The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Allotment Tales // Winter Jobs

Several people have asked me lately how much time we spend down at the allotment. During the summer we are there several evenings a week, but during winter, when it is dark before I return from work, it is really only at weekends that we get chance to visit and potter. 

There is far less to do during the winter, as so much has died back and been tidied away. However, a few jobs remain.

January is the time for pruning back summer soft-fruit bushes such as raspberries. B has done a fabulous job here, training them along the wire to make our lives a little less 'tangled' next summer!

Several vegetables are still proving us with food: winter kale, cabbages, turnips, swedes and sprouting broccoli, for example. I love how purple this one is!

One of the biggest tasks we need to do at this time of the year is clearing debris, digging the plot over and digging in compost to provide nutrients for future crops. 

I've had a wonderful Sunday, chipping away at some of these tasks, planning where things will go when we start planting and saying 'hello' to our little visitors.

Happy gardening, everyone!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Three Word Thursday

New favourite thing...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Kitchen Magick // Prawn Laksa

This recipe was experimental - but I really enjoyed it and it felt very healthy too. It would be perfect for anyone following a low-carb or low-GI diet and for vegans out there, simply substitute the prawns for more veggies (I think aubergine would work well), use red curry paste instead of laksa paste and replace fish-sauce with soy sauce. 

You will need: 

2-3 tbsp red curry or laksa paste (if you want to make your own from scratch there's a recipe here)
400 ml coconut milk (I used half-fat)
50g rice noodles
500 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
A handful of beansprouts
4 chopped tomatoes
150 grams large, uncooked, king prawns
A small bunch of corriander, chopped
8 fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tsp rapeseed / groundnut oil


1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the curry or laksa paste - allow to heat for 2 minutes, until the spice vapours are being released. (If you are using vegetable alternatives, such as aubergines, carrots or pumpkin, add these now so they absorb the spice mix). 
2. Add the tomatoes, beansprouts, coconut milk, stock and fish sauce as well as half the herbs. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
3. Add the prawns and noodles to the pan - within around 3 minutes the noodles will be tender and the prawns cooked through. When they are thoroughly pink you know they are done. 
4. Serve in a generous bowl, with the remaining herbs sprinkled over the top.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hedgerow Ramblings // Which season is it?!

Mild it has been here over the past month - so mild that the bulbs have been fooled into thinking Spring is here. 

Poor, delicate, brave little daffodils have begun to open, offering a welcome flash of bright colour and the promise of what is round the corner. Sadly, yesterday's frosts brought a reminder that Mother Nature will always have the last word and they drooped wearily as the temperature fell below freezing. 

We - along with the bulbs - are perching nervously on the cusp of the seasons: some days it definitely feels like Spring, but we are yet to leap clear of Winter.

Enjoy the bright crispness of this balance between the two. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Monday, 9 January 2012

Full Wolf Moon

January's Full Wolf Moon is shining brightly, blessing us with bountiful energy. May she empower your intentions and provide the light for whatever paths you embark upon.

Brightest full moon blessings.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Allotment Tales // Winter Tasks

Although there is nowhere near as much going on down at the allotment as in recent months, there are still tasks to complete, crops to tend and food to pick. 

We still have spinach, kale, cabbage, chard and broccoli growing - they have provided all the greens we need through winter. Last week we also enjoyed a bulb of Florence fennel which added a sweet, aniseed tang to our salads. 

Today we made sure our broad bean seedlings, which we planted in November and are now getting rather large, were tethered to canes to stop them getting damaged by the strong winds and ensure they grow tall and strong.

It is also the time of year for pruning fruit bushes such as raspberries, weeding around any overwintering onions or shallots you may have growing, and clearing and tidying patches for the sowing of seeds over the next couple of months.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hearth and Home // Progress

This time of year is all about planning and preparation - beginning to put down the groundwork, ready for the sowing of seeds. I am already looking forwards to the fruits I hope to grow this year, metaphorically as well as actually.

Each picture I take; each new experiment with my camera, tripod or editing software is another small step towards my goals. 

I am thoroughly enjoying immersing myself in a new project and putting intention into each and every shot.
If you look back at my very first post here at Hearthwitch Cottage, almost two whole years ago (how did that happen?!) which spoke of wishes and how they come true, you will see that I hold a firm belief in the power of considered intention behind action - that is real magic. 

Do pop on over to my other blog, Through Amy's Eyes, to see my progress with the 2012 366 photo challenge. 

Brightest blessings.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


One of my goals for the New Year is to develop as a photographer. With that in mind, I invite you to take a peek at my new blog, Through Amy's Eyes, which will chart the progress of my 2012 photography project. 
I'd love for you to join me on this exciting new journey!

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