreciated.

Greatly magnified - largest I have found is about an inch long when fully extended

Peas about to flower, the 45cm height guide was a little misleading (120cm!)

Carrots, onions, courgettes, french climbing beans, runner beans, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, chard and numerous salad leaves are all putting on good growth as summer starts to arrive. My "suck it and see" approach (what choice did I have as a total novice?!) looks like it is working in the most part and we all can't wait to eat our first produce. No surprise that lettuce is going to win that particular race!

A few more pics to finish...