Friday, 18 September 2015

Bartering ..... and Drooling

I went to Mum's on Wednesday, on Tuesday night we were chatting on the phone and she said "if you have any spare apples could I have a few".  No sooner was I off the phone than I was out with my apple picker stick thingy bashing the hell out of the trees.

They released lots of lovely Bramleys from the tree at the far end of Chicken World and a few eaters from the other trees near the sheds.  So with the ones I already had in the fridge there were lots to share between us.  The freshly picked apples were washed and left to dry on a towel overnight, I didn't want to take any creepy crawlies in my car on the journey to Manchester!!

I also took Mum a couple of jars of the Bramble and Apple Jelly.  I managed to make eight small jars and four normal one pound jars full of this wonderfully tasting concoction .... 

.... and it had set perfectly, well I had to try a sample to check didn't I  ;-) 

When I got to Mum's we had a coffee and a chat and then set off for the Garden Centre.  I specifically said the only thing I needed to buy was some green manure seeds for the raised beds on the hillside.  At first we couldn't find any seeds, but after a large cup of coffee and a delicious lunch we set out to hunt down the seeds ... and we finally found them all laid in in the annual end of year sale.

This is how I like to buy my seeds .... at 50p a packet.  

My Dad taught me well, if you wait until September you will get virtually everything you need for the next growing year in the end of season sale at most garden centres.

I got quite a few packets of the things we eat the most .....

... and luckily for me there were two packets of green manure left ... PHEW!!

Mum got herself some packets of flower seeds and we left the garden centre as two very happy ladies who had lunched AND planned ahead for next year.

I got 18 packets of seeds for £9, adding up the prices on the packets these would normally have cost me £48.18 ... a real bargain.  And then when we got back to Mum's house and I was ready to settle up she said we were bartering our goods not handing over cash.

So apples, jam and spinach got me potentially

10 Marrows
12 Butternut Squash
125 Leeks
200 Carrots
200 Parsnips
605 Onions
1750 Spring Onions
1850 Radishes

Brilliant ...... I love a good barter  :-)

When I got home the remaining jars of jam were stashed in the now rapidly filling larder unit .....

... reminding me of the one I saw at the Garden centre, the one that I drool over every time I visit!!

A girl can dream  :-)

Sue xx


  1. It's good to barter. I barter with my dad. His tomatoes and cucumbers have done so well in his greenhouse, unlike our outside ones, so we exchange our runner beans, courgettes and pickled beetroot with him as he hasn't grown these this year. Waste not want not! (Mrs LH)

  2. Great stuff! The jams sound very tempting I must say, used to eat tons of the stuff, hardly any now I've growed up.

  3. This reminds me of the cellar where we stored all our harvested and preserved items. It was cool and by the end of summer it was quite full. Good finds for you and Mum, and a lovely day as well, I would assume.

  4. I want a larder like that too. Glad you both had a good day out & a perfect battering system too x

  5. I bet Lovely Hubby could make you a larder like that one. In his *cough* spare time.. *cough*

  6. Isn't it amazing how a cup of coffee and a delicious lunch improve the ability to find bargains? Your metabolism is obviously like mine.

  7. Would love that larder unit. I'd soon fill it as I'm trying to make sure I have at least 2 months food justvicase we get a bad winter

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  9. WOW! All that and 'ladies who lunch' too! Here in New Zealand I don't think seeds are ever on special. We live in the city and have a pocket handkerchief back garden with a tiny planter box, just big enough for lettuces and herbs, so I love hearing about your gardening prowess. Such a totally different life, I'm so envious. Thanks for sharing with us.

  10. Didn't you do well! Please tell me what is "Green Manure" or is that a brand name? Intrigued!
    Cath from Cath@Home

    1. It is plant seeds that grow over the course Winter and then get dug into the ground to add all their goodness to the soil in Spring. So you are growing the green manure in the place you need it. The plants anchor the soil through the Winter rain and bad weather too. Our soil desperately needs this added goodness as it used to be just grazing paddock.

  11. I buy bags of animal feed such as barley, oats,rye, peas, lupins etc to mix and use for green manure. I buy it at Animal Tuckerbox Australia and it works out to be very cheap compared to the prepackaged green manure at the plant nurseries.


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