Himalayan Balsam is an invasive perennial, and we had one wild area of the farm that got taken over a bit, coming in from the road side.
We have now got on top of it and have very little to clear each year… and will be keeping it that way.
Bees DO love it, but they will be attracted to it to the detriment of other native plants. When the pods explode they shower seeds metres away.
Having said that, the flowers ARE really pretty and make a very delicious syrup. Harvest them whilst clearing up the plants, (that are then bagged and left to go to sludge)
When the TV show 3 hungry boys were filming with us some years, they did some HB clearing and then made syrup and pancakes to sell & barter at our Community Producers Market to get more food for their next stages of their journey..
(this link has since failed : http://www.channel4.com/4food/on-tv/three-hungry-boys/extras/himalayan-balsam-recipe .. 3 hungry boys episode 6)
Juice of a lemon
Water (about 100ml)
50g Himalayan balsam petals
1. Heat your water and lemon juice gently.
2. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon water mixture and then add the petals – after about 5 minutes it should turn a bright pink colour.
3. Cook over a low heat for 30 minutes stirring continuously until you have a runny syrup. The longer you cook the thicker it gets, if you like you could try thickening it into a jelly.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
5. Serve on pancakes or desserts.
Ludwig Appeltans, Earth Ways, will be leading a permaculture weekend workshop at Kintaline Farm, Benderloch
September 9 – 10 2017
Topic for this course is : Soils, Compost and making Lasagna beds (sheet mulching)
- Learning about growing food inevitably starts with building soil.
- Come and learn how to create a soil abundant in life with a rich variety of nutrients.
- Help your plants to be healthy and nutrient dense.
- Discover how a good soil helps your plants to be disease and pest resistant and how a good soil helps to prevent unwanted weeds.
- The workshop includes a hands-on session on building a lasagna bed: From lawn to veg bed in no-time. workshop will be in a polytunnel to protect us from the weather.
What an adventure! It has many years since getting to and enjoying the Highland Show was possible.
Smallholding Scotland is Launched.
Established by smallholders, Smallholding Scotland is a unique, member-led organisation dedicated to representing, promoting and supporting smallholding across Scotland.
The Societies purpose is to promote and support the sustainable stewardship and the purposeful use of smallholdings.
The website is live at www.smallholding.scot and applications for membership are welcome.
There is a lot to do over the coming weeks, months and years to build the organisation into a strong body that supports and represents smallholders in Scotland but there is a vision and a will to do that – and with the active support of Scottish smallholders, we can achieve it.
The management committee is determined that the organisation will be member led; that it will be open and transparent in its working. News items will be added to the website regularly and you can sign up for the newsletter via the website.
There are still vacancies on the management committee. If you have time and energy to commit to growing Smallholding Scotland and smallholding in Scotland, please get in touch.
The constant showers had even our wee sparrows fed up – lined up on the chairs just outside the (very dirty) window.
We have literally hundreds of these characterful wee birds and there are juveniles on every fence begging for food. They have had far too much fun with baby veggies .. will need to increase the protection and so some more. !!
Walking into an area of orchids reminds of the unique beauty around us amongst the ordinary. Our herb rich grazing still has too many rashes, but the diversity and rarity of species is very special.
And then the rarity pops up in the commonplace spaces just to surprise.
This is one of several sightings for Orange Tip butterflies here.
Todays beauty was resting in one of the polytunnels
They love garlic mustard which we have lots of.
Very chuffed to meet this lovely rare butterfly here in our increasing wilderness.
Our lovely Alexander Technique teacher and talented friend Erica Donnison will be visiting this coming week (11-16 May 2017) and there are still some spaces for lessons in Alexander Technique; POSE running; Tellington Ttouch Training and MBTI .. please message to book a lesson / more details.