Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Muck n' Mud




The farmhouse kitchen is beginning to resemble a vegetable patch; the ‘vegetable patch’ is taking over, a country kitchen garden. It all sounds very lovely and organic but the reality is potatoes covered in mud. Carrots, a jungle of leaves on them, all muddy and waiting to be scrubbed. A huge wheel barrow at the door, filled with beetroot, waiting to be boiled and made into jars of pickles and chutney. Then there is the cauliflower, oodles of it, freshly blanched, and cooling in large ceramic pots. There are cabbages bursting out, and so it goes on.

Dare I admit at this point that I do sometimes miss ‘clacketing’ round city supermarkets, polished toe nails on show, selecting neatly packaged, pre washed, bright vegetables, all the same shape and size? The chemicals soaked into them and on them, if they are not of the organic variety, are after all invisible….Please please don’t spoil this fantasy I have of a city supermarket. I know the reality is ever so slightly different. I have been there, trying to manoeuvre that ever so large trolley, the one with the ‘wonky wheels’ up and down the ginormous aisles that offer so much choice it is a bit like locating a needle in a haystack, especially if you are in the ‘country comes to town’ bracket. However when I am soaking, covered in mud, from holding armfuls of vegetables, making my way to the kitchen, I do have that little fantasy of being clean and polished in a neat suit in a city supermarket.....

Of course I realise that once my vegetables have been washed and cooked, or eaten raw, (as is the case with the peas, they never quite make it to the pan, they are far too sweet and delicious to cook), that you really cannot beat the flavour of home grown vegetables from garden to plate in minutes. That is the moment you really do reap the rewards. I did feel a bit down hearted though as I plucked away at the various vegetables in the patch, leaving huge gaps, that were filled with billowing greens…until next year!!

It is another ‘mizzly’ day today, hence the huge wads of mud on the veggies. As I went for a run, I thought what a good idea it would be to post a daily photo of those majestic Paps, the beautiful hills that I am lucky to see most days. Last night they were covered in the pink and purple hues of the setting sun. Of course today in the misty rain, you wouldn’t even know they are there, they are totally invisible, shrouded in layers of grey mist, they must be feeling ever so slightly shy at my suggestion of appearing on the blog then….

Until next time………

11 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Beautiful views. We too are fortunate to have a wonderful view, ours is of the Cheviots, part of the Northumberland National Park.

I can only say how much I admire your self sufficiency. I really wish I didn't have to spend top price at the supermarket but my fingers just aren't green enough.

Crystal xx

toady said...

What a lovely harvest but I don't envy you the mud. Enjoy.
Toady

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

Funny how they never show the mud in photo shoots in cooking features isnt it!!

vic said...

Your vegetables look fantastic. I'm very envious! I'd love to be self sufficient. I hate supermarkets. Hopefully the allotment will take more shape next year and we can grow more of our own.

Suffolkmum said...

What a photo! I'm going to put up a picture of your island on my computer screen, to get the message to my subconscious that I WILL get there one day! I'm envious of your veg too, despite the mud - we haven't had a good year, I'm afraid - too much rain.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I love the term Mizzly - it does describe a lot of Scottish days. We too are blessed with hills - and every day is different and every a day a wonder. Although the saying goes if you can see Lawers it is going to rain, if you can't see Lawers it IS raining . . . not true though it doesn't rain all the time.

Oh yes indeed all your vegetables do sound romantic. . . I ignored the bit about the mud . . .

elizabethm said...

fabulous photos and know just what you mean about the veg - I love my chutney making but I am also holding off, knowing that once I start it will take over my life and I haven't time.
It is a great example of the good about country life (great food) and the cost which is so easily ignored by lifestyle magazines - some serious hard work!
loved your blog.

Hannah Velten said...

Bought back memories of when I was young growing up on the farm, and we had a huge veggie patch. Being young, I obviously didn't have the headache of harvesting, blanching, cutting, freezing, etc (Mum swore she would never have a large veggie patch again!), but I spent some part of every day riffling through and pilfering peas, gooseberries, runner beans - yum, yum - I must have been incredibly healthy!

Mootia
x

ChrisH said...

Yes, you are absolutely right - the taste is worth scraping off all the mud! There are nice bits, of course, I've never forgotten the thrill on the girls faces as they popped pods to reveal broad beans but boiling tons of beetroot..bleurch!

I like the mountain photo - it reflects how I feel about the writing today! - thanks for your comments, I needed a bit of encouragement!

Tattie Weasle said...

Ah the mud even better when brought in by triumphant Dear Charlie usually just after I've cleaned the floor! Strange though I am missing it this year with no proper veg patch due to far to much building work going on... next year then. In the meantime clacking up and down the aisles painted toe nails to the fore!!!!!

@themill said...

Veggie garden here a disaster this year. Too much rain at the wrong time, but now dried to cracked earth stage.