Mark had decided to scarify the lawn, (for those who don’t know about this strange pass time, you rake the lawn to remove all moss) – I kind of had the feeling that our lawn would be reduced to mud as I have felt for a long time that we had a ‘moss lawn’!
The chickens loved scratching through the buckets of moss and weeds etc. that were being excavated from the lawn.
The raised beds are looking lovely and everything is growing fast at the moment. I am particularly pleased with the net cover over the 6ft X 4ft bed. The guys from Access Garden Products wanted me to try it out over the winter and I was pleased with the way it protected the plants from all the snow, but it’s protecting from birds etc. but also from flying balls thrown by the children in our garden. I also love the large hoops they installed to hold the net. They are really sturdy, not at all flimsy. When reading my ‘square foot gardening book’ Mel Bartholomew talks a lot about vertical growing. Well I think I can cover these hoops with plastic netting to allow my beans and peas to climb up. I sowed some beans this weekend, so I’ll show you a picture when they are in place.
All our potatoes are in their growing position now. Some are in the raised beds along side the kale and onions – I did get ruthless as I threatened a while ago and moved some spring cabbage out of the way to make space for the potatoes. My main crop, (King Edward and Sante) are in growing bags we bought from the garden centre.
I also sowed into trays in the frame parsnips using compost mixed with silver sand – (for horticulture use) I filled the toilet rolls to almost full – leaving about ½ “ at the top. Popped in the seed then filled to the top with more compost. I put 6 of these in a Tupperware box for a snug fit, watered them and put them in the mini greenhouse.
I also sowed sunflowers which I will use to fill the whole raised bed by my kitchen window but will use a couple of them in the main raised beds to attract bees etc.
I also sowed the melon seeds in trays. I sowed 10 – would have been told off my Mel for sowing too many. I can see me giving some of these away if they all take. But it was a bit like a moth flying to the light, it was too tempting not to plant them all! Note to self – re-read that chapter about not planting too many things at the same time and have a bit more self control Anne.
Later in the day we had Sadie and Kevin round for dinner and I cooked a leg of Lamb with Sadie’s Irish roast potatoes and a recipe I have not cooked ever, but remembered my Nanny cooking it with roast lamb when we visited her. It’s Onion Sauce. I checked the recipe with my Aunty Joan on the phone to ensure I have got it right before I shared it with you. I could hear my Nan saying ‘don’t mess with it, just keep it as it should be’.
You will know by now, I’m not one for exact quantities, thickness and amount is something you will have to adjust to how many you are cooking for, so I will aim to do this for 4 people.
1 large onion – cut in half length ways and then sliced thinly.
2 heaped tea spoons cornflower
½ pint milk
Salt and pepper
A large knob of best butter – you know me by now – nothing else will do!
Cook the onion in a little water until it is tender and soft. Drain away the water, or as I did, add the onion flavoured water to your gravy.
Put the cornflower in a pan and add a little milk to make a smooth paste, then, add the rest of the milk, salt and pepper. Stir on a medium heat until it thickens and bubbles for about 3 minutes. Add the onions and stir in. Place in a serving dish and just before serving add the knob of butter to the top and another sprinkle of black pepper if you are addicted to the stuff like me. Serve with roast lamb and vegetables.