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    • ivyleaf
    • By ivyleaf 6th Feb 18, 5:03 PM
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    ivyleaf
    mar The only mobile phone number I've ever managed to memorise is my own! Landline numbers are far easier.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 6th Feb 18, 5:57 PM
    • 28,955 Posts
    • 164,688 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ug, I'm terrible at remembering new phone numbers now, because they're all entered into the Contacts list, and I don't input them regularly.

    Nettles
    I have a query for all our prepsters ... clearing away a lot of dead stems from last year, and this year's nettle growth is about a centimetre high Some of it is going to be dug up, because I need to put in some underpinning for my fence, so that my soil doesn't leak into next door's garden (they're slightly lower than me, and there is the odd amount of digging by their big dogs). The thing is this: nettles are edible, and I could very easily be cutting them down, putting the leaves in my dehydrator. Am I mad to leave them in the ground, they're basically weeds after all, but they're really healthy greens. Just not sure.
    Retired August 2016
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 6th Feb 18, 6:05 PM
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    MrsLurcherwalker
    Nettles are only edible when they're young and you only pick the top 4 little leaves so you need quite a big nettle patch to make a meal even for 1 person. You can harvest, cut them down and they'll grow again and you might get 3 pickings a year that way. If you only pick once you'll then get mature nettles later on which you can make a liquid plant feed from later in the year. If you leave them to grow tall and leave them to mature you'd be able to harvest them for the fibrous parts of the stem (inside the stem so you'd have to learn how to get it) and you'd then be able to make cordage and even spin the fibre to make yarn. Peacock butterflies overwinter their pupae on nettles so it's a lovely eco thing to do but if you don't have much garden would it be worth it for 1 meal a year and a few other periphery items? If you didn't have nettles what else would you do with that patch of ground?
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • maryb
    • By maryb 6th Feb 18, 7:54 PM
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    maryb
    You could get enough pickings to be fairly self sufficient on the nettles in the bit of the allotments they abandoned a few years ago because they were always waterlogged. We have one of the plots next to the fence so it's an ongoing battle. Still, I'm grateful for the fact they are relatively shallow rooted compared to horsetail
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 6th Feb 18, 9:01 PM
    • 2,620 Posts
    • 32,903 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    You can dehydrate nettles, crush them and use them much like a herb in soups & stews; they bring up lots of useful minerals from the deeper roots and add a taste that I always describe as "deep green" not unlike spinach, but not as slimy or iron-y. But beware, dehydrating doesn't "kill" the sting like cooking does, so always use a spoon to transfer them into whatever you're cooking! They'll be fine after cooking for a minute or two.
    Angie

    GC April 18 341.11/450
    Bulk-buy purse 2018 280.08/435

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 6th Feb 18, 10:22 PM
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    Karmacat
    Lovely knowledgeable replies, thank you all!

    Mrs LW, you asked what would I use the ground for? If the nettles weren't there, I'd just be putting bark chippings there, they're sited literally less than six inches from the fence.

    Mary, yes, I was wondering how deep the roots were.

    Thriftwizard - yep, I experimented with half a small kilner jar of nettle leaves last year, and that was exactly the problem! But I have a real yen to make my own pesto - just bought some basil plants (for the house), and I reckon I can put lots of other greens in there, including nettle, chive, lemon balm and rosemary from my garden. Salsa verde, I guess, by any other name.

    The thing is the harvesting - it *has* to be little and often. I've been letting my lemon balm grow into a pleasant shape, sort of football sized, but anything more than a couple of inches below the exterior of the plant is inedible or simply gone, eaten by pests. I'd certainly keep the nettle leaves on a separate tray in the dehydrator, they really hurt!

    Thanks again.
    Retired August 2016
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 7th Feb 18, 7:19 AM
    • 1,345 Posts
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    THIRZAH
    A local farm shop was selling wild garlic pesto last year. I didn't try it as I'm not too keen on garlic but people were raving about it on the local Facebook page.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 7th Feb 18, 8:22 AM
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    Karmacat
    Exactly, Thirzah - that's the kind of thing I'm thinking of, as I *do* like the Med. flavours like basil, garlic etc. And I want to grow as many of the ingredients as I can.
    Retired August 2016
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 7th Feb 18, 8:32 AM
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    thriftwizard
    Wild garlic pesto is fabulous! A friend!!!8217;s garden is overgrown with the stuff & she makes loads of it. We!!!8217;re all delighted to help her eat it!

    ETA: how bizarre! It doesn!!!8217;t like the apostrophe on my iPad...
    Angie

    GC April 18 341.11/450
    Bulk-buy purse 2018 280.08/435

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • juliettet
    • By juliettet 7th Feb 18, 10:37 AM
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    juliettet
    Loving the advice on nettles as I have lots on the other side of the fence (farm next door). If they are useful to insects I will leave them. I got the stuff you recommended Kittie for the algae. I'm going on this because it is a huge fence and for the algae to come back after creosoting would break my heart.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 7th Feb 18, 5:19 PM
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    kittie
    This is going to lead to a different sort of prepping

    My weather transmitter had stopped transmitting, ok batteries, so I climbed up a diddy set of steps on the balcony outside my bedroom. I know there were screws to undo, so I was blowed if I was going to freeze while changing batteries. I took it into the bedroom and shut the door to the outside. I pulled the outside cover off and
    at least 50+ cluster flies dropped out, I nearly had a heart attack. They were cold and dropped sharply onto the carpet, they are still, while cold but the room is relatively warm. Omg, I was in such a tizz getting the vacuum out and some had started to move faster and a couple were buzzing on the window, some had crawled under the ottoman and bed. I had to get the hose sorted because the upright action would just have crumbled them

    So the prepping thing is, to check any windows and doors that you have not opened for a while and do it with the vacuum ready. I expect they are buzzing in the vac bag now but I have left it handy in the bedroom, in case I see any tonight. They are fat, like bluebottles and have come off the ploughed fields, looking for a winter home. If you don`t get them now, then there will be an almighty flying swarm effect come spring. Not just in country places btw, these things fly
    • maryb
    • By maryb 7th Feb 18, 6:49 PM
    • 3,567 Posts
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    maryb
    Kittie try getting a flea collar from a pet shop cut it into pieces and hoover it up. That will stop any cavortings in your hoover bag
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • jk0
    • By jk0 7th Feb 18, 8:51 PM
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    jk0
    Hoover bag would be in the dustbin here. Not in the house!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Feb 18, 7:33 AM
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    kittie
    While the bag is attached to my vacuum cleaner, then there is no leakage of these fat flies, everything is pitch black, so there is no noise. I will take it outside later on and remove the bag, quickly putting the cap on the bag, so it is sealed. Later on I am going to check all the windows upstairs, cluster flies like cosy places such as around window seals. Luckily the big windows are tilt and turn, floor to ceiling and I can push them open to the outside. That elevation faces south, which they like

    https://www.pestcontroldirect.co.uk/how-to-control-cluster-flies/

    luckily I don`t have a loft
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 8th Feb 18, 9:59 AM
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    Karmacat
    I've had cluster flies twice in my loft, and they are **horrible**. No way to get them out of soft insulation but I have a new lofthatch, which might stop so many of them getting down to the house in spring ...

    To Be Continued.
    Retired August 2016
    • jk0
    • By jk0 8th Feb 18, 11:06 AM
    • 2,273 Posts
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    jk0
    While the bag is attached to my vacuum cleaner, then there is no leakage of these fat flies
    Originally posted by kittie
    Other than any who manage to crawl back down the hose?
    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Feb 18, 3:37 PM
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    kittie
    two houses ago, they were all around the bathroom window. They can get in the tiniest space. I cannot find any of them today, I am hoping that they fragmented on the way into the vac, it has a very powerful suction, or buried deep into the shallow layer of dust. I looked all over with a torch. I have sprayed the hose and bag with fly killer. It was a new bag and I am not wasting it
    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Feb 18, 3:47 PM
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    • 73,559 Thanks
    kittie
    now a different topic. I spent a few hours this morning extending my house search area and am feeling rootless and disillusioned, knowing that I would have to make friends from scratch in most areas. I think I am on the right lines, I walked a short way in one specific place and three people said hello and one stopped to chat and I found the cycle racks. The shops were old fashioned and lovely. Very expensive house area though. The other areas I think are potentially too isolating. I am being drawn back to my first choice area, only just over a mile away but bus/hall/doctors/shop and that makes all the difference to where I am now. If I had one dd there would be no problem but I need to be between both, one is actively looking for a house near a chosen school in wales and the other is yearning to move to living an isolated country life but I have no idea when. Looking at it practically, they could not afford to do anything for years, so that kind of leaves me in limbo. My best times were in the south lake district and my 30+ years in s wales. Everywhere has changed, for the worse imo, traffic has become horrendous, all over, except where I am now
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 8th Feb 18, 4:25 PM
    • 11,361 Posts
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    MrsLurcherwalker
    Oh Kittie love I do so know how you're feeling! we've just driven back from DD1s area and looked at 3 lovely houses yesterday, the two we were supposed to view today both accepted offers yesterday so the choice of suitable properties was shortened yet again. One house was very nice but bland and although it was very nicely upgraded and had a woodburner in situ already, a good garden and was in a lovely village we didn't like how it had been modernised and all appliances hidden behind twee doors and the hubby who cooked was complaining that he hated the induction hob they'd had put in. The second one was a bungalow in the same village and the loft conversion doors were so low that even I had to duck to get through them, less than 5 feet high and you could only stand up in the middle of the rooms because of sloping ceilings. Village had one small shop, very sparse bus service and a large new estate being built on the periphery. Oh deary me! The third and by far best of the houses was in a nearby small market town and is a topsy turvey house with bedrooms downstairs and was wonderful. Best and largest kitchen I've seen in a domestic dwelling and tacked on to the end of it a conservatory with underfloor heating, was fab! but very small garden. We are debating if we can deal with that as in all other respects it's in a divine position at the end of a no through road and has a footpath very close that leads directly into the centre of the town. Stand in the garden or in the road and all you can hear is birdsong and quiet. Nothing new on today so unless we can convince ourselves that this is 'the one' like you love, the hunt goes on!
    Thumpers mum was right - if you can't find anything nice to say don't say anything at all!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Feb 18, 5:19 PM
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    kittie
    tbh mrsLW I thought I would enjoy looking but it isn`t like that at all. It is very tiring and I am making mental compromises all the time. Some houses are in such a state that they are obviously money pits and they are still asking top dollar. Others have no garage and I need garage for my exercise and my wood hobby and my bikes. Others have nice gardens but are 2 bed bungalows, looking rather tired and obviously probate sales, surrounded by other 2 bed bungalows in the land of `waiting to die`. The new houses are over-priced, do not have a chimney and are dressed with flashy smaller furniture, to disguise the fact that rooms are small

    I so regret that demise of public transport, so many isolated lonely people and villages that are becoming ghost villages, no transport, no shop, no community any more

    I don`t like many of those loft conversions either, sloping ceilings, so you can only walk down the middle but they call it another bedroom so they think they can ask 000s more, then we find that they never did have building reg approval and no paperwork or structural reports

    That third house, sounds really idyllic. Maybe they have allotments close by?
    Last edited by kittie; 08-02-2018 at 5:22 PM.
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