Tag Archives: chive vinegar


According to the stats provided by WordPress, Wednesday at 6 am was my best posting time. This has altered to Tuesday, but 6 am remains the same. It’s 17.55 now, so I’m just about on time. Whether it will make a jot of difference I don’t know, but I just can’t help myself. I blame it on Twitter an the endless quest for more followers (672 @QuercusCommy if anyone is interested).

I made the willow water today, with help from two of the group. It’s now standing next to the comfrey feed (which is now looking distinctly murky). A word to anyone thinking of making willow water – I’m going to try a big knife and cutting board next time as neither scissors nor secateurs seem to work well on soft twiggy material. I’m also going to use a wide necked jar. It’s good to re-use plastic bottles but the effort of loading a bottle with inch long bits of twig into an empty Coke bottle isn’t really worth it.


That’s two part of the four part plan in action. The bottle is waiting for a suitable courgette. All I need to do now is form some more plans, and let’s face it, that isn’t difficult. Go to any committee meeting in the world and you will find there are always plenty of people with plans, but not many willing to put any work in.

On the school front, I’m getting more efficient and actually looking forward to the Friday visit as I have, for once, tied all the loose ends up. We’ve also had another enquiry from a school that has never visited before, so our marketing seems to be working. I’m quite excited about both these visits, and I’m also happy about the way the Chive Blossom Vinegar has worked out. Now I just need to find out how to use it.


We just had an email as I was writing this. I suppose it’s a case of pride coming before a fall because I’ve been so happy about new visits and bookings. After spending the best part of four months arranging for a school visit (spread over two days), after spending hours with the teacher and giving her pre-visit materials she has just told us, with two week’s notice, that they aren’t coming. We actually lost a possible three day booking because someone wanted one of the days and we will both be losing two day’s work because we are paid to deliver the sessions. And not paid when we don’t deliver them.

Sound effects of ranting, gnashing, grinding and being told to be quiet by wife…

Such is life. I have better things to do than allow regrets and idiots to rule my life.

Meanwhile, using my 20th Century in a week analogy, we have just reached 1952. The Second World War is receding as a memory, rationing is winding down (though it will still be a factor when my parents marry in this year, my father and father-in-law are both back from Korea (one bringing a Japanese bride and one to marry his childhood sweetheart) and we have a new Queen.

My father-in-law will stay in the Navy to complete his 25 years and my father will leave after completing seven years, apply for a job with Marks & Spencer and be turned down because he is wearing suede shoes.

Suede shoes eh? How times change!

Progress report

The Comfrey feed is starting to show changes – the leaves are blackening around the edges and the water is starting to look cloudy. Early days yet.

The Art of Captaincy and its load of grey oyster mushroom spawn is now looking distinctly mouldy so it’s time for the fridge. The blewitt spawn isn’t showing any sign of growth.



The oil in the calendula jar is looking a good colour, but I’m going to leave it a bit.

The chive vinegar is looking good and I’ll be decanting it into new bottles this afternoon.

I have the bottle ready for the courgette, but no suitable courgette.

The bean experiment (where half of the raised bed had the soil enriched with pig muck, wood chip and paper towels) isn’t showing much result. None of the beans look particularly good, though the fat hen in the enriched area (furthest away from the camera) is definitely looking better.


Note vigorous weeds at far end!

According to this page fat hen (known as lamb’s quarters in America) is a good indicator of fertile soil.

We’re going to be eating garden weed salad on the Friday school visit so it’s good to know I have plenty.