grow your own


Gardening with Thinly Spread 5

Chris at Thinly Spread and Kate at Kate takes 5 have teamed up to produce an idiots guide to gardening with children. Even though we have raised beds, I usually leave the gardening to MadDad and the boys, but this year these ladies have inspired me to take charge and join in.

The week before last me and the boys planted tomatoes, sunflowers, peas and beans and put them in a tiny plastic greenhouse that I purchased from Aldi.


The Gallery – An Apple Tree

This apple tree is 3 years old, we planted it after we moved in and started work on the garden.  It is small and only bore 6 fruits last year, but this year its branched are bowed under the weight of its fruit. For me this feel like parenting, sometimes you feed the children, nurture and look after them and it feels like they are just ignoring your advice, but then it just happens.  It clicks and there is please and thank you without prompting.


Frugal Food – Utilise your Garden

One of the many comments I got on my feeding a family of 4 for £50 post was that we must be green fingered or have a lot of room for growing vegetables. The truth is we don’t and I am not, we have a small back garden, but in 2009 MadDad built me 3 raised beds, they are not large, they are 6 foot by approx 3 foot and we also have a couple of barrels that we fill with potatoes. But those raised beds and what pots we have round the garden supply me with a steady supply of vegetables right through till the Autumn. At the moment we more »


A Wonderful Bank Holiday Monday spent in the Kitchen and Garden

I think the sun forgot our little park of the North East today. So we have spent the day baking. Maxi did all the weighing and measuring Mini did most of the stirring and tasting We have had a lot of fun and made lots of cakes Oat and raisin cooks and mince pies (mini’s favorites) Many Muffins, sweet mincemeat and St Stephens Day Muffins, in addition to some fairy cakes. Whilst I was busy in the kitchen, MadDad tended the garden, including planting out the courgettes and cucumbers. Everything is looking great and really coming along. He also washed and cleaned the cars, ready for the trip we are taking today more »


A weekend spent in the Garden

I said that I had grand plans for the garden this weekend, well the weather was mostly kind and we did manage to get quite a lot done Onions have been planted out, 2 varieties, Red Barron and Bedford Champion.  We have also sown some spring onions (Lisbon) direct in to the bed. Rainbow Chard has been transplanted in to the bed too, alongside side Chinese Broccoli, which is a new vegetable for us. We have also direct sown the runner beans, peas and dwarf beans in to another bed. The potatoes have been planted in to our two barrels. Our Sunflowers have been transplanted too, the boys are so excited more »


Sunflower Club

We are taking part in Nuturestores Sunflower Club and have been busy planting our seeds. We are using single giant sunflowers and have decided to start them off inside, as last year our sunflowers were pretty late and lame! So we decided to plant our seeds in egg shells, as sunflowers don’t like to be transplanted and this is a great and Eco friendly way of doing this. Both the boys love gardening which makes my heart sing and we will be planting more seeds over the coming weeks We put one seed in each egg shell and covered with more soil. We are going to be doing a scrapbook like more »


Pumpkins and all that 10

We decided that we would carve our precious pumpkins today.  We are so proud that we managed to grow them ourselves in the garden.  Like all things in TheMadHouse, it was a family affair, but MadDad took centre stage. Although MiniMad is a super duper scooper Watch out man at work and concentrating hard Nothing too scary, the minimads dont like scary A face and a bat Then roasted pumpkin seeds, delicious and so simple. All you need do is scoop out all the seeds and clean them.  We like ours salted, so I boil then in salted water for 20 minutes, then toss them in garlic butter or olive oil more »


Its raining its pouring

The weather is very wet at the moment, so much so that a 25 min journey took me and the boys an hour and a half this afternoon and was very hairy in places. I was secretly pretty apprehensive, but the mini’s were loving every minute of it! Especially as they watched two cars fail to make it though the flooding and they gave a great big cheer when we manged to get through, MadDads voice in my head “high revs and go slow”. I have a diesel and that does make it easier in the wet.Well one thing that is loving the rain is our garden. MadDad installed a water more »


How does your garden grow

We have tried to teach the boys were the produce we eat comes from since they were tiny – having a father in law who is a dairy farmer really helps. So we grow veg in our small garden.After coming out of hospital MadDad decided that I needed raised beds to make this more accessible this year and set to work with his trusty saw and transformed some old planks of wood in to 3 fantastic raised beds. We are now beginning to see the fruits of his labours.We planted cabbage, cauli, broccoli, kale, chard, spinach, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks, beans, peas, pumpkins, courgettes and strawberry’s in our little beds.It more »




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