Thursday, 14 June 2012

Self-INsufficient living....

If we were trying to be self-sufficient we would be starving to death this year.  Our attempts at saving our lives are rocket seedlings in a pot, all other salads having been eaten by rabbits,

....peppers, aubergines and tomatoes grown on the windowsill in the kitchen.  I resurrected the old plastic 'greenhouse' we had in Chedzoy, bought a new cover for it in Chaplins and potted up the survivors this morning.

The herb garden is mostly intact with chives, thyme, parsley, mint, fennel and oregano despite occasional prunings by the odd rabbit that should be brave enough to come so near the house where the hairy black thing lives.

The highly prolific little apple tree by the back door seems to have survived my pruning efforts in the winter.  Hestercombe put on a really good apple-tree pruning workshop back in January.

The beds in our supposedly 'rabbit-proof' patch in the field should be green with sweet peas (sown twice), french climbing beans (sown three times), sweet corn, cabbages, purple sprouting, broccoli and lettuces by now but alas the rabbits got them all.  Apparently they have bitten a hole in the wire netting itself - I'm worried Ian might be turning into Mr Macgregor and is on the lookout for a shotgun.....

It's not all bad.  At least our pride and joy, the strawberries - are still ok.  Thanks to Ian's ingenious re-use of heating pipes, roof battens, netting and old plastic bags.  I'm proud of his 'making good use of the things you have lying around' attitude to gardening.

The rhubarb has at last taken off and the asparagus has started, not to mention the raspberries behind.  At least we did manage to harvest some potatoes before the blight got them all, and broad beans have been delicious despite getting rust.  So, having written it all down, I don't think we'll starve after all!  Gardening is definitely a battle against nature though.

I'm rather proud of our compost bins...

....and the mushrooms!  They came in a kit.  After at least 8 weeks of keeping them damp and warm the compost looks like someone's dropped miniature polystyrene balls on it.  I think it could be mushrooms.

This one's a funny shape...... but it could be a mushroom!