Anyway we got the shopping out of the way we had to also go and purchase a new tumble dryer, all my efforts to keep the old one going was no longer an option and with six of us I can not forgo having a dryer. We went to both aldi's and farm foods and spent about £150.00 and this will feed all six of us plus the additional mouths that we have at weekends for the next three weeks and perhaps a few extra days. This shopping included toiletries, detergents and other household items. We will probably spend an additional £20 during the month for milk and fresh produce as and when needed.
Below you can see a shot of our menu, I have only done it for three weeks as myself and Jay are away for five days at the end of January and I will just make slightly more of the meals we have during January and freeze it for when we are away.
I did post the link for a meal planner in a previous post but you can see it by clicking here There are also filled in planners and lots of recipes to suit all budgets and tastes.
Jay made us a lovely brunch of eggs Benedict made with fresh eggs from the girls and a beautiful piece of home cooked gammon perched on a toasted muffin and dressed with Hollandaise sauce.
I went out and cleaned out the girls whilst they ran about and rummaged about the garden.I have had a look at the roof on the summerhouse, I need to clean out the guttering on the summerhouse as they have become blocked with leaves and catkins from the silver birch tree. I did put netting over the guttering but they have still filled up and blocked and this is forcing the water into the roof and causing the leak. So now I know (or think) I know what is causing the problem I can fix it. I will hope to get this done either Tuesday or Wednesday this week weather permitting of course.
I have also been doing my planning for the vegetable garden. I grabbed my boxes of seeds from the summerhouse and had a look through to see what I had and to make sure all was in date. I have been reading through my previous posts from last year to see what was a good grower and what wasn't and to be honest there was not that many successes!
I have decided to grow a selection of salad crops in various pots and containers up on the decking and hopefully they will not suffer to much slug damage by being up off the ground, especially if we have the wet weather we had last year. I will also have the tomatoes up on the decking growing in pots.
I am growing my strawberries in the small raised bed, the girls are little monkeys and keep jumping up and digging here so this might be a bad move unless I can keep them off.
In the large raised bed I will be growing peas, beans, carrots and the new vegetable I am going to try and grow which is fennel. I will not be bothering with onions this year but I will be growing more salads and herbs and will hopefully have better success with the sweetcorn and I also want to grow Jerusalem artichokes. I will grow the potatoes in the growbags as usual.
In the vegetable plot I will have various cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers and leeks in one section. In the next section I will have beans and sweetcorn and in the last section I will have squashes,courgettes and hopefully squeeze in a pumpkin plant.
This is just a rough sort of plan, it always changes as time goes on but it is something for me to aim for. I will be sowing my broad beans direct in the ground in March and also the leeks. In the greenhouse the first sowings will be herbs, peas and cauliflowers. Last year I was sowing already but I am going to wait it out this year and hopefully have a bit more success.
I found a really good website earlier all about companion planting. I like to be as organic in my vegetable growing as possible and by growing certain plants together this can help combat the pests that attack our plants. I am going to plant basil with my tomatoes as this improves flavour and growth.
I will again plant marrigolds around my brassicas and I will also be planting basil, thyme and sage amongst the cabbages and also using mint as a mulch helps to keep the cabbage white butterfly away. Anything that will help me to get my greens to the table in an organic way will be used!
And planting chives, leeks and carrots together helps to combat carrot fly. I don't know if any of this will work but it can't hurt to try.
The website to find out all about companion planting is Golden Harvest Organics and can be found HERE
Well that is it from me for now, I hope you have all had a great weekend. Until next time x