Greenish antics of Nige to grow, build and make a gr8 world

Greenish antics – frugal, growing, trying and sharing

A Re-invigoration to nigeygreenposting May 16, 2011

Filed under: Allotment,wedding — Canvas Summer Nige @ 10:40 pm

It’s been a long time, we’re in a new place, things have started to grow and we’ve been creative to get more growing space.

This first pic is from our LANDSHARE,  a lady down the road who is pregnant with her second child and responded to some posters I put up asking for growing space.  Wonderfully in the style of ‘The Good Life’ she has allowed me to carve up her front lawn and create three beds!

So the first bed is really the only one I’m using for now and the below shows peas, sunflowers, sweetcorn and other seedlings like leeks, chard (although these seem to have been dug up)

This next photo is the end result of…….. 2 years of….. decomposition of…… our COMPOST TOILET from the wedding.

Yes this is wedding poo soil!!!

The wedding poo soil is great, and is now a part of our adjusted garden feature of the wedding-freegle-washingup-sink that is shown below.  Northing planted yet – we’re thinking about it.

At the back is cucumber plants to grow up.

And on the sink drying area is the mud/straw nest/cat basket that the 3 year old had me make at the Wildheart Gathering festival at the start of May.

Then back to our garden – raised bed brought from old house – has the two wedding asparagus which are now delivering one stalk at a time, salad, chard, radishes.

The below shows the next asparagus poking up….

The now-5-year old has her trough brought from the old house too – and put in some salad and chard seeds…. then sneaked in a pea which has started to grow really well!

The other raise bed we have, now has two rows of peas, sunflowers and sweetcorn.

It already had a veritable bush of raspberry canes, then lots of ivy and annoying weedy things.

Also from the wedding, we had a blueberry and a whitecurrent plant – each still alive and one seeming quite fruit-filled.  We didn’t really get anything off these last year – so fingers cross for this season!


BTW – a garden growing wedding project June 24, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Gardening,wedding — Canvas Summer Nige @ 8:36 pm
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I keep forgetting that I have a (mandated, inherited) project for growing towards the wedding.  The wife wanted sweetpeas homegrown for the September wedding which we talked about for a while before she got itchy worrying that it was getting late….. so we had to vigorously debate where to locate them, then I dug over two strips in the front garden and we bought sweetpeas from a garden center (rather than from seed) and got them in.   Since then, they have been my babies – mainly due to hectic real baby antics for the last few months and so the wifes’ inability to get out to them.

So I’ve weeded, watered regularly, got canes (freecycle of course, although I did buy some peasticks initially), tied the sweetpea shoots up, set-up the canes, got more canes, regularly strimmed the whole area (as it is trying to remain a nettle pasture….) etc etc.  Wifey did get out there regularly and I think she is pleased.

1) I’ve been making up the care policy as I don’t really know when to break off side shoots or where or how to do this….

2) There are a few ant nests in the strips and this seems to have killed off a few plants

3) The replacement plants I’ve put in for any failures aren’t really taking – even those not in the ants nest….


Homebrew update

Filed under: homebrew,wedding — Canvas Summer Nige @ 8:19 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Follow up to the previous recent post about champagne brewing experiment.

I’ve started to get quite into this:

– First 6 litres of elderflower champagne needed a little help from some ‘super wine yeast’ to start bubbling and then was transferred into bottles a few days ago (it had been jus over a week).  It created 7 litres worth which was a bit wierd but I think I must have mis measured!  There was a little spare too and I tried it straight away and then after about an hour in the freezer to cool it.  Very nice, very sugary though.  Slight bubble feeling but not much.  Pretty much like traditional lemonade/elderflower type drink.  We followed common blog advice and used plastic screw top fizzy drink bottles – if they explode then at least you don’t have shattered glass to deal wiht and they should bulge before exploding anyway…  They have been placed in the wine cellar (a dark dank unused cellar under the house…)

– Second small batch (just cos I had an elderflower mini tree in the garden plus a spare 2 litre pimms jug…) … has been cooking away and now bottled last night.  This had a better less sugary taste and maybe a little more sparkle and slight sense of wine-ness about it.

– By the time that had gone on I was getting v excited about it all, so bought some cheap buckets and started a double batch of elderflower champagne (thinking that 7l+2l won’t go that far if it turns out to be nice – and ultimatley it’d be nice to have a load for the wedding and elderflowers will start to die now….)  This is now bubbling nicely too and expected to be bottled at the weekend.


– AND I wanted to get some nettle beer tried out – so this was started on sunday night.  IT was a TOTAL FAFF!  The young nettle heads I picked seemed to pretty much all have some kind of aphid bugs firmly attached to them so I had to wash each leave scraping it with a toothbrush.  I’m not good at boring menial monotomous tasks…  Then we had to boil up 12l of water (which was q a lot of pans/kettles) and infuse the nettles for an hour (very smelly).  Then find a way of straining and then heating it back up (we could only manage an 8l preserving pan as the largest capacity heatable container!!!) to mix the sugar etc.  Anyway, that has now been brewing nicely and is due to now be bottled as it can be ready to drink in just a week..  Will try one this Sunday/Monday but aiming for this batch to be for Birthday and/or Wedding.


– AND wanted to get started or otherwise at least be prepared for LAGER for the wedding – so bought a kit (German style lager from Wilko’s £9.99 – typical 4.5% abv) and am aiming for this to kick off as soon as the nettle beer has vacated the brewing tub.  This takes about a week in the warm before you have to transfer to a barrel (which I have) or bottles and keep cool (celler ideal then) to make the crisp lager flavour….


So to top off the excitement, I bought a cool bottle-cap attaching device today.  Will be extra handy for those times when you start a beer but leave some (EG the large cobra bottles) and you always want to re-seal ideally….  Like it. 


More Pictures to follow soon.


DIY Wedding – blog notes kickoff June 15, 2009

Filed under: frugal,wedding,Woodcraftyness — Canvas Summer Nige @ 11:36 pm
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So I haven’t started noting anything about our wedding plans.  Sept DIY garden wedding (UK legal bit first in the registry office but down-played).

So we have a host of exciting plans and bits of work/projects to do towards the event.  I won’t blog all of them because we want some of them to be a surpise to guests and some might read this…

  • Build a compost toilet.  I have a site for a poo pit and a urinal pit and have started the main frame for the former.  Poo pit will basic with an approach based on sprinkling cedar wood shavings.  I’m worried about the loo-roll as an overhead.  And needing to secure it to stop items being dragged out by rodents…..?  Urinal will be based on wee-ing on a straw bale which can then nicely rot down.
  • Move the chickens/pen.  A new fenced area will be around the most recent shed.  We were going to use this for chicks but til the wedding I think we like it as a store/workspace.  The fencing will be higher to stop way-ward chickens (currently they jump onto the fence then jump down). 
  • Build a fire-pit and firecircle seating.  To maximise capacity around it
  • Decide on marquee/shelter plans including any construction
  • Plan/arrange electricity run-out and music/lighting provision
  • Plan/consider heating options (chiminea offered, could hire, other?)
  • Obtain other freecycle things as needed – see below.


Freecycle needed/wanted:

  • Bins: for rubbish/recycling/drinks bins : Have 3ish so far
  • Sink: to provide a washing up process outdoors
  • Trestle tables: well, can ask – you never know what you might obtain
  • Garden furniture: any benches, chairs etc
  • Carpet: to create dancefloor-suitable-surface over hardstanding: have some offered to pickup
  • Chimena/other heating options
  • Garden flares/candles/other lighting