Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Square foot gardening

I wish I had more to show you :( 

We have kept our beds covered over the last while because we have generally had terrible spring weather thus far. First it snowed like mid-winter, and then we have had hail and wind storms that are famous in their own rights!

Here is a rather wet image of our garden from our balcony. As you can see, Stefan has constructed the growing frame for our crawlers and creepers.

Everything is growing extremely slowly to say the least, and I think we will be  having to replace some of the seedlings, or to replant some seeds when the warmer weather gets here, if that happens!

As soon as the weather shows a friendlier face, I will continue with my "Know Your Herbs" Series, as well as give you a glimpse of what is happening underneath the fleece :)

We received 2 willow branches a couple of weeks ago and were told that we could plant them as is in some soil and the willow would continue to grow.

 This fascinated us to say the least and so we decided to give it a go. We planted one in a pot we had available on the balcony, and the other we planted lengthwise (yes, apparently this works too) in the garden. We continued to water the one on the balcony, but didn't give it another thought until I came out to take the photo of the garden.

Lo and behold, the branch has started to sprout buds!
How awesome is that!



I haven't been to have a look at the garden willow yet, but as soon as I see something I will show it to you also!

Did you know this about willow?
We would love to hear any other amazing plant facts from you, mention them below :)

Until next time
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Know Your Herbs - Wild Ramsons

Today's herb is Wild Ramsons/Garlic (Allium Ursinum)

wild garlic

I shared a some info about this plant and it's poisonous other last year on Marigolds' Loft. I also shared a recipe for Pesto with you there.
You can access that info HERE

What is this herb good for?

It helps with:

Stomach and bowel disorders
Loss of appetite
High Blood Pressure

Disclaimer: This is not a medical treatment and does not replace your health practitioner. If you suffer from any of the above medical problems, and they persist over a longer period of time, please consult your practitioner.

Today I want to share a Wild Garlic Butter Recipe.

This recipe is amazing with any kind of steak and is a wonderful addition to any BBQ :)

To make this butter you will need:

wild garlic butter

Wild Garlic
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
Salt if necessary

Peel the garlic and add it to your food processor.
Add your wild garlic leaves and some salt (If you use salted butter this may not be necessary) and whiz them together.

bärlauch butter

In another bowl, add 400g (or as much butter as you desire) of room temperature butter. Add the herb and garlic mix to the butter and squish together with a potato masher or a fork.

wild ramsons

Once it is mixed well, lay half of the portion onto some cling film.

wild garlic recipes

Close the cling film and roll until you have a sausage formed butter.

Allium Ursinum

Do the same with the second portion.
Place both sausages in a ziploc bag in the freezer.

wild garlic

Remove from the freezer half an hour before you need it and let it dribble and melt over your steaks and BBQ meat .....ooh got to go, hungry!

Join me next week for more herby fun!

Next week I will cover Plantain.

Do you have a question about wild garlic?
Leave it below and I will get back to you asap.

Gorilla Grow Tents Tallest Thickest Strongest
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Know Your Herbs - Woodruff

Today's' herb is one that is not perhaps as known as other herbs, but is just as useful.

The herb of choice: Woodruff (Galium Odoratum)

What are the benefits of this amazing little herb?

It helps with:

Liver congestion
Bowel problems
Sleep problems
Menstrual Disorders
Nervous tension

Disclaimer: This is not a medical treatment and does not replace your health practitioner. If you suffer from any of the above medical problems, and they persist over a longer period of time, please consult your practitioner.

Now, I must admit, I have been searching for this beauty in the wild for some time now, and was delighted to find some on my Wild Garlic picking morning last week.

I brought home about 30g of the herb last week and decided that I would make some Woodruff Syrup to mark the occasion :) 

Amazingly this plant develops it's sweet smell once it has dried a little. When I picked the leaves, they didn't smell at all, but once I had got home their scent had already begun to intensify.

Here the recipe for the Woodruff Syrup.

30g Woodruff Leaves
200g sugar
500ml Water
1 Lemon

First dry the leaves and stalks over night.
I placed them in the dehydrator on 30°C

woodruff Galium Odoratum

In a pot, bring the water and sugar to the boil and allow to boil until the sugar is completely dissolved.

woodruff syrup

Remove from the heat and add the lemon - sliced as well as the wilted leaves and stalks.

Allow to stand again over night and then remove the woodruff and lemons, bring to the boil once more and then fill into clean bottles.

woodruff sirup

Do you have questions regarding Woodruff?
Please post them below :)

Next week - I will be sharing a yummy Wild Garlic/Ramsons Recipe with you all.
See you soon.


Rotating B3

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Know Your Herbs - Stinging Nettle

know your herbs - stinging nettle
Last year on Marigolds' Loft I attempted to give you some info on various herbs as they came around, but our summer was very short and not optimal to show you anything :( I have taken it upon myself to keep a look out this year and will post on anything I find as soon as I find it :)

I am starting off the series with Stinging Nettle. 

Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) is known by many for it's sting!

This sting is actually quite a good thing and it is beneficial to allow yourself to be stung by this plant now and then as it is rich in histamines, which are super if you happen to be suffering from hay-fever or the likes.

I recall how my father-in-law, when cutting the grass on the alps with the scythe, would always grab a big bunch of nettle, remove his shirt and slap his back with it as an annual health treatment.

Stinging nettle uses

Let me list some of the benefits of Stinging Nettle:

Treats Rheumatic discomfort


Poor Appetite
Bladder Infections
Prostate problems

There are a couple of ways of using Stinging Nettle, the most common being as a tea. You will find it in most bladder/urinary tract infection teas.
It is also included in spring detoxes and soups.

I find the tea rather pleasant to drink and drink it on its' own or together with Dandelion for the extra urinary tract benefits.

To make a tea:

1/2 Teaspoon Nettle
1/2 Teaspoon Dandelion.

Add to 1 cup and allow to infuse for 8-10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day in cases of Bladder infections.

Disclaimer: This is not a medical treatment and does not replace your health practitioner. If you suffer from urinary tract infections and they persist after taking the tea, please consult your practitioner.

Now would be a perfect time to start to collect the leaves. 

I have put together a quick video to show you how to pick the nettle without getting stung. (I apologize for the glare in the video, we had sun that day - an almost unnatural occurrence LOL, and I didn't realize how much glare until I put the video together :()

If you manage to pick some young stalks here is a recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup - A great Detox soup.

For the soup you need:

Approx 300g Fresh Nettle leaves
2 Potatoes peeled and chopped
1 Onion Chopped
750 - 1000ml Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Butter

In a pot, fry the onions until translucent. Add the potatoes and cover with the broth. Bring to the boil and then leave on a low flame for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost soft. 
Add the nettle leaves and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Once the herb is wilted, whiz the soup to get a fine consistency.
You can add a couple of tablespoons of sour cream to the soup and serve.

Let me know what you think :)

To dry:

Collect leaves and stalks once the dew is gone.

Brennessel Stinging Nettle

Place in the dehydrator and dry on 30°C until dry.

stinging nettle dehydrator

stinging nettle dry

Place in a tea container with a tea bag/cloth with some rice inside to keep tea dry.

Remember to only collect as much as you need until next spring! 

Another great tip that not too many people know about, is that Stinging Nettle Seeds are great anti-agers! I always keep some in my spice cupboard to add to my breads. 

Do come back next week for some more herby info!

Next Week Tuesday - I will be sharing about Woodruff!

Questions regarding stinging nettle?

Please post them below, I will gladly answer them all!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

More Than Honey - Bees

I have had quite a couple of people asking me about the problems that the bees are facing and if they are really as bad as all that, and so I have decided I will try to fill up some posts giving you answers to your questions.

Today I wanted to share a great movie that you can watch.

It is a swiss-made movie about bees and some of the conditions they live under. Beekeepers who have a complete connection to their bees, and others who see them as an income and nothing more.

I am not sure when it will be available in english but have found a preview for you to watch. As soon as I find it available I will let you know.

Here the Preview of More Than Honey:

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Squares and Seeds

square foot garden planting

The sun came out for a couple of hours today, so we jumped into the garden to continue.
Stefan started by measuring the squares out in the beds (30cm each) and marking them off with string. 
Ultimately if this turns out to be a definite way of gardening for us we will make permanent grids next year.

The pine boxes are also starting to warp in the corners as we have had quite a bit of rain. Again, if we use this system next year, we will replace the wood for something a little sturdier - maybe acacia.

In the beds we have:

square foot garden beds
Now they are covered just in case there is still cold weather on its' way :)

Square foot garden how to plant

How is your planting going?
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