Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calendula - ointment

Calendula thrived despite the poor weather, and in August, we harvested the petals (and saved seeds for next year) - on a rare dry afternoon.

I removed the petals form the plants, put them in a jar, and covered with olive oil. Was was going to let them infuse gradually in the sun, but no sun was forthcoming, so I put the jar, oil and all in the microwave on low for a bit.

After letting this sit for a few hours, till cool, I strained twice through muslin, and added a little tea tree oil.

Then managed to find some beeswax in the heathfood store, so using a double boiler, metled the beeswak in the oil, and added a little more tea tree and lavendar oil. This was then decanted into jar ( the small ones you get with jam for a scone are good), and it's now in use as an ointment for cuts and scratches.
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Autumn Review

So, it was a terrible summer. 'Nuff said about the weather. Here are the 2008 successes and failures.

Leeks - growing well, ready for harvest now. Some were a bit shaded by other plants, but are doing ok now - next year devote a whole section of a bed to them, rather then bits and pieces here and there
Upside down tomatoes - no blight! no slugs!
Autumn fruiting raspberries - some golden.
Carrots - in planters and stove pipes
Sarpo Axona potatoes - no blight
Runner beans
Borlotti beans
Giant sunflowers - seedlings given to us by a neighbour > 8ft tall! loads of seeds!
Weiner Runder Kohlschwarzer
Black currants
Broad beans
Peas (didn't plant enough)
Borage - grew fast from seed planted in July.
Globe Artichokes

Failures (or less successful)
Courgettes and squash - poor yield, leaves got mouldy
Tomatoes - blight
Potatoes under plastic - slugs, plastic blew off - poor yield, green potatoes, blight
Daikon - early planting went to seed, and had worms
Purple sprouting broc - took up loads of space, and is now being decimated but caterpillars.
Dwarf sunflowers - slugs got them all
Red onions - went to seed.
Lettuce - slugs, etc.
Apples - blossom dropped off.
Corn - didn't get pollinated properlyGarlic - was in a poor location

Anyhow, of course we will try again next year, and already have our overwintering onions in, lots more daikon, kale, chard, mizuna, mispoona, brussles sprouts, and more carrots in planters.

Overall, we had a good amount of food from the garden, though not enough to feed ourselves. We did have some wonderful local dinners with either beef from my brothers farm - 3 miles away, or local venison.

The same brother is raising a turkey for us for Christmas, so that promises to be a good feast - we should try to get a local ham too. And some Ballinagore records.

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