We believe February was the wettest month we have experienced so far on the land in the seven years we have been here. Most days saw a mix of sleet, snow, rain and lots of windy gusts. Our stream is at an all time high.
We were very pleased to see that over one hundred (!) frogs came back to our small pond for their mating season. It is now a completely full of frogspawn and mounds of it can be seen on the surface.
We have lots of lovely flowers already and any day now we expect to see the first hungry bumblebees foraging for a snack.
In the vegetable department we cleared a bed and planted out hundreds of onion sets for an unlimited access to onions in the coming months. We always put them in close together and then harvest some early in the season for their lovely green shoots and let the rest mature into full size bulbs for storing. Up until now the beds have been covered in dried up nasturtiums and other plant material and when removing this we found lovely black soil built up over the years from different mulches and full of life. We really can’t think of a better way to grow vegetables than in a no dig, raised bed system.
The nettles are starting to make an appearance all over the land and we are looking forward to making soup and pesto in the very near future.
Around our main circle we have continued to tidy up and the next big job will be to weave a new fence around the cardoons and globe artichokes. For this we will use some ash posts for uprights and lots of bamboo for weaving, all grown here on the land and coppiced for this purpose. We are very happy to be at a stage where we can make all our own plant supports from materials from the plot.
We have also thought about ways to boost our immune systems and for this purpose we dug out an old favourite recipe for a spicy peanut sauce. It is it is completely delicious on everything and anything and the fact that it is full of ingredients that will help combat viruses and unfriendly bacteria is a bonus.
We never use precise measures so how much you use of the different ingredients is up to your personal taste. You will need;
Garlic cloves, peeled
Fresh ginger, peeled in pieces
Fresh turmeric, peeled or powder if you can’t find any
Chillies or chili sauce of your choice
Peanuts or peanut butter or other nuts or nut butter that you prefer
Stevia, honey, sugar or other sweetener of your choice
Vinegar of your choice, we like rice or balsamic
Enough water or bullion to make a thick sauce consistency
Start by toasting the cumin and coriander seeds in a hot dry pan carefully as they burn quickly. Crush them in a pestle and mortar and add to a mixer or food processor. Add all the other ingredients and process until fairly smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of ingredients until you are happy.
We love to eat this in generous amounts with salads, stir-fries and omelettes.