Monday, October 25, 2010

Green woodworking Day

Sun, sun, sun all the way on our Green Woodworking day yesterday.  All 5 participants worked nonstop on the shavehorses and pole laiths to produce dibbers, stools, mallets, and shave horses etc.  See the pictures for the happy crew.  Many thanks to Robin and Vanessa for a great day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

First frost

This years first frost on Wednesday night - .5 degrees .  I had harvested the squashes and out door tomatoes (those that hadn't been blighted!) and fleeced the outdoor peppers and (partly) fleeced the runner beans.  The beans seem to have survived well, half the nasturtiums survived (i cant see why some caught the frost and some didn't!  ) I planted onions and garlic and prepared the soil for planting broad beans next week.  last year I planted the broad beans too early (early October) and many didn't survive the hard winter. I hope to have better results this year.  Working today in the woodland preparing for the Green Woodworking workshop on Sunday.  Starting to coppice 40 year old chestnuts which gives us a chance to harvest the nuts before the squirrels get them!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fun with fungas!

A  great couple of days fungus hunting; Two bags full on both days and consumed deliciously with the surplus put to dry in the solar dryer.  On the walk on Saturday we saw a pair of Marsh Harriers, a sparrowhawk, three hares, voles and a weasel.  We also picked a large bag of blackberries (late but still good!)

With Rebecca & Steffen our WOOFers

Friday, October 15, 2010

Processing chestnuts?

We have had a good harvest of nuts this year, almonds, walnuts and chestnuts.  Has anyone any good techniques for processing chestnuts - removing their inner skins etc?  The warmer weather in October has given us a boost in the vegetable garden with runner beans particularly having a new lease of life.  The bees to have been very active, working on ivy flowers for nectar and Hawkweed for pollen (I guess).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn Sowing

I am well into my autumn sowing now.  Have sowed 8 different salads in the polytunnel, carrots and Feltham First pea, outside have sowed onion seed.  At the end of the month I will put in broad beans, onion and garlic sets.  I have just bought two great books, The Winter Harvest handbook by Eliot Coleman and Small Scale grain raising by Gene Logsdon both American books I am afraid but still full of good relevant information.  last night we went to a Food Day at old hall community, we traded some seeds for apples watched some interesting films from the transition group at Wivenhoe which were powered by two bicycles (I took my turn peddling!) and had a delicious meal provided by the community from the food grown on site.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Green Woodworking workshop in Essex 24th October

Last few places left on our workshop in our 8 acre wood in October, contact me for details see

Taking my life in my hands!

yes, I have lived through the night!  After going on a Fungal Foray last week (42 species found only one edible!) I have started eating the autumn fungus the total so far:  Field Parasols, ink-caps, horse mushrooms (by the side of the road!) All after a ridiculous amount of time looking at books and pictures on the Internet - perhaps not an economic success but very satisfying (and delicious) anyway.

Horse mushrooms