Sunday, 31 October 2010
Just a brief entry today - very busy making soaps for our Christmas fairs. It is good to be making use of dried flowers and leaves from our garden. Some of the plants have been raised by us from seed and now they are decorating soaps created and produced in our kitchen.
First outing for today's soaps will not be for a month or two because they need time to cure. But (and here's some we made earlier) our soaps will be taking pride of place on our stall at Leicester Farmers' Market on Thursday.
We will have a few of our herbs there as well - the evergreens and hardy, including winter savoury and rosemary and perhaps a few myrtles.
Next dates after that are as follows:
November 13 - Kibworth Farmers' Market
November 20 - Oakham Christmas market
November 21 - Leicester winter food festival
November 27-28 - Leicester Guildhall Christmas Fair
November 28 - Parklands leisure centre, Oadby, Christmas fair
December 2 - Leicester Farmers' Market
December 3 - Gilmorton Christmas Fair
December 9 - Uppingham late-night shopping
December 13 - Oakham late-night shopping
In addition - and we are very excited about this one - we will be at Stamford Christmas Fair on December 12.
We have never ventured outside Leicestershire and Rutland before, and the fair promises to be a spectacular event. We will see if we can conjure up some herb and soap surprises for this one.
As if we were not busy enough preparing for these, it is definitely time to overhaul the website. Look out for much-improved and expanded herb descriptions in the days or (more likely) weeks to come.
You can check the progress at http://cookslaneherbs.co.uk
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
It's glorious to have all these wonderfully sunny autumn days - but never forget that the frost is lurking about most mornings now.
We've brought out the fleece to keep our herbs snuggly and protected. This includes the smaller herbs in the greenhouses which are just getting to a decent size but not quite ready to be planted out yet. Frost is a swine for destroying your herbs, particularly bay as I learned from bitter experience last year. One minute they are fine, the next they’ve gone brown and turned their toes up. If you’ve got a bay in a pot, and the forecast is for -5C or below, you’re best off bringing it indoors, not just covering it and hoping for the best. Young myrtles, too, will thank you for a cosy respite from the chill winds. Again, learned from bitter experience (and am still quite cross about it, a year on...)
Indoors, the tender herbs like scented pelargoniums, lemongrass and pineapple sage are setting up home nicely for the winter - not to mention filling the room with some fab scents!