Monday, 24 October 2022

This New Passion For Growing Artichokes

One goal behind this new passion for growing artichokes

For some they may feel like the new passion for growing Artichokes sprung out of nowhere. You want to learn grow the artichoke in pots as the soil is minimal, or the garden is small in size. But the challenge of the artichokes is now possible.

You want a wider garden experience 

As each new thing is a new learning challenge actually taking to others about their experiences becomes a Garden Adventure.

 In this post a small challenge this year was space, creation of space in the area set aside to plant, grow vegetables and just experience potted plants, along with a small compost laden growing area.

 New plant types is an out right challenge.

To know that what the biggest fear was is to be bulb less, even after a few years growth.

Get what you are doing right to grow the artichoke, then harvest that plant.  How to cook the artichoke?  What ingredients within recipes taste the best.

There is a passion for growing artichokes

This passion has been developed over the last one and a half years. In the spring nearly a year ago two Artichoke bulbs were purchased from a local garden nursery. Here these struggling Artichoke plants were treated as throw away stock

It was a case of quick, educate yourself 

Some really quick reading occurred. In stock was everything that was needed. Including compost ready to go into the large pot plant holders now covered with extra large, tough waterproof garden bags. Literally water these Artichoke plants back into life and living.

These have survived. 

But we had dreams of artichokes growing for years

More so than the garden critters who eat these plants. To walk out side and see the Artichoke leaves being stripped bare met with a snail and slug check. Sure enough  these were happily munching holes in the external leaves.  Not for long. The plants are now pest free as much as can be.

The extra care is worth it

The obvious is that these garden critters that had found a new abode, are now displaced. Any new snails and slugs who find these artichoke plants will also find some blue pellets as takeaways right next in the stem leaves base. Because these pellets are not animal consumption desirable a firm plastic netting has gone up around the Artichoke inner edge of pot plant containers.

Try before you buy process

If you see yourself as someone who is up to the challenge of experiencing new sensations both within your expanding vegetable garden you educate your palate. . Typically vegetable and fruit shops have Artichokes for sale. Have you thought of asking around, or advertising, or attending a garden produce swap meeting?

Create some outcomes

Have you what is needed for the Artichokes? Create some. Artichokes do take room and they love certain pH ranges. Know a recipe, plan the meal, have practice with shop purchased artichokes. Enjoy the comparison with your home grown  artichokes.    

You can do this

Write about the challenges that brings a smile into your day from anything while tending the seedlings, protecting the plants. Feeding the leaves the snails and slugs dinned on into the worm farm or compost bins.   The tools and experiences are there. Grown along the way.

Saturday, 8 October 2022

Parsley Butter has been created

The garden has many advantages

Some of which are you know what has gone into the food prepared, served and even stored.

Simple things within the kitchen and dietary applications are just there. Right at the finger tips. Yet most people would rather the added preservatives in their food.

Create the parsley butter

In this post there is a recipe for parsley butter.

  • 500 hg unsalted butter.
  • dash of rice oil.
  • dehydrated parsley / or chervil a dash of milk powder.
  1. Heat in pan all the ingredients.  Make sure the heat is a very low heat.
  2. Stir and turn off the heat. 
  3. Leave for a few hours so that everything is cool to touch.
  4. Now  blend with beater. The aim is to make the mix light a fluffy.
  5. Place in preserving jars. 
  6. The lid must be air tight. 
  7. Put container, with the ingredients in it, in fridge.
The recipe is a simple one. With results that just take a few minutes to finalize... once the mixture is cool to touch.

Notes to self.

The butter itself will last a while with refrigeration.  The dehydration process does alter the intensity of the flavour.

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Amazing what a mothers help achieves

 Today was a little bit on the early spring warmth side. The type of early spring weather when the rains are threatening.  The news across the internet, radio and out of everyone you meet, seems to be the intending wet weather sweeping the country.

This post is about the changing face of a potted garden.

Just over twelve months ago the property here had many small already potted plants in and around it. These were added to the collection of what was saved when we moved from the house around the corner to here.

Many containers have been upsized over the winter while these plants were meant to be in the dormant hibernation phase.

That the dormant phase seems to not have happened brought about other changes noticed.

Keeping up with the soil top-up requirements

Of course larger pots means more soil needed.  Usually quickly.

The worm farm and compost always seems to be in short supply, as the decomposition times runs a little slow over winter. Naturally it would be easy to go to the shops purchase about a hundred bags of potting mix to just top up the larger pots.  At least to place the depotted plant in to a larger container complete with new levels of potting mix on the bottom of the newer container, and fill up the sides.

Bigger posts and plants means a change of position

That is what happened today. Better yet was the area leading to, and with in the outside office, bungalow, and door ways through to the quite, side garden has enjoyed a facelift.

The plants there now are:
  • Purple lavenders,
  • White tipped purple lavenders
  • Rosemary plants 
  • Nasturtiums
  • Strawberries
  • Thyme plants
All these companion plants were quietly getting squash out amongst the plants out there in the back yard area.

Meanwhile, mum found the wheel barrow with the nearly emptied compost in it. It's terrific having neighbours with chickens, and guinea pigs.

Change is as good as a rest at times.

The amazing thing often overlooked with potted plants is the ability to reposition as the garden gets more growth.

Another , far more important thing is the ability to say... I will bring over the plants, and "will you sort them out mum?".  Having already lifted the biggest ones into place there is more just like a general pottering around care to share.  Yet amongst that pottering around small, beautifully significant placement changes are done.

There were two jobs left to complete

The first was the sweeping up and around the plants.

The second one, still to be done by humans, is the watering of these plants. It did rain this morning yet this area is zoned as a dry bit, not quite catching all the rain as its sheltered by buildings and a thirty-year-old Cyprus tree.


Tuesday, 4 October 2022

A new definition on the day of reckoning

 In order to create logo what do you need?  

  • That one 'thing' that matches what your brand represents.
  • That thing must be unique, owned by you.
    • copy righted and patented by you. Ie Branded as your signature.
  • Recognized as exclusively yours.
  • Know that what is now may not be later.
So far so good.

Early 2019 there was a space of time whilst in England on a business trip. That business trip was meant to include how to market what you were marketing. Part of that course was to find your 'brand' logo.

Three years later there is a sense of real relief realization that has happened.

Of course people in business know that trade secrets depend on who owns the secret first. Thus, when people use your tools, knowledge, education and staff to create 'their' brand who owns that trade mark or idea?  They do. Or it should be said the company that registers' the trademark first owns it.

If, for some reason something happens, you walk away from the company would you still own the trademark, brand or merchandise idea? Probably not with out a large court case.

So there I was, having missed the deadline for application to the course. Yet, the tickets for the trip to England had been paid for.  So the trip time came up.  I was not allowed to cancel these tickets. The idea was put when visiting the person who had been supported over a few years. "You go Susan.  If you can take a ride on the river barges for me."

Funny, but even a simple ride on the English river barges was not about to happen.  The winter come early spring season does not see many barges leave where they have winter docked.  

In the last week near Oxford the house that was house-sitted had a cat who used to love jumping up a shelf [ four floors up] and lying on the internet receiver.  Needless to say the owners of the house were unaware of this felines little game.  Multiple times up and down those stairs... you keep fit doing these exercises.

The weather was really terrific on the day the cat was caught asleep!  Down the stairs  and out the door.  Smiling quietly . The roundabout in the middle of the roads are so small.  Yet people slowed. Stopped and carefully proceeded around these tiny intersection things.

At the bottom of the road turned right.  Crossed the road  and walked down a wide foot path meandering down a river that was flowing fast.  The spring thaw it was presumed. 

Near one of the bends an excavator team was there digging out the canal.  It's then the bird flew under the open arm area.  The two others following her actually hit the arms of the traxcavator.  These two  dropped into the flowing river.  Two big male, angry birds, with a head ache. To make it worse the lady they were chasing had got away. Honking as though laughing.  Literally as free as a bird

What a stir.  These surrounding work men had to go into the water, with life jackets on, rescue those dazed, angry male birds.

Time takes care of a lot of things.  One your mind deals with coming back home into fire danger mess, family 'assisted' strife', landlords upsets, and then when that is settled down, you move anyway round the corner into a relatives home while they are away.

As things finally start to settle down, the house begins to show wear and tear. The animals that you care for, and they care for you have hit the twenty-three year old mark. They don't like the cold, they do like following you around.  The sun shining on their fur.  Maybe they no longer see and hear the things  around them.  But there is a peace inside them as long as you are nearby.  As long a they know you are coming back.

And at that point you know there is something important to do. Today it appears was a day of reckoning. Unlockable utterances ... along with that something that slips out so easily from your mouth into a conversation with a person met way before the trip overseas.  That person has literally been nagging you to do this one little action.

There is quiet on both ends of the phone now.  

Actually that phone call is still going as it is boarded. Two hours there and nearly three back, Fifty dollars lighter the  Quill paper, the cutting blades and glue, plus a picture frame is in the bag being carried to the next bus stop.

The sun is shining, you arrive home and there is your mother visiting.

Now the funny thing is as the explanations for what everything is for the comment comes back... "what were you waiting for?" You've had that freedom for as long as I remember." 

Along with "Raymond gave you that freedom!.. like Raymond has given you this house to live in while he cannot be here."

Right now is the the moment in the day of reckoning you accept your first bird created no longer represents what you have come to be. That its colourful, brought happiness and colour into your life. But your life has moved on.

That is when the realisation comes the bird that  
  •  was the first bird created had all colours, padding on the water was going nowhere fast.
  •  is flying freely has action, quietly uplifts and has so much grace she flies freely.
This my friend is the day of reckoning. Life is simple when the realization hits that there is no way you are about to postpone that moment.  

The day of reckoning, right up to this moment, was just a sentence.  Now there is such power behind  the sentence phrase that the swan is about to fly off before the pencil literally hits the paper.

Saturday, 1 October 2022

That Ivy may have Grown Again

 Ivy is by many considered just a creeper.  Some love it. others rip their hair out illuminating the plant from anywhere it is. Like any plant there are things underground that may cause unseen hassles to house and land owners.

In this post there was a challenge with the Ivy plant that grows over the concrete sleeper under the back fence. For over twenty-five years that little plant has had a hold of the ground and it just will not give up growing ... yet.

Twelve months later and still a challenge

Over the last six months tools have been added to the equipment list.  Yes, there were tools like chainsaws already in the equipment.  But, these were 'someone else's'. Way to heavy for the wrists of me... a retiree with no training in the tools or safety for the more complex out-of-the-box challenges. 

This job was defiantly what was called different in it's approach.

Thus help was asked for. The tools were there ready and waiting. Including the hard hat that had earmuffs and face shield.

The situation presented was this...

Imagine an A5 standard sheet of computer printing paper. Landscape view.  Now that width is the width of a trunk based Ivy spread over the concrete  that sits between the earth, and the fence.  Mind you those fence palings are really very thin, thus fragile.

Add the fact that the fence is held in place by vertical 4x4 inch stakes.  Well, maybe these stakes are meant to be in the ground. But they are not  as they sit three inches higher than the horizontal concrete slab.  

The conundrum is this:

  •  Cut the lowest point and the tool you use now has the possibility of being destroyed due to concrete, or bolts too close.
  • The space the tool needs to work in has two dogs on the other side of the fence.
  • While even scrapping away the earth  to expose the lower areas may just make things easier, the tool you have has a 'bar' above the blade. The height of the bar reduces the access
The experienced person said... 
    "No !. I will not cut that with the extendable chainsaw. Maybe an axe. " 
    "The tool will be damaged beyond repair if it hits 
  • the concrete [footpath/under the fence slabs], 
  • the bots [sticking out of the fence posts],
  • or the wire [ holding the palings together.]

Logically explained the hopes of a quick solution went south!

After an hour of cutting wedges, pulling out roots, removing dead sticks, to small branches, the 4in chain say just is barely making head way.  

Until you actually take a minute to realise there is a lot of sawdust, smaller branches have been pulled away. Now nicely sitting in a tidy pile on the blue shade cloth.

But the trunk has not been cut through yet. 

What has happened is there is a very public area of this ivy stem that has both no bark on there, but there are positive indentations , in a hap hazard way, where the chain saw has done a wonderful job.

One container of weed killer later, over these areas, and some more on the Ivy's fresh growth at a third growth point made the day.

This year is slightly different from last year

It may already be coming into spring here but its time already to beat the Ivy before the spring growth startles you.  All  this past year the determination to get rid of the ivy along the fence, make way for the chicken coup fences has taken a quiet precedence.

Ivy may look great in other peoples gardens, but that little thing that someone planted years ago has taken a lot to get rid of.  Understandably there is still more to go. 

With determination and tools

What truly amazes is that the little 4inch blade chainsaw is an extremely effective tool.  While tall trees and giant root systems are not in it's 'doable' list what you have there while working is a way to create an indentation , tackle the problem with other systematic tool use, clean up the area and quite happy note the tool needs attention.

All things one at a time

The battery gets recharged, plus the tool itself gets a one over with its friendly paintbrush.

After the battery recharge was done, everything is packed up in the box, including the paint brush.  The shed is locked . The garden tools are in their little shed. the rubbish now in the green waste bins, along with the worms that were disturbed. These worms hopefully will enjoy the recently freshly turned compost.

Importantly the area is safe again

The area that had been exposed in order to see these roots and bits is now safely covered up again.  What's not there is the possibility of so many small bits of Ivy sticks or roots.

As important is the gradual illimitation of the roots in the water boards drains.

No matter what happens each year knowing that the ivy may have grown again allows no rest.

contrast people with a spark of lead potential

Just Create a list of 101+ outcomes . Typically include everything. Even things that somehow are to fit into that list.  When physically  me...