Friday, 31 August 2018

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.

So, it's a good year for raspberries.  They started early, I've had soo many and there are sooo many still to come.  No complaints, they're my favourite.

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

I've had lots of firsts this month too - first home grown apples (last year the squirrels ate a share of the only one!) and first tomatoes of the year, there are loads of green ones on the plants, but they seem to be ripening one by one! 

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

I've got nine blueberry plants, in their 2nd or 3rd year, and I'm getting ok crops off them now.  Lots of kale too, all of just one plant, I'm giving the stuff away!

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

Anyway, I think I mentioned my homegrown apples then got distracted by kale, I had 8 apples off my Discovery apple tree, and 2 off my other apple tree, that I bought as a Discovery apple but definitely isn't (it was a very cheapo tree from Wilkos!).  Woohoo!  Apples!  I'm doing the thing and growing my own fruit.  One day I will be Barbara from the Good Life. 

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

Finally, here is a spring onion.  A caterpillar popped out of it just as I was about to cut it up, and made me jump, and then the caterpillar fell on the floor and I haven't been able to find it, so there's a caterpillar on the loose in the kitchen somewhere. I'm not sure why I had one random spring onion in my raised bed, but I did and now I've eaten it and it was yummy. 

My homegrown harvest, August 2018.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #gardenblogger #suburbanpermaculture

What have you been growing and eating this month? 




Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.

There's been some lovely sunshine for gardening in this month.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

It's all going on this month!  Joe's digging up the driveway, to level it and then lay hardcore and gravel.  He's digging up lots of soil, which he's making into a pile at the bottom of the garden.  I've been sieving the soil and topping up my raised beds with it, and when the driveway is finished I'll sieve some more of the soil and put it in my front garden raised beds.  

Here is drive progress...

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

I've also been making progress with the side garden.  I think I've said before that I basically don't weed unless I have another plant to replace the weed with - to cut down on the work of constantly weeding an area and trying to keep the soil clear, when mother nature clearly has different ideas.  I focused on this area under my Discovery apple tree this year, and I think it's been pretty successful.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

If you look at the far left of the photo above you can see all those green weeds, they're next on my to weed list, but maybe next year! 

I've planted strawberries, wild strawberries, chives, garlic chives, Siberian perennial onions, red and white clover, curry plant, rosemary, sedum and yellow creeping Jenny, as well as daffodil and tulip bulbs for the spring.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

I'm pretty happy with my raised beds, I'm eagerly awaiting my first courgette of the year - I was soo late planting this year!  I've had loads of kale and some chard, but I'm still waiting to see if my other late plantings of cauliflower, sweetcorn and shallots are going to do anything.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

I'm also waiting for all these tomatoes to go red.  Putting this planter on the corner here, which is the sunniest part of the garden was the best decision - these are the healthiest tomatoes I've ever grown.  The beans and peppers I've tried to grow round the sides of the basket haven't worked so well though, I'll have to rethink it ready for next year.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

All of my blueberry plants have been repotted, and I've been rewarded with lots of blueberries and loads of new growth too. 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

That's about it for the garden this month.  It must be autumn, because my 'autumn joy' sedum has started flowering 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, August 2018.  From UK permaculture gardener secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbanpermaculture #gardenblogger #suburbangarden

How's your garden this month?




Friday, 3 August 2018

Review - Slab vegan artisan fudge.

Friends, I feel it's my duty to bring to your attention this amazing vegan fudge. 

This is Proper Fudge.  I've been disappointed many times by vegan fudge, it's always soft and fondant-y and a bit kind of doughy, nice enough but I can make that kind of fudge myself.  This Slab artisan fudge is still soft, but it has that crunchy, crispy, almost crystal (but not gritty), melt in the mouth texture of the dairy fudge I loved in my pre-vegan days.  Does that make sense?  I'm not sure I have the right words to describe how good Slab fudge is, suffice it to say it's satisfied my fudge-y needs in a way no other vegan fudge ever has. 

Review - Slab vegan artisan fudge.  From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganfudge #slabfudge #slabveganfudge #veganfudgeuk

I ordered 4 flavours, classic (it's sweet and slightly vanilla-y), death by chocolate (it tastes like the chocolate fudge icing my mum used to make for my birthday cakes), maple and walnut (this is for Joe, but I've taste tested it for him and it's super sweet and maple-y with nutty bits in) and choc toffee (this is my favourite, the toffee flavour is ah-maz-ing and it's swirled with chocolate fudge).  It's all coconut based, and you can taste that slightly in all the flavours, moreso in the classic and chocolate flavours.  

I asked for my fudge to be packed with as little plastic as possible (because I'd seen this post on Instagram!).  This is how my Slab fudge order arrived.

Review - Slab vegan artisan fudge. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganfudge #slabfudge #slabveganfudge #veganfudgeuk

One piece of fudge had a bit of a whoopsie and was broken, but it's going to get broken when I eat and chew it anyway, so that's not an issue for me. I've kept it wrapped in it's greaseproof paper and popped it into a Pyrex box.  Yey for plastic free fudge!  (although the box did have plastic tape and bits on it, it's so hard to do anything completely plastic free and I really appreciate the effort Slab made to reduce the plastic)

Slab vegan fudge costs £3.50 per 150g piece, and you get free shipping on orders over £10.  They also sell dairy fudge, so make sure you order from the right section!  Fudge is made to order and mine came within 6 days of ordering.  I had cause to contact their customer services with a question, and they got back to me within a couple of hours and were super friendly and knowledgeable.  

This isn't a sponsored post.  I just like fudge.  And I'm going to eat some now! 




Tuesday, 31 July 2018

My homegrown harvest, July 2018.

Lo!  Tis the first raspberry of the year!  I'm not sure why they're so early this year, they're autumn fruiting raspberries ('autumn bliss') and I didn't have any til late August last year so this is very strange but enjoyable.  I think I like raspberries even better than strawberries!

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

We've had the last of the strawberries, and some blueberries, black currants and blackberries too this year.  Joe's been eating most of them with yoghurt for his breakfast.

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

I planted a few mange tout plants, and the touts have been ready to mange this month. I'm not keen on the giant mange tout (although it doesn't help that I let some of them grow overly giant!), I think I'll just plant the purple ones in future. 

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

I planted my broad beans late this year, and only planted about 6 beans (because of snow!  It seems a long time ago since it was cold enough to snow!).  They've actually been the most successful broad beans I've ever grown, they were lovely plants that didn't need any support and had hardly any pests and grew loads and loads of beans.  If you've been reading my blog for some time then you'll know that I'm a very picky eater, so I, of course, don't actually like broad beans - but I do like falafel so these got turned into a batch of falafel and were frozen for a later day. 

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

My homegrown harvest, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrown #harvest #suburbanpermaculture #gardenharvest

How's your garden this month?  What are you eating? 




Friday, 27 July 2018

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018.

It's been another month of it's-too-hot-to-garden weather here, with a bit of it's-too-wet-to-garden weather at the end!

I'm looking forward to these apples ripening.  I think I shouldn't have let this tree make apples this year because it's a new one, but they're so pretty I couldn't resist. 

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

My side garden, which is the fruity bit of the garden, is looking good.   There's just one bit at the far end by the gate that's full of weeds, the rest is full of lovely productive fruit trees, raspberries and herbs, yey!  And I'm clearing the weeds away slowly when I have new plants to replace them with.  This month I've added chives and garlic chives, rosemary, strawberries and a tiny rose to replace some of the weeds.

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

My apple tree's recovering from it's ant/aphid attack last month.  I noticed a few aphids coming back, and I was about to start picking them off when I spotted a mama ladybird and some babies, so I'm going to leave it to nature to sort out.  Thanks nature.

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

I'm very late with all my planting this year (For which I blame the weather.  For which I blame climate change.  For which I blame our governments for doing nothing about it.  Anyway...) so I've just got round to planting out courgettes and shallots. 

I'm surprised the shallots actually sprouted because I bought them from the Wilko's sale for 50p and had them hanging round the house for a couple of months after that.  My one courgette plant looks ok in this photos, but actually isn't very happy in the middle of the clover cover crop, so I think I'll remove the clover to give it more of a chance.

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

Everything looks a mess at the moment (although I have since straightened up the falling over kale at least!) especially round the raised beds.  I've let the chard flower, and it's attracted so many hoverflies and other interesting insects that I can't bring myself to cut it back, even if it is flopping all over the place.

I've planted some tiny and sorry looking leeks I started off months ago into this raised bed, and you can see the ginger (in the terracotta pot) has been enjoying the heat, I wonder if it'll flower, of if I'll get any ginger root to harvest!?

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

I'm most proud of this little space.  I got rid of an old rickety garden table and replaced it with a tea trolley I bought for £2 that I'm going to modify into a potting bench.  There's room now for a couple of chairs so we can sit outside together.

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

Can you see my tomatoes in my big basket planter?  They've gone for it this month!  There are a few cherry tomatoes waiting to ripen on them already, which isn't bad because I planted them really late.  I planted purple mange tout round the edges of the basket and I've been picking lots of those too.

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

It rained!  And it filled my waterbutt all the way up!  And it's raining again now.  Thank goodness. 

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

I chopped down all the gone-over foxgloves and all the crispy bits of things that got fried in the 30 degree heat, the garden looks a little bare but I'm sure it'll bounce back in a couple of weeks.

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

That's it for my garden this month. I'll leave you with this pretty white flower, I can't remember the name of the plant right now, but the flower bud starts off like a little box and then they burst open into these beautiful blooms. 

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, July 2018. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture #growyourownfood #foodnotlawns

How's your garden growing? 







Friday, 20 July 2018

Review - Morrisons wonky veg box.

I've tried a few organic veggie boxes in my time, but when I spotted this Wonky Veg box from Morrisons for only £3.50 I couldn't resist and added it to my online shopping order.  

Review - Morrisons wonky veg box.  From UK eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #morrisonswonkyvegbox #wonkyveg #vegbox #vegboxreview

Inside the box were 10 medium size potatoes, 4 small onions, 2 small leeks, 3 parsnips, 1 cauliflower, 1 swede, 1 cabbage and 6 carrots.  As with lots of 'wonky' fruit and veg, I can see nothing wrong with any of it!  If I was being extra picky I'd say the potatoes have imperfect skin, but that's easy enough to deal with.

Review - Morrisons wonky veg box.  From UK eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #morrisonswonkyvegbox #wonkyveg #vegbox #vegboxreview

All the wonky veg from the box has been delicious and some of it's still in the fridge 2 weeks after we bought it, and it's lasting well.  The cauliflower was really nice and fresh, and the potatoes were really yummy.  

I do prefer an organic veg box, but this Morrisons Wonky Veg box actually has nicer veg in than the Morrisons organic veg box.  I regularly get an Able and Cole organic fruit and veg box, it has the nicest produce in it, but costs £14.50 plus delivery each week, whereas this Wonky box is a bit of a bargain for £3.50.  

Review - Morrisons wonky veg box.  From UK eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #morrisonswonkyvegbox #wonkyveg #vegbox #vegboxreview

In terms of packaging, the veg came in a carboard box, covered with a single sheet of plastic.  I'd have preferred no plastic, but 1 sheet is still less than if you were to buy all these veg wrapped singly. 

Have you tried a Wonky Veg box?  What do you think?






Friday, 13 July 2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live.

Garden visits is a (newish) blog series where I visit gardens then blog about them! 

Last month, Joe and I spent a day soaking up lots of garden-y inspiration at Gardener's World Live at the NEC in Birmingham.  

Here are some pics of my favourite gardens and displays.  

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018
  
Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018.  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018

I didn't take notes about who made what garden, but you can find info about all the gardens and stalls on the BBC Gardener's World Live website.  

My favourite moments were seeing a talk by the lovely Frances Tophill and this cheeky little bird hopping and cheeping about all the displays in the marquee collecting bits for his nest.  

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live. 2018. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2018



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