Hester Winterbourne

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since Feb 12, 2014
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Joined site because whilst browsing for permaculture ideas for my new allotment (it's too wet to garden) I couldn't resist the plant ID challenge...
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West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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Recent posts by Hester Winterbourne

I'm just wondering if the asparagus is going to enjoy this set-up?  I find it is prone to slug damage.  I've dug up all my crowns in preparation for moving next year and am envisaging trying to give it something more like a shingle beach to grow in.  However, I do know of one plant which has been happily growing in a neighbour's rose bed for years!  Also, at the time you are wanting to find and harvest spears will the other things around it make it more difficult to find?
4 months ago
I have some morsels to add to this...

According to my mum, my father (who grew up in west Devon) solved the jam/cream scone question by having cream on one half and jam on the other and eating alternate bites.

Some people have mentioned using buttermilk as the liquid in scones/biscuits/soda bread, but I don't think anyone has suggested whey, which I've found to also work very well.  And I was also given a recipe for Italian canistrelli, which use white wine.  The recipe didn't seem to make sense and I sort of turned them into something more fluffy and scone-like than I think they're supposed to be.  But they were very nice.
6 months ago
Hi Nancy, I've been to Skye a couple of times and I'm awestruck by what you have achieved!  
7 months ago

Nancy Reading wrote: wondering at what stage to pick the fruit. I'm also wondering whether to sow or eat them! I can do both of course, since the pips will be rather large to swallow.

Each berry has several pips so you will not need many berries to get a good little potful of potential seedlings.  Also, mine has berries too so I can send you some seed if you would like it.

As for ripeness, leave them until they are very dark red if the birds will let you... when you pull them off the tree, they will come off the stalk with an almost "punky" feel when ripe.
7 months ago
I react badly to insect bites, not at first but a day or two later they start to itch infernally, and I've found hand sanitiser gives me some relief.
7 months ago
I can't grow horseradish.  That thing that you can't get rid of.  I've tried three times and each time it's just dwindled away to nothing...
A friend of mine had an electric comb that zapped the little devils.

For what it's worth, both my kids had head lice at some stage ( I never did, can't have had enough friends) and I never stressed out majorly over washing bedding and toys etc, more than the usual routine.
7 months ago
I re-use jars for jam and chutney as much as I can, but if not I buy from the local farm store.  I used to have some kilner-type jars, but found them too awkward in use and filling.  Ordinary jam jars, well washed, filled with boiling water and left to stand on the draining board, then emptied and put in a warm oven to dry out before filling, and the lids are boiled in a pan.
7 months ago
Beaver reintroductions have been going on for quite a few years now in the UK.  As they are still classed as "non-native" a licence is required and they must be kept in a secure enclosure.  Much is made of their abilities to re-naturalise wetland ecosystems and alleviate flooding.  A non-enclosed population has been present on the River Otter (yes, really) in Devon since 2008, but its origin is unclear.  After lengthy legal wranglings, they were given official leave to remain in 2020 and there are about 15 beaver families there now.  I think something similar happened in Scotland.  There is of course some backlash from people who are worried about the possible negative effects on farmland and residential areas, but generally the publicity is good.
8 months ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:OOOH! Thank you Hester!! You win!
Right spore print, growth habit, gill color and all! YAY!!!

AND it's labeled "A delicious edible"   :D

Only problem now is I just saw guys looking at the tree, bet they are gonna cut it, it's not healthy...

Ask if you can have the logs?
8 months ago