Friday, 17 October 2008

Daughter of the Soil - now with added dotcom

I mentioned before that there was going to be a little change in the way I post my Heritage Vegetable Reviews this year. Instead of going on the blog, they'll be going on their own permanent pages on the Daughter of the Soil companion website (whooooo - swish eh?)

I've kept a bit quiet about this companion site because I needed some time to get it up and running properly, but I've been working on it behind the scenes over the summer ... very slowly because I'm still a bit of a dunce with the page layout software. Though actually the biggest trouble is that I keep thinking of more things I want to add to it, making loads more work for myself.

The companion website can be found (not entirely surprisingly) at It's not a replacement for the blog, which carries on as normal, it's just attached to and interlinked with it. Where the blog is ever-changing (or it would be if I got my backside into gear), the website aims to organise some of the existing content of the blog into a stable and static form to make it easier to find things. Much as I value my regular readers, it's clear that a large proportion of visitors here are coming through Google looking for information about specific things. I want to have a centralised place for all my reviews and informative articles so people can browse them more easily. There's so much material on this blog now, even I haven't got a clue where to find half of it.

Over time, I will be adding goodies and resources to the website which are NOT on the blog.

One biggish project I've done so far (not yet complete but hopefully still useful) is a reference chart of heritage vegetable varieties briefly describing individual characteristics of a whole load of varieties I've grown in my garden. There are clickable links to pictures for each trait listed. So for example you can click on the description of a Ne Plus Ultra pea flower or a ripe Green Tiger tomato and see a picture of one. I'm hoping this will evolve into a really useful quick reference guide for anyone seeking heritage vegetable information.

I've put all my reviews on their own permanent pages, with a centralised index page. There are a few I haven't got round to posting yet, and I'm still making fancy new pages for some of the older reviews, but most of the links are up and running. These are the new Heritage Vegetable Reviews for 2008 that I've posted so far:

Climbing French Bean: Major Cook's - wonderful scrummy bean of WW1 vintage, soon to be available from the Heritage Seed Library.
Pea: Carouby de Mausanne - a very old French mangetout variety with very purty flowers.
Pea: Gravedigger - a gorgeously sweet and juicy mid-height pea, soon to be available from the Heritage Seed Library.
Pea: Irish Preans - a mega-tall one (also from HSL) with bicolour flowers and huge olive green seeds. Said to be a cross between a pea and a broad bean but I'm afraid it most certainly isn't.
Pea: Salmon-Flowered - a real oddity from the HSL which I believe to be a relic of the antique 'crown pea'.
Tomato: Green Tiger - already posted here on the blog as I try to draw attention to this lovely supermarket escapee.
Tomato: Orange Strawberry - see my Goddess Tomato post below for a taste of this oxheart beauty.

There will also eventually be a section about plant breeding, but all I've got on there at the moment is the data table for my Yellow Sugarsnap Project which is only really of interest to nerds like myself.

NB The blog URL is not changing. This is additional to, not instead of, the existing URL.


Catofstripes said...

Looks like it will be a great resource, well done.

Joanna said...

WELL DONE - what a lot of work, looking forward to browsing through it when I've got a little more time


The Allotment Blogger said...

This is fantastic - I've suddenly got the 'heritage and heirloom' bug and it is wonderful to have a centralised resource for these often neglected plants. Thank you very much!

Rebsie Fairholm said...

Thanks all. It's nice to have some positive feedback and encouragement.