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I like to know if anyone is looking at my blog so please comment, if you can think of something, to say or e-mail me at madsmckeever@eircom.net

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cattle shed in conversion to drying room

videoHere's a little video of Malcolm Rowley working on the new drying room. We had a lot of difficulties drying stuff last year and so the cattle have been evicted from the sunny south-facing part of the barn to the central section where we used to milk the cows. Malcolm is going to glaze the south, east and west walls of the lean3 creating a giant conservatory/drying room.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Orychophragmus violaceus February orchid

Joy Larkcom gave me seeds of this plant, which I abused soundly all winter in the polytunnel. When I went out in a recent gale to try and close the doors I found that the ground cover had come loose and battered the poor plants. They were already suffering from me going out in the dark and grabbing random handfuls of greens for salad and from a lack of watering since I don't know when. In spite of all that they decided to flower in the middle of January. I suppose that's why they are called February Orchid's. They are not orchids at all at all but a Crucifer called Orychophragmus violaceus They are pretty enough to be orchids. Their mauve flowers grace the header on this page. The leaves are quite variable some deeply serrated and others quite smooth with a mild but interesting flavour in salads. Joy tells me it has two Chinese names, 'Eryuelan' meaning February Orchid and 'Zhuge cai' or Zhuge's vegetable, after a 3rd centuary general called Zuge Liang. I'm going to try it outside next year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The office is festooned with the results of business guru, and good neighbour, Bridget of Nua Training and Development. When Brown Envelope Seeds was germinating in my mind I went to one of Bridget and Sheilanne's courses and learnt all about starting a business. They probably told us how to keep it running but I forgot all that and now that gardening is the new golf around here, I am a victim of my own success and have no idea how to organise a slightly larger enterprise. I have never worked in an office and the so-called room always has a burgled look about it. I can usually find things in it but it isn't easy for Ruth who is here some of the time. Mike is also keen to become more involved and so last Monday we spent the morning coming up with ideas about how to make it all run smoothly and to approach the thorny issue of PC versus Mac. The upside for me is that it looks like I might spend less time working on the address list and stuffing envelopes and more outside growing things. If only we could organise the weather as easily.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nothing to do with seeds but just trying out uploading video