Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Photography at the permaculture project

The 'Knitting Mochimochi' book arrived off Amazon on Thursday - it's alright, but I won't be rushing to make any of the patterns.  Amigurumi is best with crochet and I don't think those type of toys knit up very well.  So overall only a 3 out of 5 for this book.

After waiting in all day, and just as I'd given up hope of the delivery arriving, at 5.30pm our new Virgin HD+ box finally came.  This means we can watch some HD channels as well as being able to record TV.  It's all set up and is very easy to use.  I've already programmed it to record our favourite stuff.

On Saturday we went to Pennington Flash with Chris's brother Dennis, as it was Dennis's 40th birthday on Sunday and we went over to drop off his card and present.  Pennington Flash is a lake/nature reserve near to Bolton.  Dennis is a keen birdwatcher and there are lots of hides to watch wildlife from.  We saw some jays, I narrowly missed seeing a woodpecker, and we saw lots of finches too (greenfinches, bullfinches, chaffinches).  We just missed seeing a kingfisher as well.  It's a great place to go birdwatching.  Afterwards we visited Chris's Mum.

On Sunday I weeded under the tomatoes (with my new onion hoe - which works very well but is also very sharp!) and I weeded the top greenhouse (which is swarming with ants).  I feel like I'm more or less on top of the weeding now - but not for long, they'll soon be back.  Stef and Jo came to pick some fruit and veg and Jo breast fed her baby in the top greenhouse.

I picked lots of gooseberries and made a gooseberry crunble.  I topped and tailed the gooseberries first, then sprinkled them with sugar before covering them with a crumble topping (using the recipe from Delia's Complete Cookery Course book).  There was a lot of juice in the gooseberries so maybe I should have cooked them in a pan first before draining some of the liquid off.

I booked the day off work on Monday and went to a free 'Photography in your garden' course at the Offshoots permaculture project in Burnley.  A professional photographer ran the course and we got to spend an hour in the Offshoots garden taking photos.  There was a little competition at the end and my photos were chosen as the winner!  Here are some of the photos I took:

Offshoots had a great technique for keeping their cucumbers and squashes under control - they suspended wide netting from the ceiling to floor and kept the plants behind the nets - it certainly stops the curcubits from rambling all over the place.

Afterwards I decided to have a look around Towneley Hall, as Offshoots is based within Towneley Hall's gardens.

There was a freaky display of pearly queens and kings costumes.

Some cool knitted tea cosies.

As well as a recreation of a Victorian kitchen.

Which leads me nicely onto my next item...

The Victorian Kitchen Garden/Victorian Flower Garden/Victorian Kitchen (3 series) DVD had arrived off Amazon when I got home from the course, so I made the most of the rest of my day off and settled down to watch a few episodes.  It's an old series (80s or 90s) but it's very informative and I'm enjoying seeing how the Victorians grew fruit and veg, many of which were new to them, such as melon and peaches.  There's about 9 hours to watch altogether so it should keep me busy for a while.  A highly recommended DVD (it was pricey though at £26).

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