Look at our apple trees now!

Remember we planted some sprouted apple seeds nearly five and a half years ago? I can’t believe it’s been over five years!  Anyway, look at them now!  In our last update, three years ago, they were still in pots, but not long after that we planted them in the chickens’ area of the garden where my husband works.  We thought they’d make the chickens’ patch more interesting and give them some shade in the summer.  They grew at different rates, maybe because they’re different types of apples but also because a couple of them have been plagued with ants farming aphids on them.  The little one at the back of the photo (above) was in a really bad way last year because it was smothered in greenfly so I soaked some soapnuts in a bottle of water and doused them liberally with it and this year it’s really bounced back.  Doesn’t seem a very vegan thing to do though does it?  But I want to protect the trees.  This year the ants are still there and the greenfly are back, though not in such great numbers yet.  I was hoping some ladybirds might help out if I left things alone but so far I’ve only seen one so I’m not really sure the best course of action.

Any natural suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂

This one is the strongest this year – isn’t it marvellous?  A nice bit of shade for the chicks and, five years in, we’re half way to getting some apples.  Greenfly permitting 😉

Growing your own trees – it’s a rollercoaster of joy and apprehension! ❤

It’s time to look at the apple trees

Remember, way back in February 2014, we planted some apple seeds?

and they grew (well some of them died, but some of them grew)

And we checked in on them in 2015 and again in 2016 and they just kept on growing!

So we planted them outside in the ground.  We thought the chickens might like them for shade when they’re bigger, but while they’re still young we put some wood around them to keep the girls from scratching the earth off their roots.  There’s four in here (I wonder if you’ll be able to spot them all), and two of them are taller than me!  The 8 to 10 years wikihow said we’d have to wait for fruit seemed like a long time, but it’s been 3 years already and time’s just flying 😀

NB this is not my garden 🙂 but luckily we were able to plant them here.  So, if you don’t have anywhere of your own to plant them, look for a suitable spot on public property where they won’t get hacked down by farm machinery and then everyone can enjoy them.  Check out the Scottish Forest Gardener to see how he successfully plants trees on council property 🙂

Plant trees!  You know it makes sense 😉

 

Home Grown Apple Trees – Look at them now!

apple trees from seed

Remember a couple of years ago we started growing apple trees from seed?

FLASH BACK: this is how they looked in February 2014

Well, we’ve kept on with it, sprouting seed after seed, growing seedling after seedling, and we have quite a few in different sized pots around the garden.  Some of them didn’t make it, sadly, but that’s the way it goes, and we just keep on going.  (I say ‘we’ but really it’s Miranda who does all the work.  I help with watering 😉 )

apple trees from seed

If you look over here you will see what our oldest ones looked like a year ago – nice strong, woody stems, but still tiny.

But now the tallest one is about four feet tall!  I’ve photographed it next to a garden chair to give you some idea of scale:

apple trees grown from seed

How fantastic is that?!!!

It seems like no time since we sprouted those first seeds.

We have planted a few in the wild and intend to keep doing that, inconspicuously near public footpaths, in the hope of providing free food for the future, but most of them are still in pots for now.

apple trees from seed

We love our little trees 😀

If you want to do this yourself, go to the original post to see how 🙂

Recommended Reading: FRUITS – A Caribbean counting poem

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

We love this book!

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

It’s so perfect!  Full of vibrant colour and light.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

Valerie Bloom’s happy, funny poem is gorgeously illustrated by David Axtell.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

Every page is full of delicious mischief and tasty, sweet, juicy fruit.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

The rhyming story is told in the first person from the point of view of a delightfully naughty little girl who loves fruit and eats as much as she can get her hands on while teaching little sis how to get it without getting caught.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

The written-in Caribbean accent naturally adds sunshine to the words and you really feel like you’re inside the head of big sis; which makes you as eager as she to taste all those juicy fruits.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

I probably shouldn’t show any more, wouldn’t want to spoil the ending 😉 You really should get down to the library and borrow this wonderful book (or get your own copy) – especially if you’ve got a little one who’s learning to count.

Highly highly recommended 😀

Food Wordsearch

food wordsearch

Search for the following food items and draw a line through them – they might be forwards, backwards, vertical, upside down or diagonal.  And you don’t have to print it out if you don’t want to – just click on the pic, then right click and save it to your computer, then open it in ‘paint’, or whatever picture editing program you’ve got, and you can draw the lines on there 🙂

APPLE    POMEGRANATE    DATES    FIGS    LENTILS    TOFU    BEANS

POTATOES    SPINACH    KALE    SQUASH    PORRIDGE    PEAR    OATS

CABBAGE    LETTUCE    TOMATO    PEAS    APRICOT    PLUM    LEEK

BROCCOLI    CUCUMBER    CAVOLO NERO    CHERRY    ORANGE    RAISINS

PARSNIP    TURNIP    WALNUTS    BANANA    CARROT    ONION    GARLIC

PEPPERS    CASHEWS    GRAPES

Fruit Sudoku

fruit sudoku

I think sudokus are fun but someone I know hates maths so numbers make him panic and he just won’t try them.  I told him they have nothing to do with maths but he is adamant!

So I’ve made a fruit sudoku for those who, like him, are panicked by numbers.

For the uninitiated: the idea is to fill each box with one of each fruit while making sure that there is also one, and only one, of each in every vertical and horizontal line.

You don’t need to print this out.  Just copy/save the picture and open it on your computer in ‘Paint’ or similar picture editing program.  Then zoom so that you can see the whole thing on your screen and copy and paste fruits into the empty squares as you solve the puzzle.

Have some fruity fun 😀

Apple Trees Revisited

Remember we decided to grow our own apple trees from seed?

Travel back in time to February 2014 to see how our apple trees began 🙂

They dropped all their leaves in the winter (we actually thought one of them had died and were going to plant something else in the pot) but then spring came and they came back with gusto!  They’ve got beautiful new leaves and strong woody stems.  Look at them now:

DSCN3675

DSCN3676

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And here’s some new babies we’ve just got started (there are so many apples in our future 😀 ):

DSCN3680

And look at them in May 2016!

Live Right, Shine Bright

We are not fully raw; we still enjoy cooked potatoes, and lentils; we have rolled oats for breakfast; we eat tofu.  But we do include as much raw as we can in our diet and it makes us feel great.  Energised. I love juicing fruits and greens and making them into ice pops.  I love frozen bananas instead of shop-bought ice cream.  I love raw, and semi-raw cakes and treats which contain no sugar or added sweetener, and no gluten, are actually good for me, and yet make me feel indulgent as they are superior in taste and feel-good factor to traditional sugar-laden sweets.  I am excited about all the new things I have learned this year about raw foods and how good they make me feel and I am grateful to so many people who have shared their experiences so that I can learn more.

One of these people is Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, better known as FullyRawKristina

This lady is a positive inspiration, and though many of us may not be in a position to live as she does – such large quantities organic fresh produce are very expensive – we can each do as much as we can within our own means and feel better for it.  For example, I have found that when I tried to be fully raw I got too skinny and simply wasn’t eating enough.  Now that I compromise by adding cooked potatoes and lentils, for example, to my raw fruit and veggies, I feel great, am back to my normal weight and still getting a very nutritious diet.  I love this video because Kristina encourages us to look at her example, and take from it what works for us.  It’s all about experimenting until we get it right and being our own best, our own happiest, in our own way.

Come rhyme with me

Barbies

First these little gems by the lovely Barry Wax:

“You will eat anything,” said the cow to the Billy Goat.
“Not at all,” the goat burped with the flavor of the shoe on his lips.
The cow munched on the cud and thought the remark over.
“I am not sure who is worse in habits, you or the pig?”
The pig looked up offended. “I admit I eat slop but the goat will eat the buttons off a coat and then the coat.”
“I have you all beat said the human. I will eat the goat, the cow and the pig.”
The three nodded in fear for they realized the human was the worse and hoped he would not pick one of them for dinner.
Fortunately goosey came by and within seconds became the bon appetite for the night.

****

The vegetable from outer space never eat meat.

And so the human race was not the dish it meant to eat.

The vegetable from outer space was reddish in color,

It had seven eyes, four ears and a dozen tiny, tiny feet.

The vegetable from space had blood the color of blue,

It breathed oxygen and gave out CO2 and in the air flew.

The vegetable from space had a high IQ and came for peace,

It landed in the city and a homeless man fined him and did eat.

No more vegetable from outer space, no more savior of mankind,

For the homeless man the vegetable from outer space was food and there was no meal line.

****

What is an olive?

It is a fruit from an evergreen tree.

It has yellow flowers.

It makes olive oil.

There are green olives and black olives.

It has the good fat.

It fights heart disease.

I like it in my salad.

I like it on my pizza.

Olives are great.

****

The pair of pears were juicy.

The melon ripe and moist.

The watermelon was sweet.

With the fruit we rejoice.

The energy flowed through us,

It was vital and strong.

We harmed nothing in this post,

We are like the earth reborn.

****

A salad is on my mind.

Crispy lettuce of any kind.

Cucumber sliced and scattered around.

A few placed olives to be found.

A celery stalk on both sides.

A cream sauce moving like the tides.

A slice of pickle.

To make my mouth tickle.

My taste buds tingle and wait,

Got to eat that salad, it looks first rate.

Thanks Barry 🙂

And this next poem, about the joy of the world around us and our connection to it,

was written by Tokoni Uti who also wanted to join in.

Earth Poem

We are eating  from the womb of the earth.
We  are celebrating the patriots of birth.
We are dancing in her familiar rain.
And harvesting herbs for the healing of pain
The wrath of the sun kisses our shoulders.
And the caresses of the wind are getting bolder. 
The whispers of the wind cries in our ears.
The call of the sea embraces our fear.

Thanks for your contribution Tokoni 🙂

Make some sugar-free jam – you know you want to!

sugar free jam

If you want jam but not sugar (nor other added sweetener either) then this is the recipe for you!

In the inventor’s own words “This recipe for strawberry jam does take some time to make in the absence of sugar or a natural sweetener, but the end result is pure strawberry goodness. It is definitely sweet enough and has an amazing buttery smooth and creamy consistency. I guarantee that if you like fresh strawberries, you will love this recipe.”

So go on, pop over to this website – Living Healthy with Chocolate dot com – and give it a go!

I know I’m going to! 🙂

Grow your own apple trees

COMICS FOR VEGGIE KIDS

One day we caught the bus into the city and on the way, in the middle of nowhere, the bus stopped to pick someone up.  Right next to the bus stop, on the wide grass verge, was a large apple tree.  It was full of apples.  An apple tree, in the middle of nowhere, by a bus stop, apparently not belonging to anyone.  Free apples for anyone who chose to help themselves.

“How brilliant!” we thought.  We should all plant fruit and nut trees at every opportunity, and provide free food for foragers.  Food that will keep being produced year after year without any help from us.

So, we looked up how to grow an apple tree from seed (turns out there’s seed drying, seed damp-wrapping and seed cooling to be done, plus some weeks of waiting) and began 🙂

apple seedling

This was taken in January of our first seedling

And this is what it looks like now

And this is what it looks like now

So far we have 3 little apple trees going strong, all different varieties as advised on wikihow

So far we have 3 little apple trees going strong, all different varieties as advised on wikihow

It’s very exciting to watch them grow 😀

According to wikihow these trees, grown from seed, will be big (so we’ll have to carefully consider where we plant them) and it will probably be 10 years before they produce any fruit – but so what? We’re planting for the future, and that’s very cool!  It doesn’t cost us anything and it’s a very positive thing to do.  Why don’t you have a go?  Here’s how

Fancy growing other types of tree from seeds you’ve collected?  No problem – just look at this brilliant web page

UPDATES:

Look here to see how our little apple trees are doing 14 months later 🙂

And look at them now – after 2 and a quarter years 😀

And the year after that! (2017)

And in 2019!