With Valentine’s fast approaching are you prepared? So what will it be this year? Chocolates, diamonds…or a combinmation of all of them. Whichever you choose don’t forget to include some flowers in there somewhere! Sadly our cut flower bed is empty at this time of year, so will need to rely on someone else to supply, and as I try to maximise my online shopping I was really impressed with the great range of bouquets at Marks and Spencer’s. I hope whatever you choose you have a great 14th February
Sloe gin one year on! Our sloe gin recipe is continuing to prove popular with visitors to our Waterloo Farm blog, so I was keen to give an update one year on.
However, I must confess one year on it still tastes pretty disgusting to me. Now, this could be for anyone of the following reasons:
- I don’t actually like gin
- I don’t know what it is supposed to taste like having never drunk any before
- It is very bitter – perhaps more sugar?
- It tastes too much of sloes – perhaps we used to many?
I think I shall amend our sloe gin recipe to use more sugar and less sloes. Oh, I also think it might be a good idea to taste someone else’s sloe gin and see if it is meant to taste like this.
We have got a number of varieties to plant including Maris Piper and King Edwards. We are also going to plant the non-raised beds with pots to help break up the soil and help keep the weeds down. I think we counted 86 seed potatoes in total…so I think we shall be setting up a road-side stall with ‘Waterloo Farm Potatoes’ later in the year!
Having made the raised beds we now needed to fill them up, easy you might think! However, using a number of online topsoil calculators we discovered that to fill all 10 of our raised beds we would need over 20 tons … eeekk!
After looking around at local Norfolk topsoil suppliers we realised that a delivered ‘per ton’ price was coming out at over £70, so doing the maths this was going to cost over £1,400!!! However, a useful friend recommended that we contact British Sugar. British Sugar you might ask?! Well, every year they have a surplus of top grade arable land topsoil produced as a by-product of the sugar beet production process.
Having marked out the vegetable patch and sussed out that it would all fit (we even re-configured the layout to get a few more beds in) we have started to make our raised beds. Fortunately we have an ‘old-fashioned’ wood yard up the road where we sourced our pressure-treated wood.
We ordered 12 ft x 6in (3.6m x 15cm) lengths, which meant that when we cut those into thirds we could use the lenghts for the end panels. For 2010 we are only planning to make 2 large and the 2 small (wedge shaped) raised beds. So the large beds will be 3.6m long, by 1.2m wide by 30cm high and there will eventually be 8 in total!