What are these green leaves?

Hi, all.

One of the things Neville and I have got used to in the year we’ve been here is funny food. Winter is much the same as we were used to, but in summer, we get all sorts of stuff.

When we arrived, I don’t think Nev and I noticed what we got, to be truthful.  We got fed, and we seemed to be in a nice place, and settled, like.  I suppose it took us a month to start to relax, thinking we might be here for even longer than the last place we’d been at.  We liked it there, mind, it was very nice.  We got veggies and pellets and hay, and went out on the grass sometimes, so it was good.

We got veggies and pellets and hay here, but it tasted different and so did the water.  Nowadays it’s just water, mind.  I can’t tell you what the difference is, and I’ve forgotten anyway, it just was different.  The pellets are fine, too.  Yummy, in fact.  I look forward to getting them in the morning after we’ve had our run.  Builds up strength to tackle the veg.

I didn’t really notice that the veggies we got were different to start with, until we stopped getting them from the garden and settled to what I would call ‘normal’ food in winter. You know, cabbage, carrot, swede, that sort of stuff.  I don’t think we’ve had swede more than once here, though.  Lettuce, of course.  We get lots of different types of lettuce here, which is nice, nosing through the different flavours and textures. And carrot tops!  Those are yummy.  Maybe they’re my favourite.

But Mam throws in weird things, like pepper. It’s mostly red, but sometimes it’s orange or yellow.  I see Biggles and Bertie wolfing it down and I nose it a bit, and maybe nibble it, and Nev does too, and we exchange glances and leave it.  Although last week I did spot Neville eating a whole slice.  I got through about half of mine, so maybe it’s an acquired taste and we’re finally acquiring it.

We’ve discovered broccoli.  I thought it was posh cabbage to start with, but the others say it’s normal, and what’s cabbage, so I go along with it. It’s pretty yummy, really. Mam realised we liked the cabbagey things, I think.  We get kale, which we all like, and sometimes she does an ordinary cabbage, which we like but Biggles and Bertie turn their noses up at.  Strange boys.

What’s best though, is the weird things we get from the garden. We’re getting them again, now.  Mam apologised when it had been hot for ages that all the home grown things had run out.  Now they’ve grown again and we’re eating posh spinach called chard, which has interesting colour stems, and posh lettuce called frizee, which has crinkly edges to the leaves. And we get loads of herby things and some leaves from the fruit trees and bushes.

And beans.  Now, who on earth wants to eat beans?  Berties and Biggles, that’s who.  The leaves are great, mind, I like those, but the long pods and the beans inside, no thank you.  Mam even pulled a trick on us on Saturday when she gave us the pods without the beans in.  They were a bit crunchy, and again, those other piggies munched them down, but Nev and I tried it politely then peed on it. I mean…

There’s this new thing that came this week… paper outsides of corn cobs.  I’ve realised that the tiny corn cobs that haven’t grown up to be big and sweet are actually edible, but I never knew the corn came in a delicious wrapping.  I’m looking forward to some more of that, I can tell you.

Who’d have know there were so many nice things to eat?

And I haven’t even mentioned root celery and stalk celery… another time, maybe.

See ya!

Roscoe

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Autumn Leaves

I’m getting a little confused by the things Mummy gives me to eat, so I asked Kevin to come and explain them to me.

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Here’s my breakfast yesterday.  I’ve had a little nibble, then gone off to eat my pellets.  The thing at the front with the blue-green leaves I think we had in the winter.  What’s it called, Kevin?

That’s kale, Percy.  Mummy grows it all year round, but mainly for the winter.  She was complaining about slugs eating the  small plants she’d put out, but I guess she has enough growing now to give us a leaf now and then.  It’s yummy isn’t it?

Yes.  Kale.  I like that. There are three leaves at the side, dandelion, which I love, then the smaller very tasty one, and the nice, slightly prickly one that’s upside down (with the silvery side showing).

The small one is the nasturtium, Perce.  It’s very flavourful isn’t it.  When the leaves get large I think they’re a bit hot, personally, but I like them this size.  The upside down one is raspberry.  I don[‘t think we’ll be getting them much longer.

Is that because winter’s coming?

That’s right.  I think that’s why we got that little bunch of carrot shoots that are underneath your raspberry leaf.  Mummy was very frustrated earlier in the year because she kept sowing carrots and they kept not growing.  Now she says that she sowed some more when she cleared the middle bed and put the kale plants and radicchio out, and now they’re absolutely surrounded by baby carrots.  She told me we’ll get little bunches like this until she’s got them tamed and in rows with room to grow.

That sounds good.  They’re very tasty.  The thing with the red stem we’ve been having for ages.  I liked it at first, but sometimes I leave it till later.

Oooh, chard!  I love chard.  I know Midge leaves his stems, as Mummy gives them to me in the morning when she cleans the cages.  She always gives him a chance, just in case he was saving it for a midnight feast.

Oh, does Midge do that too?  So do I.  Mummy gives my leftovers to Oscar.

Well, some things we like and others don’t, and other things others like and we don’t.  I gather you don’t like tomato.

Eugh, no.

Oh, I love tomato.  And blueberries – stop making that face, they’re yummy.

You can have mine.  And strawberries, too

I usually do 🙂  What do you think of the corn husks and tassels?

Those new papery things?

That’s right.  We only get those for a few weeks at this time of year.  They come from a shop in the village, and they get them from the farmer up the road.  They’re much better than shop bought – these ones even have green leaves on the end.

Well, they’re all right, I suppose.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

I suggest you acquire it as soon as possible, Perce.  Once they’re gone, it’s a whole year till we get any more, unless Mummy tries growing them again.

Does she grow this funny shaped lettuce?

The oak leaved one, yes.  Here’s another picture of it on Midge’s breakfast pile.  I think we finished up the plant today, as the stalk was in it.

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Oh yes, that’s a better view.  What will she plant instead?

Winter lettuce I expect, or more radicchio.  There isn’t much time left for things to grow to the stage where they’ll get through the winter.  But I think Mummy has some blankets to put over the tents she’s got on the vegetable beds to keep them growing a little longer before winter comes.

That sounds very complicated.

You’ll get the hang of it.  You haven’t mentioned the rudbeckia leaf.

Oh, I like those.  I’m glad she only gives us one each time, but they’re very yummy.  And the marjoram, too.

Did we have anything else today?  I’ve forgotten.

I don’t think so, only pellets and hay.  No carrots.  She says I put too much weight on when I get carrots. 😦

I don’t have a problem with carrots.  Unless I don’t get them, then I lose weight.  I wonder what we’ll get tomorrow?

I’m still eating today’s breakfast.

Really?  I’ve finished mine.  Do you want me to help you out with anything?

You can have my tomato.  Oscar doesn’t need it.

Thanks! (Slurp)

A few of my favourite things

It was a funny week last week.  It was very cold on Monday and rained on Tuesday so we couldn’t go out on the grass.  Then Wednesday and Thursday were lovely, but Mummy was out all day – and all night, so we starved on Thursday.  Well, no, that’s not true.  If we’d left any of the extra food she left us on Wednesday we were fine.  By the time she got back on Thursday night nearly everything in my cage had been eaten, apart from the hay in the hay-rack.  Dougall and I save that for emergencies.  There were a few pellets in our bowls, too.  Friday was sort of cloudy and damp, but Mummy made us very wet by giving us a bath and a cuddle after, and that was lovely.  The haircut wasn’t.  But at least Dougall doesn’t get a dirty bottom now.  Hector had a bath too. Continue reading “A few of my favourite things”

Dylan interviews Mummy

I’m sitting here with Mummy, and she’s finished bribing me with cucumber, and she’s combed my hair (ouch!), and now I’m going to ask her some Very Difficult questions.

D: Who’s your favourite guinea pig.

M: Well, you are, of course, Dylan.  Although it might be whoever’s sitting on my lap at the time.  If Kevin reads this, he’ll see his name there, because I’ve put some magic into the computer.

D: I told you Mummy was tricksy, everyone, and that just proves it, doesn’t it!  What do you do when you go outside through the front door?

M: Well, most of the time I get in the car and go somewhere.  You’ve been in the car, so you know what that’s like.

D: Yes, but what do you do mostly?

M: Mostly I suppose I go to play golf, and most times when I play golf I come home past the shop and get you some veggies.  The big shop usually has food with the day’s date on special offer, and as you know, it’s always good for another week, not that it usually gets that far.  Someone (naming no names) eats it.

D: That would be Kevin, then.

M: Yes, Kevin is one of the eaters of veggies.  I know some people whose names begin with D that eat them too.  And wheek loudly when I come back in the house rustling bags.

D: We’re just welcoming you home.

M: Me and the bags of veggies, I think.

D: Well, yes.  I mean, they’re important.

M: You’re quite right.

D: Why do some veggies come in bags and some come from the garden?

M: It all depends on things like the time of year and whether you’ve already eaten everything nice for breakfast that was in the garden.  Shall I tell you about the ‘hungry gap’?

D: You’re not talking about my empty tummy, are you?

M: No, I’m talking about the time between about February and now when there’s not much in the way of food in the garden.  Up to February there are things like cabbages and kale, and if the ground isnt too frosty I’ll have some carrots and celeriac hiding under the fleece to keep, well, not frozen.  Then when those have gone there’s nothing grown big enough to eat in the garden until about now.  You’ve been getting salsify leaves for a month, and last week you had some herbs and some strawberry leaves, but if I take too many of those, the plants won’t grow well and we’ll go hungry later.  Then I’ll have to go to the shop for things we should have grown ourselves.

D: I like talking about food.  What else will we get from the garden soon?

M: Well, I planted out the lettuce and beans last week.  You might get a bean leaf each, once a week, since I reckon each plant can spare one a week without harming it for later.  The lettuce will grow quickly once they get going, and the radishes I sowed about three weeks ago will be ready to eat soon.

D: I don’t think I like radishes.

M: Kevin likes them.  They’re okay when they’re young.  They get a bit strong later, don’t they.  I don’t like them much when they’re strong either.  But they help the carrots and things grow.

D: CARROTS!!  When can we have carrots?

M: The ones I sowed in the autumn didn’t grow very well, but there are a few that might be worth eating in a week or so.  There are lots more I’ve sowed each month since March, so hopefully you’ll be eating them by the end of June.

D: That sounds lovely.  One more question?

M: OK.

D: Why does it always rain on days we want to go out and eat grass?

M: I don’t know, Dyl, but if you can stop it but still make sure we have enough rain for the plants to grow, just fix it, okay?

D: OK, Mummy, I’ll do that.  Thank you very much for being the first person we’ve interviewed.

Too busy to blog

That’s Mummy.  She’s been too busy to let me blog so it’s not my fault I haven’t kept you up to date.  Although I have been using our Facebook page which is very easy to use.  Mummy has been writing stories again.  And sending them out into the world for everyone to read.  So I haven’t been able to get on the computer much.  I’d better give you an update on what’s been happening here. Continue reading “Too busy to blog”