A little catch up, birthdays, snow, polytunnel thoughts and 2017 potatoes!

I have broken my phone and have an old spare which doesn’t do photo’s as well but bear with me.  It also means I have to boot the laptop up to see blogs and updates (first world problems, I know).  Wednesday saw us with snow on the ground.  It was short lived and didn’t affect the roads.  It was so pretty to see everywhere white and the smallholding animals all looking around wondering what it was.  I know some people don’t like the snow, but I do and I do hope we have a white Christmas.
The kids played in it, all be it briefly, and I took what photos I could.  We call one of our chicken areas “Chickenville” and the kids wrote it out in the snow (when they were supposed to be doing their jobs 😉 ).  It’s so nice to see them enjoying it all.

Goose foot print

It was Steven’s birthday on Tuesday and despite being at work all day and needing to remove a radiator in the dining room for decorating, he seemed to enjoy it.  He sent me this photo the next day when he had time to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in his gadget that he received.

I’ve been doing more thinking ahead and keeping more notes in my notebook.  This time I have been writing down everything we have as packed lunches, with a view to ensuring I have the contents covered in our GYO plan for 2017.  For example the salads we have contain mixed leaves, spring onion/red/white, radish, cucumber, tomatoes, lots of peppers, sweetcorn, coleslaw and when we’re feeling adventurous, cous cous.  I think we can have this covered in 2017.  Also soups and quiche.
That led me on to thinking about the polytunnel again.  If I can afford one, it’ll be March/April time so we will have missed the early start, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start things elsewhere in the house and heat the greenhouse too, before moving them to the polytunnel when it’s ready.  The purpose of the polytunnel will be to extend the growing season and give me more space to allow us to be self-sufficient in vegetables throughout the year.
The salad items listed above will be mostly grown in the polytunnel although I think the sweetcorn will be half and half for pollination reasons.  In anticipation of next year, I’ve pre ordered my potatoes going for the following options (which will be delivered February):
First Earlies:  Swift (general purpose) and red duke of York (good for roasting).  These will be ready 10 weeks after planting.
Second Earlies:  British Queen (GP but excellent roasting) and Athlete which are lovely cold in salads.  These will be ready 13 weeks after planting.
Maincrop made up of early maincrop:  Carolus (GP),  Maincrop:  Blue salad (I fancy these for something different), Cara for baking and chipping and late maincrop of Sarpo Mire which can be stored until Christmas and King Edward which I think are the same.  These will be ready 20 weeks after planting.
The idea here is they all get planted at the same time and are ready to eat at different stages.  I will grow some in containers and bags but most in the ground.  We’re making a few new beds outside, 1 of which will be for the potatoes.  Having no idea how many potatoes we use and how much each plant will produce, we could be rolling in them or short for demand.  This really is an experiment.  Each order supplies apx 15 tubers (1kg).  It cost me £37 inc P&P so I will see how much we get for our money and make a note of it as next year progresses.

8 thoughts on “A little catch up, birthdays, snow, polytunnel thoughts and 2017 potatoes!

  1. Hi chic. Wow, snow. We had a bit of frost recently but nothing severe. Chucking it down in spurts today and hail yesterday! Very exciting about having a poly tunnel. I was looking at potatoes the other night. I have chosen my vaieties and I think I went for the smae number of tubers as you. I looked at the plant all at the same time option but I'd have to be really organised so I knew which wre due to come up first! I'm going to try and see how many spuds we eat between now and January. I hope to order them before the new year. Tricky as you think oh its only £40 but then you think Christmas is coming and money is needed for other stuff but then it is the ultimate food investment so I should just shut up and get on with it.x


  2. all sounds and look good, now you know why I keep records of yields, by doing this you can over time work out how much or how little you need to grow of something because there is just two of us I grow potatoes through out the year, getting a poly tunnel March April gives you plenty of time it is only the start of the season


  3. You're being very thorough in your planning which is key to success for self sufficiency…never underestimate the power of the humble potato…if you have s potato you have a meal…wishing for a sprinkling of snow here but none yet! Though I'd like good driving weather for next Thursday when we're traveling up the country to visit our son for a few days. The furthest north we'll get is to Chatsworth for their Christmas market…x


  4. You are having exactly the same thought process as me lol. However I have decided I really want to put everything into being self sufficient in veg at least, next year, so that made the decision for me. Christmas is always a tight time with one thing and another I guess but I am hoping Jan and Feb will be quiet enough! xx


  5. I'm going to be using your idea of keeping records Dawn, thanks for sharing that on your blog. I'm hoping the polytunnel works out and March gives me plenty of time to get the research done and plan every inch of it


  6. I love that – the humble potato, you are so right. Thank you for the reminder. Wishing you good driving weather on Thursday. Chatsworth is about 2.5 hours from us, looks lovely though. x


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