The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


We are gardening but just in case you are wondering, we are still developing recipes

Posted in General care | 7 comments

We are gardening but just in case you are wondering, we are still developing recipes

Last Sunday D roasted a superb chicken, stuffed with some of the lemon skins and orange peel left over from the St Clements Punch. He added a teaspoon of finely chopped preserved lemons and presented a roast chicken dish to die for. This evening we made a great stir fry with the remnants of the lemony orangey infused chicken. Now we need to try this recipe with complete lemons and oranges, rather than just the peel. I’d be loath to encourage anyone to use just the skins of citrus fruit. We will, of course also add the instructions for those...

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Why buy compost for your pots when you can make it at home?

Posted in General care, Save Money | 9 comments

Why buy compost for your pots when you can make it at home?

With the “save money in 2008 challenge” gripping the reins of the cottage smallholder spending, I’d been a bit concerned about the annual outlay on seeds, grow bags and loads of compost for the large pots that are dotted about in the kitchen garden. We usually have fifteen tomato plants growing on a warm south west facing wall of the cottage. So I bought two ultra cheap grow bags from Netto and three decent ones and within seconds of planting them up, realised that the saving was a mistake. The Netto ones were rougher in...

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Tea and roses

Posted in Discoveries, General care | 17 comments

Tea and roses

I realised that if I bought leaf tea rather than tea bags I could save a bit of cash and also use the sweet little tea spoon that I inherited from my grandmother. It meant a week of drinking some rather elderly mango infused tea to finish the caddy. I stuck it for a couple of days and put the rest in the compost bin – it is supposed to be a fertiliser after all. We discovered that the loose tea leaves were packed with far more flavour than the same type and brand of teabags. But dealing with the tea leaves was going to be a bit of a...

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Eggshell fertiliser for your roses and vegetables

Posted in General care | 5 comments

Eggshell fertiliser for your roses and vegetables

The pile of eggshells on the top of the cooker after breaksfast this morning jangled a distant memory. My mother kept a pot beside the cooker for eggshells years ago. She just tossed them in without rinsing. I can see her now, pressing them down and still hear the satisfying crunch as the eggshells were crushed. The pot was quite big, about eight inches high. When it was full she would scatter the broken shells at the base of her rose bushes as a fertiliser. We tend not to put our eggshells into the compost as they are known to attract rats,...

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