It culminated in a mouse

The last time I didn’t write on my blog for a week was before I started blogging. But here I am, seven days since I last mentioned anything about compost bins or the bokashi.

Before I get to either of these things, though, there is an update on the cauliflower which seemed to be growing normally. Except it then changed its mind and yesterday, when I came to harvest it, this is what it looked like:

My daughter still ate some of it, so that is good news of sorts. Better news is that I’ve worked out why the bokashi bin seemed to have stopped working. The tap was blocked, so one messy job later I got several bottles of juice, which I decided to put down the drains, as it is supposed to be good for them.

To be honest, it looked more like red cider, as the high volume of apple in the shape of peel and cores had got very excited in there – and I think everyone is aware of what beetroot can do!

Anyway, the compost bin… I finally got round to moving it this morning and what I’d suspected might be a rat in there turned out to be a mouse. It was obviously scared by a massive creature digging into its winter home but I think it made its way to the wood pile further up the garden.

In spite of the snow and low temperatures last week, we’re still eating borage and the nasturtiums are holding up well (i.e. looking fresh, as the wind has stopped them holding themselves upright). The broad beans are also starting to come through, so the next job is to take out the pepper plants and sow some more of the former.

The two remaining tomato plants (in pots), on the other hand, seem not only to have resisted the ravages of blight but also added to the Sunday lunch table. I’m altogether surprised that apart from the damp and darkness, the garden still looks like we could be in another season but then maybe it’s always like this in November, I just never realised.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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19 Responses to It culminated in a mouse

  1. Awesome update must a mit a couple days late updating my grow buddies project will do after lunch

  2. Kalamain says:

    Will you try to over-winter the peppers?

    And mice aren’t a problem like rats are. I would be tempted to leave it be.

    • Helen says:

      Oh, I am leaving the mouse 😊. The thing is, I’d already almost emptied the bin before it appeared, and it’s never a bad idea to turn compost, is it πŸ˜‰.

      I’m not going to overwinter the peppers as I need the space to sow broad beans. If I did have space I might be tempted but to be honest these plants (last year as well) weren’t impressive.

      • Kalamain says:

        I remember the last time a mouse (rat in my case) appeared right in front of me… I had to go change my pants!

        Fair enough with the peppers. Unless they are one of the stranger types you can always buy more or sow your own.

        • Helen says:

          I’ve never been eyeball to eyeball with a rat πŸ˜‰

          Some got into the lofts in our row but they only had a go at an old child’s car seat and I never heard them myself.

          • Kalamain says:

            I’ve had it a few times… Once with more than one rat… Now THAT was not your typical day!

            We actually had them in our loft as well when we first moved in but the council were actually quite on the ball with it… Although we did have some issues with the fact that next door, at the time, was empty so they kept coming back in. When we got a cat it all went away…. Strange that! B-)

          • Helen says:

            Mm, very strange.

            A black cat has been keeping an eye on the compost bin and I saw it pounce into the wood pile the other day. Can be entertaining at times.

  3. andy1076 says:

    Well now, It looks like you found yourself an unexpected guest and one with great eye for someone who’s really good with the garden πŸ˜‰

  4. mybrightlife says:

    I find it amazing too that your still growing and harvesting for your table this late in the year. Great! As winter kicks in here in Bahrain we are moving into gardening season!

    • Helen says:

      Do you have a garden where you are now?

      To be honest, the tomatoes weren’t that tasty – you know how tomatoes go after they have been in the fridge. The borage flowers were fine, though.

  5. Welcome back to your blog, Helen. I’m glad you continue to enjoy production in your fall garden. Good for you.

    Oh, I could tell you stories about rats! They are commonplace here. Our cat used to bring them indoors (alive) and set them loose for us to find them days or weeks later. One destroyed the lining of the dishwasher by chewing and nesting in the insulation. They eat the oranges on the tree and occasionally startle us on summer evenings when we’re sitting in the swing. That said, we’ve learned to seal up the house so that they can’t get in through the openings for pipes, and we closed off the cat door, too. Now they at least stay outdoors.


    • Helen says:

      Glad they stay outdoors now, Alys!

      I’m not blogging as much now as I can only work in the garden when it is light and then I’ve been busy in other ways 😊


    I’d love to know what else I can do with borage, except eat the little flowers. I’ve got loads, they self seed their socks off and I leave them because the bees love them so much.

    • Helen says:

      I’ve only ever eaten the flowers, too. You can eat the leaves raw when they are young but you can cook them at all times. Greens aren’t a problem for me to get hold of so I’ve not tried yet but maybe one day.

  7. Lavinia Ross says:

    We have had an unusually mild fall here with no frost yet! Kale is doing quite well now, but the Spanish Bullnose pepper plants are still looking good, and it is almost December.

    • Helen says:

      That’s great news! We are set to go to minus 2 (Celsius) tomorrow morning. So it looks like we’ll be scraping windscreens for the first time this winter (for me, anyway).

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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