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newbie here
Wed 25-May-11
9:59 am
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RuthG
Village near Durham

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Wed 25-May-11
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Hello. My name is Ruth and I found this site yesterday when researching sloe gin and what to do with the 'spent' sloes. Excellent site, very informative, so far.

 

I live in a huge but ramshackle house which we are trying to renovate, while also living in it. In fact we have been working on it for the past 16 years!

 

For one reason and another we have neglected the garden for the past 6 years and I have now got round to tackling it, to make a 'cottage' smallholding (we have 3/4 acre, though the house stands on some of that). The challenge at the moment is to clear a 'patch' for veg growing and we are trying to be more careful about waste and throwing stuff away. The veg-plot-to-be is about 66 feet long and 20 feet wide. It has now been cleared of brambles and 4' high nettles and about 1/4 has been dug over - still working on that bit!

 

Hubby has a relatively new job 70 miles from home, so we are looking to complete the house and garden and move in Spring next year.

 

Think that should be all for now - I have a reputation for talking too much!

Wed 25-May-11
10:17 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave Hi Ruth, 

Welcome to the forum where most of us talk a fair bit & some of us are crazy & many of us are living in houses that we are doing up over a period of years (me for one, it's total chaos here¦!!  barnie ) 

You have all my sympathy dealing with such a large area of nettles & brambles. I have just dealt with a similar problem. I still have nettles trying to come through in some areas but I will win through eventually. The tender tops make wonderful soup, along with potatoes & it makes me feel good to make use of them to eat.

Join in the free-for-all, it will be great to hear of your experiences.

Hattie/aka Nadine

smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 25-May-11
12:35 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Welcome Ruth, you are our third!  Sounds like a tough job, your house and garden, I wish you well with it.  We like chatterboxes here, so don't stop now.

I'll try that again!

Wed 25-May-11
12:59 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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Hi (again!) Ruth, we too have a recently-constructed (last year) veg plot that was.....and still threatens to be!! yell.....overrun by nettles and brambles.  We will win eventually........she says, optimistically.

Unlike Nadine, however, we don't eat the nettles (yuck springs to mind, lol) - husband prefers to do his caveman thing and zap them with his flamethrower weedy thing.  Boys and their toys.........roll_eyesbig_laugh

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 25-May-11
1:16 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave Hi Sooliz, nettles don't taste at all like celery..... big_laugh.....more like spinach but without the metallic aftertaste. I also make a tisane of it but I prefer to drink it cold rather than hot. It has a lovely taste, very refreshing. I started to drink it because a friend recommended it to ease my terrible hay-fever. So far I haven't had any symptons this year......so far....others have been complaining of itchy eyes & runny noses......I feel very smug.

I was very loathe to try them to begin with but I have a rule for myself that I have to try everything once at least. 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 25-May-11
4:07 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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Ahem, Nadine, I don't like spinach either............embarassedbig_laugh

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 25-May-11
4:28 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Ah, well.................!!

 

whistle No hope there then.

big_laugh big_laugh

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 25-May-11
7:11 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Welcome to the madhouse Ruth, where are you hoping to move to?wave

 

I didn't know the tea was good for hayfever, might give it a try - not that I have hayfever but wondered if it was any good for allergies in general, like whatever is plaguing my eye and insect bites. Can only try anyway. Do you just use the new shoots for the tea Hattie?what_the_heck

Wed 25-May-11
7:27 pm
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RuthG
Village near Durham

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Somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales or Moors, within commuting distnace of Scarborough. I prefer the Dales, but the Moors are nearer (and has steam trains smile)

Thu 26-May-11
9:11 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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JoannaS said:

Welcome to the madhouse Ruth, where are you hoping to move to?wave

 

I didn't know the tea was good for hayfever, might give it a try - not that I have hayfever but wondered if it was any good for allergies in general, like whatever is plaguing my eye and insect bites. Can only try anyway. Do you just use the new shoots for the tea Hattie?what_the_heck

wave Hi Joanna,

It depends on the time of year.....in the spring I use the whole stem (not the roots) because they are very tender, as the summer goes on I only use the tips(otherwise it tastes too strong & rather rank). I do, however cut back the plants when I first see them trying to flower & this way they produce new tender shoots all summer & well into autumn.

Interestingly yesterday I had to strim my front lawn (I have been neglecting it) In previous years any form of grass-cutting has always bought on extreme wheezing, runny nose, sore eyes, & welts on my skin. Yesterday I was perfectly fine.....I was so surprised & very pleased.  

I don't know whether it will help with your poor sore eyes but it certainly will boost your general system & I find it delicious, esp when cool or chilled. I just pour almost boiling water over the nettles & leave them in till it is cold....I then remove them & feed them to the chickens. Don't be tempted to leave them steeping for days as it will start fermenting (if this happens it gets very stinky & should be poured over your plants).....It is a win-win game......Nettles are so useful, you should always have some in your gardens, especially for the butterflies.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 26-May-11
9:32 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Joanna wave

I have just had an idea about your eyes¦..have you tried putting cucumber on them. I remember years ago having very sore eyes (I wanted to tear them out of my head). I was staying with friends in Italy & they suggested mincing up cold cucumbers & putting the mush in a clean cloth & laying these poultices on my eyes. It really worked & was very pleasant to lie down with this cool & beautifully smelling cure. I did it a couple of times a day & the soreness was gone in two days. It's worth trying¦..hope it works. Let us know if you try it. It was an old family cure of my Italian friends.

big_hug

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 26-May-11
8:25 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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I tried the old t-bag routine earlier on which was nice but they have only just got cucumbers in the shops here and I was trying not to buy veg from the shops but manage with what we have in the freezer. Having said that I did freeze some for chutneys last year - now there's an idea runaway

Fri 27-May-11
4:34 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Useful as it will be mushy when it defrosts.....I hope the soreness gets better soon. Eyes are so vulnerable. I have had to have several operations on mine.....cry.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 27-May-11
5:37 am
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kayerunrig
lincolnshire

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Having won the nettle bramble battle , you could barely see the house for them on moving in ...we found the best method was strimmer off to ground lever if you have a wood chipper use it, but put  the chippings straight back on to the soil dont dig its a never ending thankless job but do scrounge loads of old carpet to lay on any exposed soil , first year dig only what you rearly need and plant through said carpet where possible  excluding the light prevents the millions of seeds youve spread about while cutting them down germinating and rotting nettles are great fertiliser !!

Fri 27-May-11
6:29 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave

Great suggestions Kaye but if Ruth can't get enough old suitable carpet you can use thick layers of dampened newspapers or flattened brown cardboard boxes, they do the same job & eventually break down (unlike a lot of carpets which often have synthetic backings). You can plant through the paper/card as suggested.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

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