a few things

Whittling, or the beginnings of

Dirty clothes from berries

And a belly full of them

Last year I let two chard plants go to seed to see what would come out of it, and I’m glad to report that there are a quite a lot of new ones that seeded, though the slugs are getting most of it…

jam

jam

For the first time I made red gooseberry jam. It’s delicious, it might be my favorite one!

Garden update

After few days without setting foot at the allotment we went back to a full garden, full of berries and other beautiful and delicious things.

The highlight for me was to see the artichokes flowers, three in total! I have two plants. And to taste Juneberries for the first time, It’s the third year I have had the plant and this is the first time it has fruited. The berries are so similar to blueberries, and the taste very similar, tough less sweet, totally recommend it!

Another thing I really enjoyed from our last visit, it was to see how inspired the children felt to cook with our food. Once we arrived home they made fruit salad and crumble. Today one very lucky gran,  tasted a very garlicky salad made from rocket and radishes! She tried it and left the rest for later…

Em Português:

Depois de muitos dias sem termos ido à horta, quando lá chegamos estava a transbordar de fruta de bagas e outras coisas bonitas e deliciosas.

Gostei particularmente de ver as flores de alcachofras, três! Eu tenho duas plantas. E de experimentar pela primeira vez Juneberries. Em português parece que esta planta não tem nome vulgar, referindo-se apenas como Amelanchier ovalis, o seu nome latino, mas vi este post muito interessante sobre a presença da planta em Portugal. As bagas são muito parecidas aos mirtilos tanto como na aparência como no sabor, se bem que menos doces, mas recomendo vivamente!

Uma outra coisa que gostei imenso, foi de ver como as crianças ficaram inspiradas para cozinhas com a nossa comida, quando chegamos a casa fizeram logo uma salada de frutas e um crumble. Hoje a avó foi uma sortuda, pois recebeu de oferta uma salada com muito alho, nabos e rúcula, ela provou e deixou o resto para mais tarde…

In strawberry land / Na terra dos morangos

elderflower

from our garden

Em Português mais abaixo.

English

Yesterday we went to pick strawberries at a pick your own farm, not far from Glasgow.

Today we made plain strawberry jam, strawberry and elder-flower jam, strawberry and lavender jam and strawberry and Greek yogurt ice cream… That’s a lot of strawberries right? In the afternoon I went to the allotments, and guess what? Yep, I brought home more strawberries…

And that last photo? That must be the biggest strawberry I’ve seen, which came from our very own garden!

Português:

Ontem fomos apanhar morangos numa quinta em que somos nós próprios que apanhamos a fruta.

Hoje fizemos doce de morango, doce de morango e flores de sabugueiro, doce de morango e alfazema e gelado de iogurte grego e morangos… é muitos morangos, não é? À tarde fui sozinha à horta, e? Pois é, trouxe para casa ainda mais morangos…

E aquela ultima fotografia? Deve ser o maior morango que eu já vi, e que veio da nossa própria horta!

today in the garden

Today I finally went to the garden, I hadn’t been there for at least two weeks because of so much happening with the shop…

Somehow I missed a bag of maincrop potatoes when I planted the other ones, so today in they went. I also took some of the seedlings that were growing at home to put them in the cold frame, to start hardening them of and noticed that the ones already there have grown a lot. I can almost ear them screaming to go on the ground, but it wasn’t today… I also weeded and took care of my “Mediterranean” bed, which feels like a big achievement!

Hoje finalmente consegui ir à horta, penso que há duas semanas que não ia lá, estive tão ocupada com a loja…

Não sei como mas deixei um saco de batatas por plantar, quando puz as outras na terra, hoje, remedei isso. também levei as plantinhas que semei aqui em casa para começar o processo de adpatação ao exterior e à temperatura lá fora, e reparei que as que já lá estão cresceram imenso. Quase que consigo ouvi-las a gritar para as pôr na terra, mas ainda não foi hoje… Hoje também tirei muitas ervas daninhas e cuidei do meu cânteiro “mediterrâneo”, com o qual estou muito contente!

May garden

There are a lot of weeds, but plenty of other nice things too. It was nice to see many blossoms in the apple tree.

Há muitas ervas daninhas, mas outras coisas boas também. Foi muito bom ver tantas flores na macieira.

May garden

The artichoke plants are doing well, I think (I planted them last year, so this is the first time I’ve seen it at this time of the year).

As plantas de alcachofras estão a dar-se muito bem, penso eu (plantei-as o ano passado, por isso é a primeira vez que as vejo nesta altura do ano).

May garden

I had to take some woad plants, they were casting shade on some plants and I reckon I wouldn’t need that many seeds. Next time I must remember that they grow up to 1,5 meters in the second year.

Tive que tirar algumas plantas pastel (isatis tinctoria) porque estavam a deitar sombra noutras plantas, para além disso não me parece que precise de tantas sementes. para a próxima tenho que me lembrar que a pastel cresce cerca de metro e meio no segundo ano.

May garden

May garden

I’m really happy with the  willow structure that I made earlier in the year, as it seems that all the poles are growing.

Fiquei muito contente de ver que todos os troncos de salgueiro, da estructura que fiz no inicio do ano, pegaram.

May garden

And a few more pictures of a May garden in Scotland:

E mais umas fotografias da horta em maio na Escócia:

May garden

May garden

May garden

May garden

May garden

Blue

woad leaves

woad leaves

woad flower

First two pictures is woad plant leaves, before it started flowering, they were very close to the ground; now, within just a few weeks, they’re up to my waist and about to flower.

Woad has been cultivated in Europe since ancient times to use as a blue dye, until indigo became readily available. Both plants have the same blue matter, but in indigo the concentration is bigger, however it’s  very difficult to grow indigo plants in colder climates. So, last year I planted about seven woad plant’s in the allotment. It’s a biennial plant, one should use the leaves for dyeing in the first year, since the blue chemical concentration is greater, and let the plant flower in the second year to save the seeds. I’m planning to save a few seeds and let a few on the plants to see if it’ll self-seed here in Scotland.

The process for dyeing with fresh woad leaves is very similar to indigo, I used the method describe in the book”Wild Color”.  I dyed two skeins of Bluefaced Leicester, some linen and silk, but I didn’t wait long enough, I was too anxious to see the results, that in the end I was a little disappointed because I didn’t get the dark blue I was looking for. It still was a great experience, specially because the children were involved, they called it magic to see the wool oxidase and turn blue before our eyes!

woad dyed

woad dyed

But, as they say, it’s all about the process, so last week I ordered some indigo because I wanted to explore some ideas for the shop, and finally on Monday I got to play… and I dyed the skeins of wool, this time with indigo and I love the results! And new products should be coming soon, too!

indigo dyed

warm Spring

beach day

beach day

This Spring has been unusually warm and dry; we are enjoying it immensely really, with high doses of vitamin D, beach goings, gardening and even short sleeves (for short periods of time, but still)!

At the same time, in the garden,  there are patterns that are repeated, no matter how warm it is, some years later, some earlier, but Spring nonetheless.

My windows are once more turned into a green house. I start seedlings at home, where I can water them more frequently than in the allotment, then plant them into bigger pots and take them to the communal polytunnel in the allotment, this year I won’t have a space (something that I want to write more about later).

seedling

seedling

seedling

Sowing peas (thank you to Paul for these pictures)

peas

peas

and potatoes,

planting potatoes

planting potatoes

and of course, we can’t speak of Spring and not mention a flowering cherry tree.

cherry tree

bumble bee

today

Lupinus

P1010569

Today we went to the allotment. We did a bit of work, tidy up, noticed many things starting to grow and brought home a bucket half full of food; remains from summer plantings, that I hope it will still taste good.

Today we spend more than four hours outside and nobody said they were cold! We took our shoes and jacket off, and still no one complained.

Today it was Spring!