Harvest time

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Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
13
Scotland
I was 'round at a friends house the other day and having a daunder 'round their garden. His good lady loves popcorn and one of her prezzies I gave her for Christmas was some gourmet red popcorn kernels that will supposedly grow outside even here in Scotland. They've come up strongly and are properly planted in a block for polination but at this stage of the year they're not looking like they'll set seed and provide her with a healthy snack which is sad. It is feasible up here as I grew some sweetcorn outdoors which did go the full term even further north. (Had a great BBQ with it slathered in butter). So despite them saying that this has been one of the warmer summers some crops aren't doing that well here this year. The peas are looking healthy though and few things are more satisfying to sit and munch.
When I had my garden I liked to grow some oddish stuff. One of the ones that grew really well and most folk had never seen was Strawberry spinnach. Gave a double crop, the leaves were a bit like spinach though.I used them mainly in homemade pesto. They also produced a little berry/droop that was nice to eat or sprinkle in salads, I liked them though when you read the books they say that they're not worth eating. Quite an old plant. Was grown a fair bit in Europe in the middle ages though seems to have fallen out of favour.
On the onion front I rarely let them set seed back then as I was wanting all the goodness to go to the bulbs but would allow some to come into flower as the flowers are nice in salads or for a treat cut some flowers on a long stem, make up some batter and dip the flowers in and then deep fry the heads. Nice as a starter/snack. You chaps eat the flowers too?

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 
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British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
Never tried onion flowers, chives yes, but not onions.

I have never let an onion set seed either, but if I want to stop buying commercial seed, I will have to learn. I suspect an onion flower full of drying seed may need staking?
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
Hello Goat, no we do not eat the flowers:( But I would love to hear about using them simply - like in soups, stir frys....

Sounds like a very odd thing, the s.spinach. I definitely need to order ground cherry seeds - an old plant from (I think America) when farms had to be self sufficient, and it made another kind of fresh pie. Tomatillos are one of the varieties, apparently there are a huge range of them. My Father's, Father's farming family, huge farms with huge meals needed, always grew a sweet kind. They grow in these tiny paper bags (photo from web)

Ground_Cherry_IMG_7159.jpg


Red, I looked around your site and did not see a place for comments and discussion. Not that you would want me there as I always end up offending - I am here after a string of bannings spanning 10 years. I do not ever get hostile, use bad language, but is seems I offend the politically correct eventually. I read a couple international papers every day, read extensively on history, especially on military and political. Philosophy would really be, at the core, what I am interested in - ethics, and thus every topic where naturally an ethically issue is there at the core. I have lived in a very large amount of places, some of them really weird, and with extreme kinds of people. And so I came to this site, here, where I would not get into politics and ethics. I just mention this as I am prone to eventually get some people annoyed when I talk of human, religious, political, or ethical issues rather than practical ones (growing, cooking, fishing).

And with this caution (that I never wish to offend, but it seems I sometimes do) I want to ask you why you wanted to drop out and go self sufficient. And Goat, what makes you want to live out of the mainstream? I could live back in London at my parents place, I love London, but I live in this, pretty dull, place instead for a number of reasons. I would like to live somewhere exciting - but just cannot seem to get up the energy to get it all together to move on, like I used to when younger. So I stay here with my dogs, chickens, gardens, fish, and am kind of bored - but it is soo easy. I can just endlessly putter about, work a bit but much too little, read, cook, and write here a bit.

And all the wile I know at 60 life is rapidly coming to the point where I will no longer be in a position to re-do my living situation and move. I know this is how I will end my days unless I get a huge amount of energy together and move on (I have very little money, but some property - moving on would mean getting back on the road, finding a place, selling up, and settling down somewhere else). I would like to do that - but it seems less likely every year. Due to my neural problem cold is unpleasant to me nowadays or I would sell up and move back to Alaska without any doubt.

Life here is easy. I live on an amazingly wild little bit of land, but in a town, so everything like shopping and - say dentist or doctor or insurance agent and so on, is right at hand - which I like, I do not like to live remote. It is all so easy, the days just melt away. I am always so surprised it is morning and time to feed the dogs and chickens, then do a bit of weeding, maybe a touch of paperwork, tiny bit of carpentry - and then am amazed - it is time for the dogs night dinner. The day has slipped away and I hardly noticed. And I cook a dinner for us, read, sleep - and it is time to feed the dogs and a day is gone and I hardly noticed.....

My parents (now in their 90's) lived the most interesting life of anyone I know and my mother says just living and passing the days comfortably with some effort at aesthetics is fine, not to worry, just live it out and then let it go when finished. She says I have no need to go back out into the world and see interesting things, just enjoy the days. But I do have a nagging that I have just given up, living easy.



Today I will plant some herbs - something I am very bad at, tie up some blackberries, and fix my grape vines which fell over as the bamboo trellis rotted underground. Then I have to do some rough cabinetry, I dislike carpentry, but it is how I made much of my living.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
Hi George, most of the stuff on our site is on the blog pages. There is a place after each blog post for comments - we would love you to comment on any / every entry!
 

bernie66

Tenderfoot
Oct 7, 2007
62
0
55
wirral uk
www.downsizer.net
Ahhh we call them Welsh onions

Welsh Onion by British Red, on Flickr

Thanks for the compliment on the onions. We use a lot of onions, garlic etc. More than half the things I cook include them in some form, so I pretty much had to learn to grow them. Now that I have the seed growing process nailed, I'm going to start producing our own seed - fairly vital from a self reliance point of view
Egytian walking onions are different to Welsh onions.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_onion
I got them for the first time this year, started with 5, now I've got 31... Next year who knows.
Next year it'll be potato onions hopefully
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jnqst7-9YfWFovhqjARtcZZVJC0TPzKsow_5mdAwnyA/mobilebasic?pli=1

I have an unhealthy obsession with growing edible alliums ��
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
I give fish to my non-red meat eating friends, and meat eating friends - not as barter, but as friendship as I just like to fish and although we have fish 4 days a week (and get tired of it but red meat is not much better - as I do not really like the industrial meat scene - it is not natural or humane - for the most part. - Not to horrible and I am not against the industrial meat agri-industry, but not into its products for aesthetic reasons mostly. I am an animal person.) And some of them give me stuff they produce, one gives a couple very well crafter muscadine wine (you have an incredible wine cellar Red!)

And I was given 3 bags of okra two days ago. I make gumbo soups a lot - soup every day is my policy, to begin the meal, and will package it in portions for that and freeze it for winter. Although will go on about that on the cooking thread as I have not really figured out the plan fully.

And naturally eggs - I have some amount of hens, a dozen +, no accurate idea, chickens come and go, 6 juveniles, 2 roosters, and 17! tiny chicks. And today I just had bacon and eggs - our eggs are thought the best in the area, living semi feral in the forest, eating grains (non-GMO) and veg scraps, and sardines I net them. They really are good eggs - mostly local kinds of birds, Southern Yard Chickens, and not those purebread egg factory breeds fed on 'Layer Pellets". I like the farm yard mix birds - here I bread in fighting game cock to give them some wileyness, and to make the rooster one who will fight anything which attacks a hen.

Red, I would love you to expand on your mention of it being illegal to feed chicken veg scraps in UK. Insanity! Goes against every thing I believe in - government at its worse. I have half a cucumber that is old and the peelings from the good end we had last night - some celery ends chopped, watermelon rind, and a handful of pogies. They are to get this for breakfast. If any fool told me I could not give this to the chickens I would tell them to go away and mind their own business.

Garden gumbo veg

14458085902_fd86cbbcb6_b.jpg
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,705
628
Mercia
It goes back to "mad cow" disease (CJD). It is hypothesised that came about testing waste meat from kitchen waste to cows. A ban followed on feeding any kitchen waste to any livestock.

I can legally feed garden waste like bolted cabbages or field waste like cauli leaves but once it sets foot in the kitchen, its technically illegal. Personally, I see no harm in vegetable peelings etc. but that's the stupidly regulated world we live in.
 

george47

Banned
Aug 14, 2015
194
0
North Gulf of Mexico
Red, the Mad cow thing has an unlikely effect on my life. I like to do useful things; and my wife is a VIP Red Cross blood donor - going to give blood every couple months for many years. She is called by them regularly, and every year gets a Tee shirt and card from them in the mail for Christmas (a VIP Donor card). The amount she has given is quite large, top 1% likely. I would give too but for Mad Cow. They will not take blood from anyone who was living in UK during the mad cow years - so I cannot.

But that I understand. Minute likelihood, but does make sense as isolation is the best prevention usually.

And I understand not feeding chicken scraps to chickens, or beef bones to sheep - but not cucumber peelings to chickens? Madness.
 
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Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
13
Scotland
Back when I kept chicken, ducks and geese they ate up te kittchen scraps afore anything else. They loved them but I suppose I can see why it was banned as a lot of folk weren't too good on the husbandry. Pretty much all I and they ate was organic as I usually grew, foraged or shot it myself with the odd bit bartered with friends. About the only thing I bought regularly at one point (though often bartered for fish) was asparagus. There was a farmer not far from the farm I lived on that grew the stuff and on the way back from fishing/guddling I'd stop by, pick and pay/barter and have fresh fish and super sweet/fresh asparagus for tea. Heaven. If I caught one in roe little patties of salmon roe with razor thin shaved asparagus sauted in butter... Well I don't have to tell you hoe good that was. Later in the year they'd be wild mushrooms to pick which together with our own eggs soft anf wobbley poached with black pepper. Let's just say I'd live the life of a monk to eat those things again. :D

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 
Sep 19, 2015
5
0
dubai
On the onion smell don't know if you did it down there but growing up we used to put a skinned halved onion on a saucer on the window-sill. It was used to keep flies at bay though wouldn't work on onion flies I suppose.
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
13
Scotland
On the onion smell don't know if you did it down there but growing up we used to put a skinned halved onion on a saucer on the window-sill. It was used to keep flies at bay though wouldn't work on onion flies I suppose.

Did it growing up and still do. Nice to hear someone else knows about it, just though my family was odd.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 

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