Wednesday, 4 May 2011

more gardening

Quite a lot of the seedlings mentioned in my last post have found homes. Not all of them have survived the lack of rain, and watering is an onorous evening task. No hose here. The water barrels are all empty. However we do have a well in the vegetable garden. Not a well with a pump or anything convenient like that. We chuck a watering can with a rock in it into the well, holding on to the rope which is attached to it. We hold the watering can under the water with a stick until it is full. Then we haul it back up the steps of the well losing quite a bit of the water on the way, and then  set off to water one of the 30 rows, and repeat the process many more times. It's rustic! But things are growing and it's looking good.
I have been having a go at growing pea shoots and micro leaves in the green house. I have sprouted seeds for years now, and they are sometimes on our super salads at The Bay Tree. While sprouting seeds just involves rinsing the seeds twice a day, the micro leaves are grown very thickly in compost. I have a lovely box of purple basil seedlings or micro leaves, which i can't bring myself to cut so gorgeous are they. The other box of Basil I didn't manage to sow thickly enough, so they aren't quite so successful. I must keep sowing and keep them coming.
The Bay Tree is entering summer mode. We will be experimenting with lighter dishes, and I will be looking up Skye Gyngell and Nigella Lawson for inspiration.Maybe even Delia might help. When designing menus, I like to think what I personally would want to eat on a night, or lunch, out. We want to offer light, tasty and gutsy food, using ,sometimes, unusual ingredients, and we need to be able to serve it quickly and easily. My brother Nick says that a dish should have no more than 3 parts so that it can be accomplished speedily. I always bear this in mind.

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