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Posts tagged ‘growing vegetables’

Growing Veg 2017/#3 – A Poor Year

The sky is grey and the air is damp. The evenings are getting shorter. The storks are gone. Hay has been cut and is being brought in by the tractor-load. Around the village fires are being lit, the smoke from chimneys barely distinguishable from the grey clouds above. Almost without warning, summer is over and autumn is upon us. Read more

Growing Veg 2017/#2 – A Slow Start

Dear Weather,

What the hell is going on? Seriously – have you lost your mind? Snow in May? Frost in June? Monsoon rains in Lithuania?

You are playing HAVOC with my vegetable growing endeavours and I am not pleased.

Allow me to explain … Read more

Smoking

“You can’t make everything,” Arūnas tells me when I call him in tears, upset that I’ve damaged the surface of one of my non-stick pans trying to make soap. “But I WANT to!” I cry. “I want real soap and it’s too expensive to buy. Why is it so hard to make?” Read more

Growing Veg 2017/#1 – Getting Started

It all starts with seeds. Sometimes tiny, sometimes large. Put them in some fresh earth. Water them, keep them warm, then watch the magic happen. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#7: Winding Down

The first signs of autumn – the browning of the leaves and a slight chill in the air – used to herald the end of fun and relaxation and a return to the grindstone of school or college. Mind and body were refreshed from summer adventures and pockets were heavier from summer jobs. It was time again to knuckle down to some serious work. Read more

Wasting Time

I can’t believe it took until my early 40s to realise that we sleep for about one third of our lives. When this first dawned on me I was horrified – what a waste of time! I’ve been asleep for over 13 years – think of all I could have done with that time! But then I thought about how much I love my sleep. I love where my head takes me (most of the time) when I’m asleep. And I love the rejuvenation and reenergising that happens while we sleep. I awake refreshed and restored, ready to go again. Really not time wasted. Read more

Half-Sour Pickles | Rauginti Agurkai [Recipe]

There are a few condiments that I always have in my refrigerator. The first is mayonnaise – I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t need it for something, especially in summer. The other is half-sour pickles. Those tangy, crunchy pickles are so versatile, from adorning a burger to adding zing to tartar sauce. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#6: Harvesting Begins

It never rains but it pours. It’s a phrase that has both literal and proverbial meanings, both of which apply to my life at the moment. After a total drought in May and just 10 days rain at start of June, the countryside was beginning to look a little parched and my vegetable beds were rock hard. Buckets of water were no longer enough – it was time to unravel my hose and do some deep watering, biceps bedamned. Read more

Pure Beauty

My first courgette (zucchini) flower of the season. Pure beauty. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#5: Outside Planting & Greenhouse Update

Boy, have I been busy. Since May 1st I have been in the garden every day prepping, planting, watering, weeding and protecting this year’s selection of vegetables. I have developed shapely upper arms from carrying countless 10 litre (10 kg) buckets of water from the house to my vegetable patch. I have acquired in-depth knowledge on the burrowing habits of moles. I am tired, I am tanned and I am happy. Read more

Wildflowers

Winter changed to spring overnight, like someone flipped a switch. One day it was dark and grey with a distinct chill during the day and ground frost at night. The next day the sky was clear blue and temperatures hit 22˚ C (72˚ F). It was time, finally, to get out into the garden and start planting. While I was ankle and wrist-deep in earth, life sprung up all around me. The grass grew thick and lush, heavily peppered with blazing yellow dandelions. Here and there, pockets of blue and pink flowers added colour, while large white daisies looked pure and serene against their tangled green backdrop. What a beautiful office I have. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#4: Planting Greenhouse & Veg Prep

Spring has finally arrived here in Lithuania. At least, it’s spring today. The weather has been very temperamental so who knows what it will be like tomorrow, but for the past few days it has been warm and sunny and there has been a corresponding explosion in growth. All of a sudden fruit trees have burst into bloom, the grass has become lush and green and the dandelions have finally started to appear. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#3 – Seedlings & Herbs Update, Outside Prep Begins

I was born for this life. I can’t explain the joy it gives me, watching seeds grow into plants, then watching them flowering and fruiting. I have spent many happy hours watering and transplanting and already I am getting dividends. My herbs are on fire – I can barely keep up with them. My tomatoes are growing taller by the day and my cucumbers have begun to flower, giving me my first tiny cucumber of the season. Read more

Salt, Pepper & Rosemary Cheese Crackers [Recipe]

My conservatory is a sea of green. My tomato, cucumber, pepper & chilli seedlings have now been transplanted and fill one set of shelves. My windowsill is covered with red vases containing an assortment of fresh herbsrosemary, melissa (lemon balm), basil, coriander, tarragon and mint. The smell of the herbs is intoxicating, particularly when the sun shines and warms the leaves. Read more

The Rosemary Experiment

Since I began my journey towards self-sufficiency I have become more and more aware of waste, whether it’s water, energy or food. I hate seeing even small amounts of leftover food going to waste, even if I don’t have an immediate use for it. I will put it into an appropriate container in the fridge or pantry and try to use it within a few days. Read more