Tag Archives: comfrey

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.



Monday morning learning

If this week was the 20th century, we’d already be past the Great War and heading for fascism, When I started this analogy it was 1922 but after lunch and  a few odd jobs it’s now looking more like 1924. In family terms my grandfather has returned home from the war and become a family man with two daughters.. As his life gathers pace I realise that I haven’t made much progress in my plans.

I’ve composted some vegetable peelings from home. They were in a plastic container and I forgot to take them last week. The sealed container meant I didn’t notice them at home but turning them out wasn’t a particularly fragrant job. However, whilst I was doing that I discovered that we have a fine-looking patch of wild flowers next to the compost bin. They are considerably more diverse than the wild flower bed behind the kitchen, though on a much smaller scale.



I’ve also looked up some recipes for later in the week, touched up the Wild Food page with a note on green alkanet bristles and my tongue and spent a lot of time looking for something I should have made a note of last night when I saw it on the net.

After finding the page I needed I can now report, after a brief burst of activity, that I have harvested enough comfrey to make a batch in a 2 litre bottle. The web page said 8 leaves but I used 14. Whether that means my leaves were smaller than his or I’ve put too many in will only be revealed when I open the stinking brew in a month.



So, one part of the four part plan has been put into action and several valuable lessons have been learned.The lessons are –  there are always routine jobs to do, taking proper notes saves time, taking proper notes also saves you getting sidetracked into the history of sky writing, and finally no matter how dull a day may seem there is always time to see something that cheers you up.

In this case it was the wild flowers and the wrens. There were three of the new brood playing about in the rough margin of the vegetable garden – I actually got a shot of one of them today!


Plans for the coming week

1) Make comfrey tea.  We have comfrey, we have water and we have a bucket. Really it should be simple but somehow we always end up putting it off until “next week”. I’m going to make some in a bucket and some in two litre plastic bottles.

2) Make willow water.  Again, we have willow and we have water so how difficult can it be? After last year’s dismal showing with the cuttings I need all the help I can get.

3) Make more plans. Experience shows that I do more if I have it written down. If I merely have a head full of good intentions it’s very easy to find I still have all the same good intentions when Friday comes.

4) Grow a courgette in a bottle. No practical use for that, but it sounds fun and will provoke discussion when we have groups round.

Four simple points, let’s see what happens….