Tag Archive | Curing pumpkins

A Bedroom Makeover And Taking Stock Ready For Winter

This last week I have spent some time at home, rather than at the allotment due to the rain.  Hopefully the wet weather will make the soil easier to work now, as it has been so dry recently and the soil has been rock hard.

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I have used this time to do one or two overdue jobs at home and one such job was to replace my daughters bed.

For the last few years my daughter has had a high riser bed, with a wardrobe and a desk underneath.  My wonderful, generous friend gave it to us for free and it has been fantastic, but my daughter is now sixteen and wanted a more ‘grown up’ bedroom.

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So I spent a day taking it down and trying to find someone else who would like it, as it was in really good condition.  I knew no one who wanted it, so I rang a few charity shops that take furniture and I was amazed that none of them would take it as it was dismantled (even though I explained it wouldn’t come out of the bedroom if it wasn’t dismantled).

I then decided to put in on Freecycle and it was collected quickly.  This is what their website says:

“The worldwide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

There are now 581 Groups spread across the country, with 3,708,994 members!”

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My daughters bedroom is very small, but cosy.  I bought a cheap bed (which incidentally I had to replace the slats to strengthen it using old slats from another old bed) and a cheap canvas wardrobe.  I didn’t want to decorate at this time so I gave the curtains and nets a good wash and wiped the paintwork down.  I think the bedroom now looks lovely and my daughter is very pleased with it.

I made the quilt and curtains about five years ago and they are slightly faded but I think they still look good.  The bed and wardrobe came to approximately £120, which I don’t think is bad for a bedroom makeover and after a little alteration to the bed, I think it will last for years:

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 As a last ‘touch’ I put up a couple of strings of butterfly fairy lights around the picture rail.  I found the lights in the gardening ‘clearance’ section in Wilkinsons and managed to buy two sets for £5 and the bedroom looks beautiful now in the evening when the lights are twinkling.

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Taking stock ready for winter:

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This week has also given me time to take stock of what crops I have preserved or stored and those I still have growing at my allotment.  I now have an up todate list of what exactly is in my three freezers…

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… and what I have growing ready to use at my allotment and stored crops like potatoes, onions and apples:

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I have also moved my winter squashes into my greenhouse so they can ‘cure’ with a bit of protection from the frost (they will be moved inside my house soon for the winter).

By leaving the squashes in the sun to ‘cure’, the skin will harden and the squashes will store for longer. Move them inside when frosts are due.

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I also know exactly what is still growing at my allotment and will soon be ready to harvest e.g. brussells, leeks, parsnips and winter salads etc.

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And I know which of my last summer crops that need to be eaten up soon:

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I now have a list of exactly what I want to be growing on my allotment next year and I have been saving seed accordingly:

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And I managed to buy lots of seeds in the Wilkinson 75% off sale this week:

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So it has been a week of organising, but it has been nice to be inside while it has been so miserable outside.

Hopefully the weather will be better next week.

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Thank you for reading my blog today, I will be back next Friday.

Have a good week!

My Pumpkin Weight And A kitchen Update

This week at my allotment I have been planning next years strawberries.

I have been separating the runners from their parent plants and transplanting them into my new patch:

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There is nothing like the taste of the first strawberry of the year and I am already dreaming of it.

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I have also collected in my butternut squashes and put them into my greenhouse.  I will leave my squashes in there until it gets too cold for them and then they will be transferred to my usual ‘romantic’ position in our bedroom (as this is the coolest room in our house).

Unfortunately, at the moment my greenhouse is quite full as it has my dining chairs in due to our building work, so I have had to work around them:

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Pumpkin Competition

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So now it’s the moment you have all been waiting for……the total weight of my pumpkin is…….

(drumroll please)

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My '2013' pumpkin

My ‘2013’ pumpkin

My 2013 pumpkin weighed 5 stones and 8 lbs, which is 78 lbs altogether!

So the winner of my ‘guess the pumpkin weight competition’ is Mrs Yub, who guessed 81.5 lbs

Well done Mrs Yub!

I am very pleased as it has finally beaten my own pumpkin record of 76lbs in 2006.

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Today, I thought I would give you an update on how our kitchen is going.  The following three photo’s show my kitchen and back room after we had emptied them the day before our builders started:

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The builders have been here for three weeks now and below shows the progress they have made.

By the end of week one:

The kitchen was removed, the ceiling removed, the wall between the kitchen and dining room had been knocked down, the chimney breast had been removed, two steel supports had been inserted and the pantry, back door and back room door had been bricked up.

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By the end of week two:

The electrics have been put in, the plumber has been working on the gas and water and the building inspector has been round to examine the work.

The new door to my pantry

The new door to my pantry

By the end of week three:

The French doors were put in this week and the walls were plastered.  It is actually beginning to feel like a room again, instead of a building site.

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I am so looking forward to the builders finishing as I am really missing my home now.  I am fed up of cooking without a cooker and washing up with a bowl on the floor.  I have learnt how washing your clothes at the laundrette is expensive (£2.60 a load) and i’m not sure how people manage without a washing machine?… but all these little things will be a small price to pay when it’s finished.

Homegrown flowers

Homegrown flowers

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at my usual time.

Have a good weekend.