Oh that she were…

A banana and a medlar.
A banana and a medlar.
When I last blogged about the medlar, we hadn’t had any fruit in our garden yet.

This year, however, our tree is full of beautiful bletting (i.e., rotting) fruit. We need some more frost to speed up the process, but that has been promised for next week, so I’m really looking forward to feast on rotten open-arse fruits soon.

I would have loved to plant a poperin pear tree next to it (cf. the famous lines in Romeo and Juliett: “O Romeo, that she were, O that she were // An open-arse and thou a poperin pear!”), but as far as I know, that specific cultivar has disappeared.

Its cultural role as the phallic fruit par excellence has been taken over by the banana, of course, but I’m not sure it’s as easy to grow medlars and bananas side by side.

Pickled green tomatoes

Green tomatoes
Green tomatoes, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
I planted the tomato plants a bit too close together in the greenhouse this year, and the resulting perpetual shade has produced a harvest of 2.7 kg of green tomatoes, but only one single red one!

Fortunately, pickled green tomatoes is one of my favourites, so I spent an hour pickling them yesterday.

Here’s the receipe I used, adapted from this Danish one:

1 kg green tomatoes
2 chillies
2 vanilla pods
300 ml white wine vinegar
300 ml water
400 g sugar

Wash the tomatoes and the chillies and pierce them deeply with a fork.

Split the vanilla pods.

Bring vinegar, water and sugar to the boil and add the chillies and the vanilla pods.

Add one layer of tomatoes and boil them for 5-7 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the tomatoes.

Put the tomatoes, chillies and vanilla pods into sterilised jars. Top up with the hot liquid, and put the lids on.

Leave for two weeks before eating.

Dandelion puller


We’ve had a dandelion (mælkebøtte in Danish) problem for years. Phyllis has spent countless hours pulling them up by hand, which is a backbreaking and thankless task.

A couple of days ago I then ordered a weed puller from Amazon, and it arrived today.

I was a wee bit doubtful that it would really be worth the money, but it’s great! It pulls up a dandelion within a couple of seconds, and often with the entire root attached.

Parts of it are made of plastic, but it looks reasonably sturdy, so I would definitely recommend this tool to all gardeners!

A bigger greenhouse



Thomas’s new toy
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Our old greenhouse lost a few panes during Hurricane Bawbag, and somewhat bizarrely the insurance company decided it would rather give us a new greenhouse instead of replacing the two broken panes.

So today two guys from Evander turned up with a half-assembled greenhouse.

However, the one they brought was significantly bigger than the old one (same width, but much deeper), so they had to build it in a different location from the old one.

I’m well chuffed, however – I’ve been annoyed for years that the old one was too wee.

The old drawback is that I now need to move the fig tree and the grape vine into the new greenhouse, and the ivy out of it, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it!

Endelig forår



1st garden breakfast 2011
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Det er nu rart, når vinteren endelig siger helt farvel, og man kan sidde udenfor i solen og spise morgenmad uden overtøj på.

I år har vejret virkelig haft travlt i den sidste uge – det er præcist en uge siden, børnene byggede årets sidste snemand.

Nu gælder det så om at få smidt nogle frø i jorden – hvis det går som det sidste par år, slutter sommeren nok midt i august, så der er ingen tid at spilde!

Iglobygning i Skotland



Big igloo
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Da der for en gangs skyld faldt ordentlige mængder sne i den forgange uge, besluttede jeg mig for at bygge en iglo til børnene i haven.

Alle danskere har vel i skolen og på TV hørt så meget om Grønland, at principperne for iglobygning er velkendte.

Phyllis virkede dog ret chokeret, som om det var noget meget eksotisk og mystisk at bygge sig en simpel iglo.

Måske glemmer danskere nogle gange, hvor meget Grønland egentlig fylder i dansk kultur. Jeg burde nok prøve at skaffe Nissebanden på Grønland på DVD, så Léon, Anna og Amaia kan lære lidt mere om det store kolde land.

This year’s achocha harvest



A plate full of achochas
Originally uploaded by viralbus

I’m a member of the Heritage Seed Library, which means that I get five interesting seed packets every winter.

This year’s delivery included achocha seeds.

I sowed them in my greenhouse, and the plant was really vigorous and tried to take the over the world.

In the end, it didn’t produce a lot of fruit compared to the amount of plant growth – just one small plate of achochas (see the photo).

Now I need to find out what to use them for. They taste like cucumbers, but the skin is leathery and they contain large stony pips, so they’re not good for eating raw.

Apparently you can stuff them and bake them, but they’re tiny – about the size of my thumb – so it would be a lot of effort for a small starter.

Any ideas?