When I'm out in the mornings sometimes a scene will just catch my eye. This shot of the chicken coop with swale, hay shed and hills in the background jumped out at me as the sun was peeping out from the clouds. I'm working at getting an abundant, diverse environment whether it be in the swales, the kitchen garden, veggie garden or even around the chicken coop. Here I've got jerusalem artichokes shading the side walls, wormwood to help keep pesky mites at bay and a baby grape vine. One day I hope this vine will cover over the run to provide some more shade but also an abundance of grapes, having been fertilised by the compost layer in the run. Slowly, slowly, it all comes together!
In the front chicken area are beautiful sunflowers grown from seed that the chickens have missed when they had foraged through this area. Also growing well are some pumpkin vines. It won't be until I move the chickens through here again that I will discover how many pumpkins the vines have actually produced.
Another day I was observing all the different insects in the garden and above are just a few that I was able to capture. I don't know what they are, except maybe the lady bird down the end, but they all have a beautiful array of markings on them. I'd love to discover more about who they are and their role in the critter world - maybe there's an insect ID app out there that I should be getting!
The tomatoes, while slowing down a little, are still quite plentiful and taking up lots of my time in the kitchen. My favourites, dehydrated tomatoes and fermented salsa, are being made in abundance and I've started on tomato paste. The paste is a good one for getting a lot of tomatoes processed, if not quickly, at least easily and it preserves that sweet, tangy flavour of these delicious tomatoes beautifully.
At this time of year when cooking my dinner I find making a big batch of something and freezing the excess works well to help preserve food for later. One of my current favourites is ratatouille. I added some to my lamb chops and popped quite a few cubes of it in the freezer for another time. If I'm not harvesting or cooking lately it feels like I've been shelling beans. Last week it was borlotti's and this week I managed to get the frost beans and ukranian climbing beans all ready for the pantry. I just love the different colours of dried beans!!
Well that's from me - have a great week!!