This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Monday, 15 September 2014

Harvesting Veg

A basket full of a week's harvest.
I'm now harvesting veg from two different places - my own garden and the community garden I volunteer at. Between the two, I don't really  need to buy much veg at the grocery store which is fantastic. 

I enjoy cooking and I'm not a fussy eater so I always take the veg no one else wants (cucumber, kale, leaf beet etc). I generally make up my own recipes and just use whatever I have in the fridge (and garden). I just love all this veg - so very yummy!
Once the veg is washed, I start planning my meals for the week. This week's harvest includes: 2 types of lettuce, tomatoes, beetroot, turnip, swede, leaf beet, kale, carrots, celery, cucumber, and peppers.

This week I'm joining Harvest Monday for the first time at Daphne's Dandelions blog. Not sure if I qualify because some of the veg comes from the community garden, but thought I'd give it a go, and Daphne can keep me right. Happy Harvesting!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Community Gardening Update

Our 1st season of pears: 4 fruits on this tree.
All is going well at Antrim Castle Gardens and the community growing project involving a group of eager and energetic volunteers (me being one of them!). We're in our 2nd year and we've expanded the areas we maintain and look after. This year we added a heirloom kitchen garden area and another veg growing area. Next year we have plans to develop a cottage garden with a secret path through it that visitors to the public garden can discover and enjoy.
Above: Our new veg growing area had potatoes in it, and now houses swede, leek, kale and lettuces.
Above: The heirloom kitchen garden contains a rang of edibles including herbs and medicinal plants. This is an area in development and its great to learn about new plants.

Above: Of course giant sunflowers are always popular and when working in the gardens its great to hear children exclaim excitement at the sight of the sunflowers.
Above: Some of the flowers in the garden include hydrangea and Salvia Purple Majesty.

Above: The pink snapdragon look striking but require a good lot of deadheading! The greenhouse in the background contains tomatoes, green peppers and cucumber.
Above: Over the weekend the verbena plants were attracting a good supply of butterflies and bees - great to see!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Veg Harvest

My little veg harvest over the weekend will keep me going this  week. (The only veg I bought in my grocery shop was a cabbage marked down to 16 pence / 25 US cents - a bargain I couldn't pass up.)

My harvest includes lettuce for salads and cooking apples to make dessert. I used the turnip, broccoli, courgette, kale, leaf beet, and celery in a big pot of chili. And I made celery, potato and courgette soup. All very yummy if I say so myself.

I didn't grow all this veg. Some of it came from the community growing project at Antrim Castle Gardens where we volunteer as a group. We have had a good supply of veg and herbs over the summer that we share with members and guests to the gardens. Guests do love taking a wee treat home with them (spuds, cucumber, tomatoes and such).

Happy harvesting everyone!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.