Saturday, 9 January 2010

Have you been around the world lately?

This morning I took a tour of some of the blogs we have listed in the side bar, under "Around the World in 80 Blogs".  I am so glad I live in blog-land, and can learn and laugh and wonder at all sorts of things people are doing in their back yards, allotments, window sills, balconies and in their research and handcrafts. Here are just a few, from Ireland, Japan, USA, Zambia, Singapore and Barbados.....


There is Peggy, of the Hydro farm allotment in Blarney, Ireland who is harvesting parsnips, Brussel sprouts, potatoes and one leek! She also has this lovely idea for some pots of flowers, that she calls tumbling pots.

Read more about Peggy :

Organic Growing Pains

Adekun seemed to be pining for parsnip seed to grow in Japan and has produced some edible parsnips at last!

Adekun's Japan Blog


Christa has Brussel sprouts growing under the snow at

Calendula and Concrete




Too few sightings today


I love reading about Zambia and the work that Thulassy and 2 colleagues are doing there...... It really makes you think... a lot.

This is where it starts:

A farmer wakes at daybreak to ready his oxcart for the market.

He pulls his cattle from the crow and leads them into the yoke. He fastens a rope over the sacks of grain that represent a season’s worth of investment – money for seeds and fertilizer, a favourable rainfall, back breaking work to weed and harvest, and a lot of luck.

It’s cold and quiet. In the distance, the sky begins to glow with the rising sun. With a short whistle, he sets off on the first of many rocky miles, anxious for what awaits him at the market.

This is what we’re about:

The three of us work for Engineers Without Borders Canada in Zambia and Malawi, where we’re partnered with local organizations and companies that are working to include small holder farmers in agricultural markets.

This blog is a place for us to ask the question:

What does it take to make this work?

Read more at:  The First Mile


Wilson is a wonderful gardener and writer in Singapore who I was lucky enough to spend a day with in September 2008. He has established a community garden and this food garden is an inspiration to many who live in apartments in Singapore. Here is a little from his latest posts:


Appreciate the beauty of Astonias

.....Besides being valued as handsome trees that profusely produce scented flowers, Alstonia has various other uses. The sap, which contain alkaloids, exuded from the bark of Alstonia has medicinal properties. The rather light timber fromAlstonia is used to make a range of products, from posts, coffins, corks, household utensils, floats to boards. In particular, timber from A. scholaris is used in the past to make writing slates for schools, which gave rise to the species name scholaris.


The Balsam in the Water

Waterlogged areas can be a headache for many gardeners as they can be expensive to improve for growing plants that demand a well-draining location....

....Like Impatiens balsamina, the flowers of Hydrocera trifolia yield a dye and the flowers of the latter are used to prepare a red dye for fingernails which serves as a substitute for henna (Lawsonia inermis). This use is behindHydrocera trifolia’s alternative common name, water henna.

This plant is easy to grow that are suited for growing inside or near the edge of ponds. Although aquatic in growth habit, one can also grow it in a pot of soil that is kept moist at all times. It thrives in semi-shaded areas to locations with full sunshine and can be propagated easily via stem-cuttings or via layering.

Read more at Gardening with Wilson


Barbados.... and the dry season begins.... oh what diverse and wonderful things we can discover from blogs....


Now, this is an excellent use for a swimming pool that may no longer be wanted....


....For those of you who don't know tamarinds it is the most sour of fruits. It is a pod fruit and can be used green and dried. As a child in Trinidad we would eat it with salt and pepper or rolled in sugar into a ball. I used to boil a syrup with it and add spices. It was delicious. In Barbados they would put it in cane syrup in a crock and leave it for several months to a year. That is sooo delicious , my mouth is watering now that has a unique taste and is no longer found.


Visit Barbados and read about the island gal .... I loves to cook for company and adore a fusion of various cuisines. I speak some french with some degree of fluency having studied Pattern making in Paris many many moons ago. I work as a water garden consultant and my husband and I grow water lilies.

Read more at My Rustic Bajan Garden

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