Preparing for Winter..during a summer heatwave..oh yes!

Yes we are currently enjoying scorching temperatures here in the UK. ..and how lovely it is too!  But that doesn’t mean we can forget that Winter creeps up on us silently and before we know it we are wearing our woolly jumpers  and lugging firewood inside again.

So today I have been preparing for Autumn and Winter by harvesting garlic and onions to store for later in the year and by drying even MORE herbs to put by for the colder months.

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Two types of mint and oregano go into the dehydrator today.

I shall be drying blackcurrants, peas, sliced onion, more nettle tops, clover flowers, elderberries, tomatoes, sage ..and lots more. Having just been gifted 30 large sweet jars from our local sweet shop, I now have plenty of dry storage space for them all.

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Preparing my homegrown garlic for plaiting and storing

Garlic will be dried off in the sun and then plaited and hung up . I have strung some onions already.. They are hanging in the cottage lean-to. All the small loose ones will get used first or sliced and dehydrated,  to add to soups and stews in Winter. This year my onion harvest was poor compared to last year, so I may end up having to buy some in! I use a lot of onions.

Although I do still have perennial onions in the ground so all is not lost.

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The cottage kitchen smells divine..mint and oregano scent the rooms!

I shall be lifting some of the wild horseradish that grows on the riverbank here and making horseradish sauce too. I love the hot spiciness of horseradish. Surplus can be frozen, dehydrated or stored in boxes of dry sand over winter. Here are a few more ways to use and store this pungent root.

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Wild horseradish

So still lots to do…and although I am enjoying the sunshine, my mind is always thinking about the leaner months ahead  x

My Scoop-it collection of interesting permaculture links

My Scoop-it collection of interesting permaculture links

Lots of permaculture related  links and articles on my scoop it page

Simple pleasures.

Today has been a proper spring day. A day of sunshine and birdsong.  It has been wonderful to be able to work outside all day.

In the last few days I have planted willow for arches, sown seeds, spread compost, weeded veg beds, got out of bed and checked on the goats each night at 1 am and 4:30 am, fed and watered and cleaned out hens, quail, duck and geese.  Fed and hayed and watered ponies and cleaned their paddock. Walked dogs,  met up with neighbours and enjoyed the dry sunny days!

There are buds appearing on plants everywhere.  It is time to sow seeds. My greenhouse is filling up. Baby animals are due to be born. Life feels good.

The simple pleasures of spending time out in nature are the best.

Here is to new beginnings.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Please don’t copy my photos or use any them without permission . Thank you.

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Goats in the sunshine. A day before Tansy’s official due date.

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Marigold

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Marigold.. such a sweety.

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Very fat Tansy

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Tag and Peaches snuggle on the sofa

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Through the honeysuckle arch

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Teasel heads by the river

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Looking over the garden boundary

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One of my living willow arches. Can’t wait for it to green up!

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Tiny woven nest-box..tucked away in some ivy..We had wrens in it last year.

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Spring sunshine in the garden. The heather is in bloom!

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Garlic ..planted in Autumn last year

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Time for a rest

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Willow arch by the gate

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Shadows across the garden

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Holly-Hot- Pants after a dunk in the water

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Marigold rests and chews the cud

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Marigold deals with an itch

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Pregnant Tansy

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The river and our tiny jetty

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View out of one of the side gates

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Robin nest box in the honeysuckle

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Nest-boxes of all shapes and sizes ..everywhere!

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One of our three bat boxes

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Hens in their winter shed whilst the land is rested

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Over wintered leeks