Sunday, 16 May 2010

Gardening Week!

Gardening Week at the new St Catherines Walk, Carmarthen.
The Pumpkin Patch recently set up camp in the new St Catherines Walk shopping center in Carmarthen. Not the usual place to dig, plant and design a garden...but we did!
The Cottage garden, a mixture of flowers and vegetables, and a cottage!!

Below, the kitchen garden full of beans and peas carrots, salads,
a gooseberry bush and trailing tomatoes, all in a square meter!

Below, The children of Johnstown school showing us their Cottage garden
(just before their long walk back to school!)

Five local primary schools took part. Each one planted up a square meter with plants relating to the theme they had chosen. We had two wildlife gardens, a cottage garden, a beekeepers garden and a kitchen garden.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Spring Lamb and Green Fingers!

The spring has well and truly arrived with lovely bright mornings and light evenings .. a great time for gardeners! The crisp early mornings are still cold enough to damage small seedlings, so we still need to be careful about what we plant out.

Just to remind ourselves that Spring really was on it's way, we got ourselves five little (tiny!) pet lambs. Very sweet, very cuddly, adored by the children, but lots and lots of bottle feeding!!

The greenhouse is now full of seed trays which need regular watering.

Don't forget that even when it rains.... it doesn't rain in the greenhouse!!

So far we have French climbing beans (purple – remember the magic beans from last year?), French dwarf beans (yellow), Pumpkins (of course!), Swiss chard, peas and sweet peas, Parsley and leeks, Gourds, courgettes, and mixed salad leaves.

* * *

I've had a great time digging and planting and now it's your turn! The vegetable plots are looking bare ...time to get busy! We do have a few broad beans coming through and the onion sets are growing nicely, but it's now time to plant beetroot and radish, rocket and lettuce directly into the ground (now that they won't be damaged by late frosts)

. . . .

The potato tubers we placed in the greenhouse have now chitted (produced little shoots) and also need planting into well manured trenches. This year we are only planting those knobbly little Anya and Pink Fir Apple salad varieties. They are difficult to find in shops and are very expensive... so a great vegetable to grow for ourselves!

After months of worrying about the bees, and whether they would survive such a bitterly cold winter.... out they came! They've been out and busy in the garden for weeks now. The next worry is... will they swarm, when and to where? Our job now is to keep an eye on them and to check them regularly.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

West Wales Food Festival

What a day!! Well 2 days really!!

Last weekend (May bank holiday)
 The Pumpkin Patch held cookery workshops at the West Wales Food Festival, at the National Botanic Gardens,Wales.

 We basked in the lovely sunshine and warmth of the great glasshouse.
 We made Welsh cakes, Funtastic Fritters and Smoothies with almost 100 children and teenagers. Mums, Dads were itching to take part but it was a children only zone!

 Here are the recipes for those keen to have a go at home!
(The other language is Welsh!)

My Family Welsh Cakes


110g Butter / Menyn
80g Sugar / Siwgr
225g Self Raising Flour
50g Currants / Cwrents
1 Egg / 1 Wy
Pinch of Salt / Halen

Milk, if needed / Llaeth os oes angen
Butter and caster sugar to serve /Menyn a siwgr i orffen 

Now the fun bit...How to make them!

Wash your hands!! (don't forget that I write the recipes for children!!)
Sift the flour and rub in the butter
(until the butter totally disappears into the flour... magic!)
Stir in the sugar and the fruit.
Whisk the egg in a small bowl and add to the mixture.
Mix to a firm dough using a little milk if needed.
Roll out to 5mm thickness (on a floured surface) and cut into small circles.
Place onto a hot griddle / frying pan, turn once, cook until golden.
Sprinkle with caster sugar, and serve!   .... Mmmm!!

I hope you love them!! We do!