Monday

24 Oct, 2011

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Guest Post with Suzie Banks

Hello there, well as promised I have a guest post for you today by the lovely Suzie Banks of Aesthetics and Gastronomy 

I contacted Suzie asking her if she would consider writing a post for me about growing your own fruit and veg and she kindly said yes! So without further a do, here’s Suzie: 

 Unearthing my passion for fruit and vegetable growing

 

About 5 years ago, fed up with the limited and expensive range of organic fruit and vegetables available locally, I decided that the only way to get the variety and quality of produce that I wanted to eat, was to grow my own.  Around the same time, due to illness I also made the decision to end my catering business.  The timing actually couldn’t have been more perfect.  I needed something to focus on and I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands, so creating a veg garden was an absolutely ideal distraction.  And therapeutic too, which was an added bonus. 

I love the anticipation of sowing the seeds and waiting for them to germinate.  Opening the lid on the propagator on a spring morning to see what’s happened overnight still excites me.  Seeing the tiny shoots pushing their way through the compost.  Especially the beans, courgettes and pumpkins emerging with the large seed casing still fastened to the first leaves.  And, it never fails to amaze me how a miniscule seed, like the tiny purple sprouting broccoli ones, can produce such a large robust plant in just a few short months.

There’s also the satisfaction of creating your own outdoor edible larder.  Not only growing the fruits and vegetables that you most like to eat but experimenting with new ones too.  Whilst you really can’t beat the flavour and freshness of just picked home grown fruit and veg, there’s more to it than that.  It’s also about the sense of pride and achievement as you walk through the garden, filling your basket with a wonderful array of produce, that you have grown.

 

Of course it’s not always rosy in the garden but that’s part of the challenge. Slugs are a nuisance.  The weather is unpredictable.  Cabbage white butterflies are a menace – I’ve lost all my red cabbages thanks to their caterpillars this year.  And as for the rabbits!  And there’s no denying that it can be hard work, I’ve spent hours digging out evasive twitch (couch grass) roots.  But, it is most definitely worth it.

I’ve also discovered that my two dogs absolutely adore eating raw vegetables – they go berserk over french beans.  Barney, a 3 year old cocker spaniel, will literally eat anything but watching him chomping asparagus spears from the tip right down to the ground, whilst they are still growing, is priceless.  (He doesn’t get away with eating too many though!)

 

Now I’m back working again I don’t spend as much time in the garden as I would like, hence it doesn’t always look as tidy as it used to – it aspires to be a Country Living style garden but doesn’t quite live up to these lofty ideals!  However, it is an incredibly productive patch of land which really is the important point.  So far this year, I’ve been enjoying asparagus, borlotti beans, french beans, strawberries, chard, kale, courgettes, white sprouting broccoli, pumpkins, squashes, sweetcorn, globe artichokes, pears, apples, beetroot, dill, coriander, raspberries, fennel and carrots.  And still to come, there’s purple sprouting broccoli, leeks, celeriac, swedes, parsnips, jerusalem artichokes and not forgetting the brussel sprouts for Christmas lunch.

 So, I think it’s fair to say that as decisions go this has turned out to be one of the most rewarding ones I’ve ever made!

I’d like to thank Suzie again for agreeing to guest post for me – I don’t know about you, but I feel inspired to get out in my garden and get creative!

Friday

21 Oct, 2011

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Friday sneak peak

I’m currently busy printing the orders from my school Christmas card workshop but I wanted to give you  a little glimpse of a fab guest post I have lined up on Monday….

Have a great weekend!

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