Friday, 26 April 2013

Heat wave, plants are confused and bichos galore!!

Dear readers, this unusual hot weather is making plants grow swiftly. Same plants that were previously too shy to grow, braving the cold weather though and which started to wake up until finally the snow faded away at the beginning of April.
Some people call this Climate Weirding, and to me they have a point.

This is what is going on at Fairlie Grow! at the mo:

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Welcome Spring time!!

First hoverfly at sight in Fairlie Grow since last post.
I hope she'll turn into some amazing creature when she finishes munching our hebe.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Wild life still around

Not sure yet but I think this is one of the wasps or hoverflies that live in the bug-hotel/bird-feeeder-&-bath wooden column we built earlier last year and was swiftly populated (have a look a few posts back). I'll follow her and see where she lives to let you know. Bear with me.

I have been chasing a fat spider as well. Not the superfat one but a younger sister o her and this is all I could get. She was clearly in a hurry!

It is been so mild this winter so far that caterpillars are still about munching brassicas. I can tell for the holes they make and the frass they leave all around where they are. Hopefully birds are also about and wild take care of them.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Fairlie mini-kiwis: Ludicrously tasy plus Capital Growth event

We have harvested the tiny kiwis our kiwi-vine has produced this year and to our surprise however small they are delicious !!
The tastier kiwis you can find in London honestly.

 The kiwi-vine is on its 2nd year and it is clinging on an east-south facing wall which will provide much of the reflected heat and shelter the kiwi-vine need. It is not one of the hardy varieties so in my opinion it is not the happiest plant in this weather. The variety is called Jenny and it is a self-fertile one so we don't need to provide her with a male plant to pollinate her. Below is one the sweet little fruits.

 Lately there has been very frosty mornings on the few plants that are braving the weather in Fairlie. Especially hard for young plants we are growing in pots without protection at this time of the year. (We should buy some fleece I know) We have mainly herbs grown from cuttings, oriental brassicas, and broad bean seedlings. They will overwinter and will be the earliest plants to crop in the coming year. The plant below is a seedling of the famous Broad Bean 'Aquadulce Claudia', famous because it is one of the hardiest and best cropping you can plant in Autumn.

 And on Monday we (Mal and me) attended the Capital Growth awards ceremony. Food was really nice, I swapped some seeds, met new interesting people, catched up with a few known ones and shared stories and smiles around.
I snuck in a workshop run by Gema and Jo from ELL where I learnt one thing or 2 about edible perennials -many of you will regard them as weeds-. And we ate a salad of those "weeds" dressed with a delicious crab apple lemon substitute that I'd love to learn how to make. There were also neetle crackers, pickled nasturtium seeds and dried salted sloes. Truly delicious. Have a look at the plants we were munching with their names beside. Click on the photo to make it bigger.

 I also met Louise from 40 hall community vineyard who explained to us how they use bio-dynamic methods to grow their grapes. I took a photo of  the varieties they grow so if they work well for them I will try myself (cheeky!)

 Then it caught my eye another stall where a very friendly person called Silvia explained to me what global generation and the Kings cross skip garden consist of. It is worth a visit, she appointed and i will do that for sure.

 And then there was the award ceremony where Mal and myself received the Best Bee Friendly Garden Ever Award.. or something like that for Fairlie Grow! from Paola's hands- Seb from CG was talking about how impressed he was when he and the rest of the judges came to visit Fairlie. He mentioned how they observed the biggest spider of one particular species and honestly I have been looking at that spider every time I was at the garden thinking: you are fat man! stop eat my bumblebees!. But there you go, she helped us win the competition. It is still hard to believe for me that we won the 1st prize in the whole of London but after Monday I am more convinced.
I saw some of the people from transition crystal Palace and I was so happy to see they also won a prize. For the best community garden in this case. Well done guys.

Friday, 2 November 2012

H U R R A Y ! !

Not in a million years would I thought we were going to be first place in any competition involving the whole of London. But there you go, I am so over the moon to announce we have won the first place in the Grow for Gold competition from Capital Growth in the Bee Friendly category!
And we are in the local papers!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Cheeky beautiful caterpillar caught eating one of our apple trees. Apparently is the larva of the Grey Dagger Moth or Acronicta psi.
No animals were harmed during the shooting of this photo.