Home Grown and Home Made Food

 

bealtainecottage.com 041

The cost of food has risen and the overall quality has dropped.

Much of the fruit and vegetables being sold in the supermarkets may look good, but the taste is somewhat lacking. Considering these issues, it is fair to say that there could not be a better time to grow your own food, as well as make, cook and bake your own food!

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 004

Today I have been harvesting potatoes and clearing the beds for the next planting or simply for mulching down with cardboard and straw.

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 003

The compost heap is growing by the day as the beds are cleared and tidied.

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 001

Elsewhere in the gardens, the burgeoning beds await their turn to be harvested.

This Golden Oregano will dry nicely and ensure tasty tomato sauces all winter!

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 005

This is a sheltered part of the fruit gardens to leave the potatoes in the ground for a while to come.

Those at the back of the picture will stay where they are.

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 006

You may remember how I mulched this ground last Autumn, using cardboard, straw and shreddings…now you can see the value of this exercise.

The earth is in good condition and any weeds that did grow were very easy to pull.

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 007

This gives you some idea of how permaculture works…a forest garden with lots of shelter, biodiversity and ultimately, resilience!

bealtainecottage.cottage.com 008

Lots of leaf drop feeds the soil, building a much needed fertility.

bealtainecottage.com 068

Meanwhile, indoors, one of the few electrical items I own is ready to do a lot of sewing.

I also have a hand sewing machine for less labour intensive tasks.

bealtainecottage.com 076

And in the kitchen I’ve been baking bread and making Houmous Dip.

There really is no comparison to home made and home grown food!

Life in the Country at Christmas

Living miles from the nearest town, beyond a fair stretch of the legs, shopping becomes an event…not to be treated in a casual way at all!

There is no such thing as, ‘just popping out to the shops,’ as the journey there and back can be costly on limited resources, such as petrol for the car.

Running out of food is simply not an option, so a pantry is essential, where a good stock of food can be built up and held in reserve.

The pantry really comes into it’s own at Christmas and other festivals where visitors are expected to descend with little notice…and the tradition is to always feed the visitor!

As the pantry is a cool, dark place, storing food is easy, much better than a fridge in some cases, especially when it comes to cakes, home made bread, vegetables and the like.

The Victorians were especially adept at designing and building pantries and larders.  However, there appears to be little inclusion of this excellent feature in any modern design. I would even go so far as to say that few architects would even have heard of this small, but very essential room.

I used to live in an old Victorian house in London that came complete with a stone slabbed pantry, with fine mesh wire window, facing north for ultimate coolness!

Ideally the only light to penetrate the pantry is an artificial light or weak light from the north.

It is possible to build a small pantry in any home and I have even seen them made from wood, lined with various materials, in city apartments. 

The pantry here at Bealtaine Cottage is well stocked. Over the course of this week it will fill up with home baked goodies. Jellies and cakes will jostle with cans and jars on the shelves.

Christmas cannot be bought…well, not here at any rate!