Tag Archives: fruit

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…

autumn

And annoying neighbours burning wet leaves and effectively smoking you out of your own garden.  I tell you, if I wasn’t so tired from all I have done today, and interested in rotting my leaves down for soil improvement purposes… I would return the favour.  When their washing is on the line.  Just saying.

Anyway… Autumn is officially here.  The nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning brown and falling off (they don’t really turn pretty colours in the UK… they just go brown and hit the deck), and in theory, the garden should be full of stuff to harvest and store for the winter.  Obviously, this year we haven’t had a chance to really get our garden producing anything much because we haven’t been in it long enough.  I can tell you we have had a lovely crop of tomatoes, our chilli peppers are looking great, we have some aubergines (eggplants) coming on in the greenhouse, we have had 6 cucumbers from 1 plant, which I think is pretty awesome… Over all, I am really happy with what we have managed to produce.

pretty veg patch

But… ooh the plans that I have.  First of all though we need to dispose of a box hedge which is in the way, and then I am going to dig myself a veg patch.  We are going to grow those veggies which we love to eat – peas, beans, courgettes, pumpkins, onions, lettuce, radishes, potatoes (but in bags, not in the ground), carrots (the same as the potatoes), beetroot, spinach, maybe I will try some brussels sprouts (though maybe not… cos they can be tricky little blighters.)  The patch is going to have a border of dwarf fruit trees (which we already have and which are currently in pots) and a little fence as well – with strawberries growing by the little fence as well.  Can you picture it?

One of the beds which currently houses a whole load of fuschias (shudder – I loathe the things) and other assorted items which have self seeded there, will be cleared and it will become my medicinal herb bed, with a backdrop of the most gorgeous peonies.  Lots of lovely things will grow there… and will no doubt feature in future blog posts as well!

shrbbery

All of the specimen plants which can be moved, will be transplanted across the lawn to the perennial border.  That needs a serious haircut on all fronts.  And I have some bay trees which have got all wild and wooly this year and need significant taming.  (I wish it looked half as nice as the one in the picture at Sheringham Park!!  Maybe in a few years time…!)

So, autumn might be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness… but it is also the time for fervent planning and plotting, as well as dreaming of future produce.  So tonight I shall dream of full cornucopia… and a medicine cabinet full of home made remedies.

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Raspberries, raspberries, raspberries.

I LOVE them.

allotment raspberries

The smell, the taste (especially the taste), how they grow, the variety you can have, their long season… I love it all!  In fact, there was one occasion my mother in law gave me a supermarket plastic bag filled with them.  On my 30 minute drive home, I managed to eat all the raspberries in that bag.  I looked like a small child with them smeared all over my face when I got back to my house!  Ooooh but the tasted so nice.  Sure, the little seeds that get in your teeth can be a little bit annoying, but I’ll cope with them.

 

I know I have written about raspberries before.  I remember being shocked at how powerful they are, so I won’t repeat myself.  Have a search through the blogs and see what you can find.

backgarden raspberries

In other news, I am considering how much of our fruit and vegetable requirements we can actually grow ourselves. I love using produce from the garden to use in our meals, and if it is literally outside the back door, all the better.  We have four raised beds, as well as a little plot we have ear marked for being our vegetable plot.  I reckon we could grow carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce, peas and beans.  We might be able to get some potatoes in the growing bags, and maybe some parsnips as well.  I would love to grow some courgettes (zucchini for my North American readers) and maybe a squash or a pumpkin.    Not sure there would be enough room to do all that though.  Might need some careful planning and clever use of space.  As well as all of that, there is also the chance of using the allotment.

allotment

I am not sure if my readers in North America know what an allotment is, but basically, it is land held by the local government authorities which is given over for people to rent small parcels of it and grow their own fruit and vegetables on it.  My husband and I got one about 10 years ago, and after we cleared it and grew stuff on it, we sort of sub let it to my Father in Law.  He has done amazing things with it, and it is very productive.  After going up there and picking the raspberries and some strawberries (and having huge fun doing it) I am rather wondering if I should suggest we take responsibility back from him for its upkeep.  I am happy to share the produce with both my in laws and my Mum when she moves up here (very soon, hopefully).

 

Do any of you grown your own?  What do you like to grow particularly?  And what is very successful in your plot?

 

More reasons to eat fruit…

Recently the news has had stories about how eating fruit is not a good idea because the sugar is bad for you and will rot your teeth.  Well, that might be true, though I would prefer natural sugar in the form of fructose than the simulated forms of sugar like aspartame.  But there are some really, really good reasons to eat fruit.

cherries

Cherries have featured quite heavily in this weeks’ blog posts, and not only are they good for relieving inflammation, they are also fantastic for calming the nervous system.  Grapes are good for relaxing your blood vessels, and the old adage of an apple a day keeps the doctor away is absolutely true!  Apples actually help to boost the immune system.

 

Peaches – I personally don’t like them because the furry skin makes my mouth feel weird, but they are vitamin and mineral powerhouses.  A peach contains potassium, fluoride and iron!  I might have to get over the fuzzy lip thing.  Watermelon is also an amazing fruit.  Thirst quenching, it also helps to regulate your heart rate.  Oranges help with good skin and good vision and strawberries are potentially excellent for anti-aging and anti-cancer!    Blueberries also protect your heart from damage.

pineapple

And now, some tropical fruits.  Bananas are great for energy and help to prevent cramps because they are packed with potassium.  Pineapples can help to fight arthritis, kiwi fruit help to increase your bone mass (very important if you have osteoporosis) and Mangoes help to protect against cancer.

 

Looking at my fruit bowl, it could do with a bit of a makeover!  And fruit beats chocolate.  Well, it does for me anyway!

10 Rules for Better Health Part One!

Have you found out about Pinterest yet?  It is my latest Social media delight.  I can waste a lot of time on it, but it is such a simple idea.

 

Effectively, Pinterest is an electronic bulletin board to “stick” ideas, recipes, interesting information onto and then share with the rest of the Pinterest savvy crowd.  You will find Viridian Herbalist on there, and I have lots of other personal boards I keep on there too.  It is also very addictive, and you will find it very easy to spend lots of time playing with it!  You have been warned!

 

While cruising about looking for interesting things to write this blog about, I found a poster with some great advice.  10 things to do for better health.  Only 10?  Well, that seems doable.  As I began to write this blog, I actually discovered that I would be wittering for a very long time, so I am breaking this up into two parts to do all the pieces of advice justice!  How ironic!!  😀

 

The longer I study herbal remedies, diet and nutrition, the more I come to the conclusion that the advice all boils down to some very simple advice.  Be moderate, eat food not chemicals, be happy and keep your body moving.  Keep doing that, and things will usually turn out for the best.  To be fair, the advice on the poster, generally covers these topics.

from teafolium.com

from teafolium.com

Less Alcohol, More Tea.  Alcohol kills brain cells, leads to bad choices in a number of different ways, is FULL of empty calories, is a depressive and it is bad for your skin.   Tea is full of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are fantastic for all kinds of things including protecting against cancers, heart disease, and eliminating the ageing effects of free radicals.  Tea has also been linked with a lower risk of Parkinsons Disease, and if you like Green Tea (I can’t bear the stuff myself) the Phenols in it can help the parts of the brain linked to memory and learning.

from tigersheds.com

from tigersheds.com

Less Meat and More Vegetables.  Meat is a controversial topic.  If you get your meat from organic or hormone free sources, where the welfare of the animal has been assured, I have no problem with it at all.  I love meat, being an unreconstructed carnivore and Great Granddaughter of a Master Butcher.  However, it makes sense if you are watching your weight to eat less meat, especially the fatty sort, and replace that with veggies.  Veggies are full of vitamins, but lower in Calories than meat is.  Veggies, especially the colourful ones, have loads of antioxidants as well.  Plus, they taste yummy.  Even though I think meat actually beats them in taste!

from webmd.com

from webmd.com

Less Salt, More Vinegar.  Some salt is necessary in your diet, but if you have too much of it, it raises your blood pressure and high blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart failure.  Vinegar, in the form of cider vinegar, is, if you believe the internet bandwagons, just about they miracle substance of the universe!  It can regulate the pH of your skin, it can make your hair shine, it can detoxify your home, it can remove stains from your teeth, it can aid weight loss and it can also balance your entire body system apparently.

from wikipedia

from wikipedia

Less Sugar and More Fruit.  I have already blogged about sugar, and about how dangerous it is in large quantities.  When the convenience food industry is sitting up and taking notice of it, then you know it is a serious problem.  Fruit, not only is a natural source of sweetness, but it has added vitamins and minerals which help the body to run smoothly.  What’s not to like?!

chewing giraffe

Less Eating and more Chewing.  Aren’t they the same thing?  Well, no, actually, they aren’t.  Eating is what we do, and Chewing is how we do it!  Portion sizes in the last 50 years have grown immeasurably, and it is no coincidence that so have our waistlines.  We need to reduce the AMOUNT we are imbibing, or else we will never beat the obesity epidemic the globe is facing.  But what is the more chewing about?  There is research to show that if you concentrate on chewing, you enjoy your food more, and you eat less because you become more satisfied.  Mindful eating is what it is called.  I suggest you try it.  Try chewing each mouthful for 20 times, and put the knife and fork down while you do it.  You will eat less.

 

Stay tuned for the next part tomorrow!