About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A little exploring and an exciting discovery

I'm a bit late posting this (twice late - I started writing it yesterday) - the exploring actually took place three weeks ago, but I was reminded of it today yesterday, for reasons that will become clear. It was the day I needed to soak half a basket in the stream. While I was over that side of the railway line, I had a little explore.

The old mill still has its waterwheel, though I don't think it's turned for some time now.

The old woolen mill. Not made of wool.

Pebble came with me. I don't think she'd been brave enough to go down here on her own. She had a good look round the mill.

Some holes in the wall were smaller than others.

And others were just the right size for a cat.

Outside again... what's this? Could this be the wild garlic I failed to find last year?

Wild garlic, also known as ramsons

I left it until it was bigger before gathering any, which was yesterday. I had some in nettle soup (which wasn't very good, if I'm quite honest, but still - wild garlic!) I can see why this could be mistaken for the poisonous lords and ladies...

This is not wild garlic. This is lords and ladies. Don't eat it.

... especially when the leaves are bigger. But here's the clue: Wild garlic smells of... garlic! Similar appearance, very different smell and taste. Use your noddle and you won't poison yourself.


  1. Ooh, ace. I went for a walk the other week and picked myself a small bagful of wild garlic from which I made some pesto - nailed the green bit and the garlic in one. It was very nice, though quite, er, garlic heavy. But then I am a garlic fiend. I must work out how to get some growing here... Also, nice mill. I do like an attractive derelict building.

    1. I love a pretty, derelict building too, though this one does look alarmingly like it'll fall down at any moment.

      I was thinking of making wild garlic pesto for a pasta salad - perhaps I'll have to use it sparingly, or maybe include generous quantities of sorrel, too.

  2. Love garlic....a positive find, the wild variety. We can't grow it up here - weather conditions just too extreme, whatever the season! Unfortunately. Our cat, Charlie, is very inquisitive and forever poking around in all the neighbouring buildings, sometimes much to our concern! His new soul-mate Rocky, has just started out being largely led astray by Charlie, who we feel sure is being just a tad malicius at times. Time will tell and once summer is with us they'll both probably be out almost all of the time. We have 23.5 hrs daylight in June!!

  3. Not able to grow garlic? You've put me right off Sweden! (Though mine failed even here, last year).

    Haha, that's an alternative to sulking about the interloper - lead the kitten astray instead!

  4. Re Lords and Ladies, how brave do you feel?!http://www.countrylovers.co.uk/wfs/arum.htm

    1. Hi Sashky,
      Not that brave! Thanks for the link - it's interesting to know that it is possible to extract food from this poisonous plant. It looks like a lot of work, though. I'd need to be pretty desperate for carbohydrate to go to all that effort and risk for a bit of starch.


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