Sixty at Sixty

In 2022 I will reach the fine old age of sixty, one of those milestones in life that you imagine will never happen, but there you go. I hated reaching fifty but these last ten years have taught me many things, including that life will throw things at you in ways that you don’t expect. So Sixty is to be celebrated. I plan various ways of doing that (see end of post for details) but one is to see if I can harvest sixty different edible plants from the garden and allotment this year. It sounds like a lot but … Continue reading Sixty at Sixty

Apple and walnut scones

It was a day for using up nearly the last of the Howgate Wonder apples. I remembered making apple and walnut bread a couple of years ago – all on the blog here – and that it had been slightly unsatisfactory, my conclusion being that the recipe would be better adapted as scones. So scones it was – and gosh they were good. So revised recipe here: Apple and Walnut Scones 250g wholemeal flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g grated cheese 50g chopped walnuts 2 apples, chopped up small (or one Howgate Wonder) 3 eggs … Continue reading Apple and walnut scones

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2021

We come to the end of another year. What is there to say about 2021? Too much really but here on Reclaiming Paradise it is time to celebrate all that has been good, surprising or downright disappointing in the garden and allotment. Wonderful weather The winter brought some wonderful frost, snow and ice The cowometer came back into use – for a view of its highest reading since records began, see here We also had impressive thunderstorms and flooding in July (no photos) but the award goes to the ice on the pond in February which enabled Bella to perfect … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2021

Six on the first day of May

After a long hard winter, suddenly it’s the first of May and it’s still a bit nippy outside. However, today is also Saturday so in this post I’ll try and summarise what I found on this May morning in six themes for #SixOnSaturday Seedlings on my windowsill – green cucumbers doing rather well, all sorts of tomatoes growing nicely and, in the photo on the right, four new seedlings of the giant tomato Costuluto Fiorentino, which I thought had failed to germinate this year. Actually, make that five, I’ve just noticed a tiny seedling in the pot behind as well. … Continue reading Six on the first day of May

Chatting about the blog

I recently talked about the blog on a podcast – link here, recorded by musicians Besingende Ged├ílland for their Wordlende series. Wordlende is a ‘chance to talk, commune and conspire with individuals who involve environmental practices in their day to day life’. Other podcasts in the series tell you about music, foraging and the wonders of nature. You’ll find me talking mainly about vegetables, but also about growing up in Shetland, the joy of seedlings, sharing tomatoes and spiky cucumbers, the wonder of apples, making weed pesto, environmental issues and how a song by Joni Mitchell inspired the name for … Continue reading Chatting about the blog

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

So we come to the end of 2020, a difficult year for all of us, but here at Reclaiming Paradise we like to celebrate what’s gone well (and not so well) in the garden and allotment. Every year we have some prizes and each year we add some new ones. Most Dramatic Vegetable This has been a good vegetable year. Most things have grown well and we haven’t had any unmanageable gluts. For an update on most of them, see my post on the 26 vegetables for the 2.6 challenge. Some stars have been: onions, peas (of course), marrows, cucumbers … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

26 vegetables – update

Seven months ago I used the fundraiser “26 challenge” to see if I could find 26 fruit and vegetable plants in the garden. See the results here and an update at midsummer here . I though you might like to see how my 26 vegetables got on as winter sets in. Here as they were in April and at their harvest peak. Apples Howgate Wonder have been wondrous as always – about 14 apples I think, which is not the biggest crop but they’ve been just as big as usual. 2. Apples Red Falstaff have been quite prolific – the … Continue reading 26 vegetables – update

Midsummer

It’s the midsummer solstice and I was having a look round the garden to see what is growing this sunny weekend. I remembered the twenty-six vegetables which I wrote about two months ago and wondered how they are all doing. Two months on, they are (nearly) all flourishing. Here’s an update: Apples Howgate Wonder – have developed pingpong ball sized fruits. Not so many as last year but they should grow to their usual grapefruit sized wonders 2. Apples, Red Falstaff, growing well and reddening up nicely 3. Apples, Sunset, promising clusters of fruit 4. Blackcurrants, never the most prolific … Continue reading Midsummer

Twenty- six vegetables

We’ve been wondering about doing something to support the #2.6challenge with various ideas about 26 thises and 2.6 thats to raise money for struggling charities. ‘I bet I’ve got 26 different vegetables growing in the garden right now’, I boasted. Reader, I do (if you include fruit). I pondered the best way to list them and decided on alphabetical order. 1. Apples – Howgate Wonder – just coming into bud – for more about these beauties see here 2. Apples – Red Falstaff – flowers just opening 3. Apples – Sunset – in full bloom 4. Blackcurrants – tiny buds … Continue reading Twenty- six vegetables

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2019

And so the year turns again. As we move towards the 2020s, we look back at the high and low points of 2019 in the garden and allotment with the annual Reclaiming Paradise Awards. Most successful vegetable My garden and allotment are all about vegetables and this year has seen a great crop. Among the successes have been: Swiss chard, peas and beans, potatoes, tomatoes, marrows, courgettes, cucumbers, sprouts: The peas come a close runner up, but the winners for 2019 are the onions, overwintered in the garden and on the allotment, followed by a second summer crop on the … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2019