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Some lovely friends of ours invited us round for tea last night – a scrumptious Jamie Oliver recipe from his Italy book of Sausages and Green Lentils with Tomato Salsa.  It’s one I’ve been meaning to try for a while…and now we’ve tasted it I’ll definitely be making it myself.

It’s always nice to take a little gift when you go out for dinner, so with the sun shining I headed down the garden to gather a small edible bunch of herbs. 

I collected mint, golden marjoram, rosemary, fennel fronds, flat leaf parsley and some jolly purple chive flowers.  All tied up with some purple raffia it was a simple but pretty gift that not only looked nice but could be used in cooking as well. 

We are off this weekend to visit my family and do some more wedding planning – this weekend ‘food’ is on the agenda.  We want a seasonal May wedding next year so the idea is to go to Stroud Farmer’s Market to see what’s available at the moment and dream up delicious dishes for our wedding feast.

I took these photos about a week ago but haven’t got around to posting them yet.  Up until this year, the only type of radishes I’ve grown (and my favourite) are French Breakfast – those gorgeous elongated pink bulbs which fade to white around their middle.

This year, I was tempted by a packet of Rainbow radishes and here’s the first harvest.  So far we have pulled up pink ones, red ones, purple ones, yellow ones and white ones.  They are all very fiery – especially the yellow and white kind.  However, they are so pretty I can’t complain.

We have nearly finished with the first lot I planted, and the next lot are nearly mature.  Other than herbs and the odd baby leaf, these are the first harvest from our garden.

Mr Rigg rustled up some homemade pizzas last night to enjoy in the garden for dinner.  This incredible heatwave we’re experiencing in England this weekend has rendered us useless – the heat is just too heavy to do much of anything.

We used our tried and tested Jamie Oliver pizza dough recipe which can be found here.   I made a simple tomato sauce: some sliced garlic cooked gently in olive oil, a sprinkle of dried wild oregano, add a tin of blitzed up cherry tomatoes, and season with salt, pepper and Agave syrup or honey if a little extra sweetness wanted/needed.

After the pizzas were cooked in a hot oven topped with the homemade tomato sauce and grated mozzarella we wandered down to the bottom of the garden in search of some extras.

We garnished our pizzas with some baby salad leaves, a sprinkle of chive flowers and some shreds of proscuitto.  Sliced into wedges on a wooden board to share – no cutlery needed. 

I wish the weekend would never end.

Last weekend I planted my first vegetable seeds of the year…peas…broad beans…little gem lettuce…and Angelica (a first for me).

As you can see the first signs of life are poking through – how exciting!

Pea seedlings

Pea seedling

Pea seedling

I am busy getting ready for a week long conference next week at work, so am unlikely to get a chance to post properly for a week or so. 

Hopefully I might be able to post some pictures this weekend of our allotment – we managed to get down there last weekend and do a bit of clearing.  It’s not very exciting but must be done!

Happy gardening all of your who are lucky enough to be in your gardens getting ready for the spring!

We woke up to this…

Snow on the canal

We had about 5-6 inches in our part of Cheshire, and it’s still snowing.  It’s a white winter wonderland and snow drifts like I can’t remember.  It is wonderful.

Neither N or I have been able to leave the house for work today as the roads are thick with snow and ice.  Those who dare go out in their cars are sliding all over the place, or getting stuck.  We helped push one car out of snow this morning.

Snow on the canal

This morning we went for a walk around our local woodland.  On the way we stopped and made a snow…bear!

Snow Bear

Here is me with our snow bear…

Snow Bear

Isn’t he cute…

Snow Bear

Everything in the garden is sagging beneath the weight of the snow…

Snow garden

But the bunnies are having fun…

Snow bunny

Snow bunny

Snow bunny

It is snowing here!  How exciting – it never snows here, it only ever rains…and rains some more.  So we are very excited to see big white flakes tumbling from the sky.

The bunnies have been out having fun in the snow – our littlest bunny and newest addition to our family seems to be getting along well with Lovage and so fingers-crossed will be staying…

She has a name too – Daisy.

Here is Lovage and Daisy having fun in the snow…

Borage, Lovage and Daisy had their first Christmas present (I didn’t know bunnies got presents at Christmas!) delivered today from the lovely Carole and Geoff at Fed & Watered.  Carole and Geoff, along with a lady called Clare are our bunnies ‘furry godmothers’ – they come and look after the bunnies when we go away on holiday.  They come highly recommended!

It’s been a miserable day here today – wet and wild.  While I was stood by the bird table crumbling up some stale bread, my two little mice friends appeared!  I thought they had gone, got by the fat cat who ate my robin babies, but no!  Maybe not the original mice I saw, but a pair nonetheless.  They were so sweet, scampering out of the shrubs to grab morsels of bread as I dropped it.

So we have spent the evening cosy inside, N watching rugby and me browsing the internet.  I came across this lovely ‘Waste Not Want Not’ table runner at one of my favourite shops, Re-found Objects.  How lovely is that!  Definitely one for the Christmas wish list.

wastenot
Image: Re-found Objects

lovage

After a long week with the little sister (who’s been staying with us while on work experience) things are finally getting back to normal in our house.  The weather is surprisingly mild and you might even describe it as sunny! 

N and I spent the day in the garden doing a number of jobs.  N has been re-filling, re-sanding and re-painting our ‘new’ old front door which has been a nightmare (it’s a long story…) – this is what it will look like one day (but not left white – we’re going to paint it a lovely dark sea blue)…

frontdoor

I tidied my vegetable beds a bit and started to sand my new desk top which has been fashioned out of an old ledge-and-brace door. 

I have been trimming the raspberry canes, cutting down sprawling mint (which is all over my garden), and digging up the remaining carrots and spring onions.  Just look at those carrots – slightly overgrown and unloved…

carrots

And these are the Paris Silverskin onions I planted back in the spring, that have been utterly neglected with our manic summer – I’m going to try using them as normal onions, or perhaps in a salad, we’ll just have to see if they taste of anything…

springonions

The bunnies were both out and about today.  Borage was in the run and Lovage had free reign of the garden…he was discovered in one of the raised beds amongst the carrots.  Rather than munching on the carrot tops from those that I had dug up, he was sampling those on the small carrots that are still growing – grr!

naughtylovage

And here is Lovage flying through the air as he leaps across a hedge of garden cuttings and a tangle of nasturiums!

flyingbunny

This is Lovage’s new den…

lovagesden

Back tomorrow with a recipe – not sure which one yet!

mrrobin

Mr Robin has returned to my garden!  Maybe it is a new Mr Robin, but whichever, I am delighted to see him back again.  He sits on a post at the end of our garden, just about the time we get home from work, and sings a cheerful song.

mrrobin2

I am so hopefully that he will find a nice Mrs Robin (or already has one!) and that they will consider my garden as a place to bring up a nestful of babies in the spring.  This time I am prepared with a selection of nest boxes that I’m going to get N to put up round the garden, so that this doesn’t happen again…

I have also seen a wren in the garden!!  How lovely 🙂

Other news – my vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden is a jungle.  There are nasturtiums trailing and twisting over everything, the raspberries have gone mad and are about 2m tall, the poor little crab apple is groaning under the weight of its orange fruit, and the buckler leaved sorrel has, well – taken over!

myjunglegarden

Tips on how to sort out the raspberries would be good, I’m never very good at reading a book and working out what I need to do!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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