I've been away on a 3 day course 'building with straw bales' in beautiful Stanmer Park in Brighton, and am feeling pretty tired (in a good way), where we learnt lots of principles and actually made a small Straw bale building. So much new information has gone into my brain it's odd focussing back on this stuff that happened earlier in the week. I'll do a separate post on the course but in the meantime here's the usual....
The purple sprouting broccoli plant that I'd salvaged from pigeon damage has gone on to produce more tasty shoots. I've now actually moved the plant as I needed to get the space ready for red onion sets. I occassionally do this with brassica plants in spring where they're in the way but have a bit more to give.
So I dug a hole in the bed where my leeks were ( which isn't going to be needed for a while) loosened up the soil all around the PSB with a fork and levered the plant out, plopped it in the new hole, filled in any gaps and also piled up extra soil around the stem as an anchor, treading the soil down firmly but trying not to damage any roots and gave it a good water.
The pickings are more leafy than flowery but they're very sweet anyway
Nice with cauliflower and a cheese sauce
This week I've also sown my parsnips (variety 'tender and true'). I usually sow them inbetween my rows of autumn broad beans but having been battered by the wind and squashed by foxes, they've grown out at odd angles, making it hard to sow between them. So instead I sowed them all in one bed where most of the broad beans hadn't survived...if I get a few beans too that would be good but I'm not holding my breath.
Anyway, there was a whole load of self-sown lambs lettuce in that bed, so I harvested it all....yum. I left most of it for Jan to use up this weekend whilst I've been away on the course. She's also been left in charge of my seedlings (I'm still away, visiting my folks now), so I'll be inspecting them all on my return ;)
A walk around Caistor Roman Town (Venta Icenorum)
We're very lucky in Norfolk with so many cool places to visit, lots of which are within easy reach of the city. A little way south east of the city is the site of the Roman capital of the area, where much evidence of the town still remains. Fantastically, most of the site is open to walk where you like, plus it's next to High Ash Farm, who carry out a lot of wildlife-friendly practices and provide lots of public access (permissive paths). The farmer (Chris Skinner) even features most weeks on the local radio, chatting about wildlife.
So on Tuesday we got the bus down to Caistor...it only took a few minutes. Walking through part ofHigh Ash Farm to get to the Roman town we found a few geocaches - this one was actually inside a fake plastic rock (not a fake plastic tree, for any Radiohead fans out there).
The Roman town was surrounded by a flint wall for protection, and there's still some lovely stretches of it In place
Here's Jan enjoying the spring sunshine
I took photos of a few of the information panels...so if you're interested, you should be able to click on them to enlarge them and have a read. There's a new mobile phone app too, which includes an augmented reality element....you hold your phone up at various places and it's as if you're standing in the town, with the buildings all around you....rather cool.
Couldn't resist these cute sheep
We walked back to Norwich following the Boudica Way trail but wandered through High Ash Farm again first. The wildlife friendly farming makes it particularly lovely to walk around....here's a large strip of teasel, grown for insects in the summer (lots of little flowers) and birds in the winter (lots of little seeds).
So that was another enjoyable trip into our lovely Norfolk countryside....where to go next?
Thanks for reading this week - I'm linking in with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres
And here's a taster from the Building with Straw Bales course...ooh
More to come soon...