Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)

Organic Lady Balfour Seed Potatoes (Second Early)


I got an absolute bargin at my local garden centre yesterday, I picked up 3 x bags of seed potators for 50p each!    I will do a write up for each one individually, so here is the first one.

“Excellent resistance to the major potato diseases including blight scab and virus Y, it also has strong resistance to eelworm. The variety also gives very high yields even in soils with low fertility.”

“This means that in most seasons it can be grown without the use of chemicals and with little fertiliser making it easy to grow and ideal for organic culture.”

“The pink-splashed tubers are very attractive with tasty creamy flesh which is moist and firm meaning Lady Balfour is best suited to boiling and roasting.”

  • Yield: High
  • Shape: Oval
  • Skin: White/Purple eye
  • Flesh: Cream
  • Cooking: General Purpose – good for boiling, baking & roasting
Plant : April/May
Harvest : August/September 
Planted : Sunday 26th April 2009

Smoked Garlic & Ecoballs

I went of a little shopping expedition yesterday as a friend had mentioned that Aldi were doing a special offer on ecoballs, and I had always fancied trying them…

Whilst I was in the shop I had a good wander around and at the veggie section found some Smoked Garlic… now i’ve never had it before and bought some to give it a try, thought it might be nice in chicken or steak fajitas, and it comes all the way from the Orkney Isles in Scotland 🙂 


Now the ecoballs are good for 150 washes! which on the leaflet that came with it states that each wash works out at about 6pence.. cant be bad… you also get replacement top up pellets and a 45ml tube of eco stain remover for heavy stains.

I shall do another post on the verdict and how clean they get the clothes.


There are a few handy instructions that came with it and they are : –

  • Do not use in a boil wash
  • No need for a rinse cycle
  • No need for fabric softner

Cutting back the Conifers

Last night after we had eaten our Tea, we ventured out into the garden once more.    I wanted to get all the dead weeds lifted up from the driveway.    I had sprayed them about 10 days ago with weed killer, so the kids and I all got a pair of rubber gloves on and tackled the weeds.   

Because my driveway runs along the bottom of a neighbours garden, we tend to get all their plants growing through the fence and it looks rather unsightly, so I pushed as many as i could back through the fence, then I got the loppers out of the shed and cut the remainder of them all away..  it looks so much better.

Next on the cards was the front and side lawn, so out came the lawnmower and I got the grass cut, then proceeded to take the mower round to the back garden, my daughter volunteered to cut the back lawn, so that was a big help…. ableit she moaned the whole time she was doing it!

Because we had the loppers out, I thought it might be a good idea to cut the conifers at the side of the chicken coop/run,  back a little bit to let some light through, my son gave me a hand with this, he really enjoyed himself!

We will put the cut down branches to good use, they will be used as pea stakes, so my son stripped the branches of foliage and we will be keeping the long thinner ones.. there were quite a few chunky branches, i’ll keep these for late summer when we have a BBQ and have the chimnea fired up,  and i’ll use those to burn.    I know that pine wood crackles quite a bit, but we dont mind, as it will be used outdoors.   The rest of the foliage, will be bagged up and taken to our local refuse disposal point.

Another good lot of jobs done!

A Day in the Greenhouse….

I have spent the best part of today in my greenhouse, sowing seeds, organising things inside, enjoying the peace and quiet…

Here is an update on the things growing:-

Peas starting to sprout – Peas

Mixed Leaf Lettuce – Mixed Leaf Lettuce Seedlings

  – Climbing Flower – Morning Glory – the leaves on this are absolutely gorgeous!

Coriander – Coriander

Pink Champagne Rhubarb – Finally – Our Pink Champagne Rhubarb that I Picked this morning.

Time to Start Sowing Seeds

With me being off work this week, and my greenhouse back up and running we took a trip to the local garden centre today to buy some potting compost and seeds..

We got a good deal on the potting compost.. its John Innes Potting compost and we got 3 sacks for £10.00.

We also bought the following seeds… just to get us going..





We also bought some flower seeds

Tulips ….


Originally uploaded by T o w n i e

Tulips that I bought last weekend, they are gorgeous, and were an absolute bargin in the reduced bucket for 40p…

I love having flowers around the house, theyre bright, cheery and I just love looking at them (as well as photographing them).

In the past I have seen myself taking a special trip to the shops just to buy some flowers, but I made a rule with myself, that I would only buy flowers now if..

a. I’m in the shop at the time &
b. They are reduced in price

All part of my frugal living regime… that way I can still have flowers, but they are more of a special treat now.. so I only get them if I’m at the shops and only if they are reduced.

Certainly makes you appreciate things more 🙂

Tomato Plants..


I mentioned the other day that I had bought 3 tomato plants at the local garden centre, and as promised here are the varieties that I bought.   I bought 2 of the above, the variety is called Microtom.


I only bought one of this variety called Totem, they are both cherry tomato plants, cant wait to see what they turn out like :o)

Hola :)

I have been a tad remiss with my blogging of late, its that time of year again… clocks spring forwards, it get lighter at night for longer … things need to be done, you know what its like..

 Some good news tho.. I got home from work last night and my lovely other half had fixed and re-build my greenhouse which had been badly damaged in Feb/Mar with the gale force winds, so he got a big cuddle for that 🙂

With the greenhouse now fixed, I can get on with planning what seeds i’m going to sew, Last year was our first year at growing veggies etc in the greenhouse and was a good learning curve for us.

I want to grow more tomatoes this year, the small cherry/bitesize toms did very well indeed and cropped all the way through the summer and autumn for us, this year tho I am going to grow them in big pots instead of growbags, that way they are more portable should the need arise for some extra room.

There are loads of jobs requiring to be done in the garden too, the raised beds need turning over and prepared for me planting..

Some of the veggies I would like to grow this year include;

Peas, broad beans, beetroot, carrots, runner beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, brocolli,

Also, want to grow more herbs… basil, coriander, parsley… I already have thyme and rosemary in the garden.  But will have a nosey at the seed catalogues and find out what else I might fancy.

I have some chilli cherry tomato seeds that I will sow tonight in the greenhouse.

 I cant half waffle on about gardening stuff eh.. lol

The Cost of Living..

Is it just me or does anyone else think the cost of living is rocketing?

  • Mortgage rates are fairly high
  • Electricity and Gas prices have just increased (again)!
  • animal feed costs have rocketed
  • petrol and diesel are so expensive, roughly £1.03 per litre / £5.15 a gallon

I was reading stoney’s blog yesterday and he has a very interesting post regarding the increased cost of animals feeds.   I need to re-order organic layers pellets and organic mixed corn for my chickens this weekend.   I will look out the receipt for the last lot I ordered and compare it, just to see how much its gone up.

I’ve no idea how much it now costs to do a full weekly shop at a supermarket these days purely because I shop locally where possible,  it would be interesting to hear from people that do and your views on the subject.  

For the last couple of years I have chosen to shop locally for my meat(local butcher) , vegetables (local farmshop),  I buy my all my basic ingredients (flour, sugar, spices etc) from the Neeps Food Co-op.   

I do use the supermarket for the things that I just cant buy locally and my bill never really comes to much more than £40 for those items and thats for a whole month.

I make all our food from scratch, using raw ingredients to create wholesome, hearty, good, organic homemade meals and baking, I would say that I don’t spend an awful lot of money on luxuries, Now that I’ve had a wee rant about how this, I’ve decided that I will do a wee project and do an analysis of how much it costs me to produce the things I make.. i.e. each meal, the cakes,  puddings,  & the soups I make.

From now on every recipe that I post I will report just how much it cost me to make it for information.

Reducing My Carbon Footprint

 I have, for the past while, been taking measures to make significant reductions to my carbon footprint.

The Latest part of this task is leaving my car at home and opting to travel to work by train…..  I am pleased to report that it is working out really well.   I’m now into week 4 and I can honestly say that I do prefer it!

It’s roughly a one mile walk from my house to the train station, and once I arrive over in Edinburgh, I can either walk another mile to my work, or jump onto the courtesy shuttle bus that is laid on by my place of work.   So on miserable days like today I do take advantage of the bus, but when the weather is fair I walk it.

The return journey is much easier now,  as I car share on the way home and get dropped off at my front foor, which is great.

Although I feel what I have done so far is great, there is the option to reduce it a wee bit further..

The kids now also get the bus to school instead of me dropping them off every monring, so they are doing their wee bit too :o)