Sunday 29 July 2018

Little T's Garden

Hello friends.  I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time, but with one thing and another it has gotten pushed to the side and forgotten.  This heatwave that has been going on for what seems like forever, has finally broken and I am loving the freshness of the air and the sound of the raindrops outside my window.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to take some time to write on my blog.

Everything is growing really well this year with all the hot weather.  It has taken some considerable efforts to keep everything watered though and little T has been very helpful on that front.  As you all know we do not have a garden at home and so our allotment garden has become our haven and we love to spend as much time there as possible.  Mostly little T likes to sit in a shady spot and read while I get on with the gardening.  He does love to help with planting new things though and has asked for his own "bit of earth".  So we decided to make a small bed for little T to call his own.  We have chosen to implement the square foot gardening method, this way he can grow lots of different kinds of vegetables all in a small space...

How to make a square foot garden

We built a 4 foot square raised bed purchased from Amazon.  The planks easily slotted together with a bit of help from a rubber mallet.  The bed was placed directly onto the weedy grass so we covered the bottom with a mixture of old cardboard and newspaper (this blocks out the weeds).  We then added some mostly rotted homemade compost in the bottom and topped it off with a couple of bags of bought compost.  

We added small nails at 1 foot increments and then made a square foot grid with some twine. 

Little T added his chosen plants...

Cabbage and strawberries...

...  and found a furry caterpillar hiding in the grass.

Have any of you tried the square foot gardening method?  Please let me know in the comments below...

Take care

Sunday 8 July 2018

Recipe - Bramble Berry Vodka

This hot weather has been doing crazy things to our berry patch at the kitchen garden.  We have so many berries ready for picking and many more ripening on the bushes.  Little T has been really enjoying picking them and enjoying the berry crumbles even more. 

A couple of years ago I made some blackberry vodka and it was delicious, so I thought I might have a go at a mixed berry version.  He's how I made it...

Bramble Berry Vodka

You will need...
A few handfuls of berries (we used blackberries and the mystery berries, you can read about them here)
Sugar to taste (around 150 g)
Vodka (the cheap kind is fine)
A large jar

First give the berries a good wash...

...then add them to your jar...

...tip in the sugar...

...and cover with vodka.  

Give the jar a good shake and leave in a cool dark place for a few weeks shaking every day until the sugar is dissolved.

When your vodka is ready it will be look all gorgeous and berry coloured.  It can now be strained and bottled.  Be sure to have a little taste to check for sweetness and adjust if necessary (you might need to test a few times just to be sure).  Oh and try not to drink it all at once...

What's your favourite thing to make with summer berries?  I would love to hear in the comments below...



Pattern Testing - Granny Square Summer Bonnet

Hello everyone!  I have a new pattern ready for testing.  It is a cute granny square baby bonnet perfect for keeping little ones cool in this hot weather we are having.  This is the first of 3 sun hat patterns and will be released as part of an e-book. 

Granny Square Summer Bonnet

If you would like to take part in testing this adorable pixie style sun hat, head on over to The Testing Pool on Ravelry where the test will be taking place.  You need not be an experienced tester or crocheter.  This pattern is suitable for beginners and I will be available to help all the way through the process.

Enjoy the sunshine!