Growing Green

If nothing else, the awful weather this month has been good for the garden…

Butternut squash and pumpkin are forming & storming

A first for the organic garden – purple brussel sprouts…

I had high hopes for the cucumbers, which were good strong plants and romped away well but I followed advice in a veggie book for maximising yield, pinching out their growing tips and removing the first fruits and really wished I hadn’t as they seem to have faltered ever since.

Another first – yellow courgette…

Tomatoes are doing great.  They’re certainly getting enough water and food but we really need the sun to come out & stay out & ripen these babies.

We pulled our first garlic mid May and our first crop of broad beans.  We’ve also been picking salad leaves, chard, rocket & loads of herbs.


The herb bed is planted and flourishing, apart from the basil which seems to need more heat than we’re getting.  We’ve got a new herb in the bed – Chop Suey Green (a type of chrysanthemum – the tallest plant in the photo below) the leaves of which we’ve already had in stir fries.  Dead easy to grow, tasty and decorative too (when the flowers eventually appear!).

The tyre wall is looking colourful already and we’re looking forward to it really taking off when the sun comes out and brings on the heat-loving flowers (Livingstone Daisy, Sunflowers, Zinnia etc).

Baking & Making

I spray painted an old coffee tin, got out the metal paint & thin brushes and made a smart new tin for contributions to teas & coffees.

Notable successes on the culinary front this month…  Hummous.  Turns out I’m not allergic to chick peas, just lentils, so I celebrated by making tons of hummous.  Unfortunately I ran out of tahini but found that using sesame oil worked just as well, if not better (thank goodness for all the goodies we inherited when the Lane family left!).  Have also made some good veggie curries too…

Feelings & Musings

It’s been a month of ups & downs.  It started pretty well, excitedly opening up the campsite, eagerly receiving first guests early on and having fun making everything clean and tidy.

The arrival of Richard was a welcome boost – he motivated us to do so much.  But the weather turned a bit cold & damp towards the end of his stay and when he left the sun pretty much left too.  The weather has been mostly miserable – really chilly & lots of rain.  Even wrapped up in jumpers & hats, we’ve been cold and the damp seems to get inside our bones.  A few guests have come & gone, for a few days here & there, but the weather is very bad for business and makes for a strange vibe with guests huddled in their tents and us in our caravan and a deserted feel to the place…

At this point we’re both feeling a bit flat and fed up.  We are trying to keep ourselves amused with crosswords and games of Scrabble & Backgammon and try to remain positive (“Well, at least we don’t have to water the garden…”  “We’re getting all the rain out of the way now and will have a cracking summer”  etc, etc).  Obtaining a licence remains an ongoing battle – another thing beyond our control that’s wearing us down.

We miss our buddies Matt & Amy and miss our cuddles from Gracie, Eloise & Miles.  We’re not seeing much of our mates here  as understandably no-one wants to brave it up to the campsite and we’re prisoners in our own paradise when there are no volunteers on site – only one of us can leave as the other has to stay to guard the place to avoid closing everything up or take a big risk.

Of course we’ll be fine but we’re a bit grumpy and frustrated right now.


Reading

Despite all the time on my hands I’ve only managed to read one book: “The Unnumbered” by Sam North.  It was mostly a good read and at points I felt really engrossed in the story and the lives of the key characters: Nio & Mila.  But contradictions opened up like cracks and make me frown and the ending was deeply unsatisfying.  Now I really dislike a “happy ending” for the sake of it and I’m quite a fan of sad endings when appropriate, but this was just a weird wrenching and totally unbelievable.  Needless to say this novel hasn’t improved my mood…


Work

Richard was a star and the reason we now have a porch keeping us dry.  We’d not been tackling this particular problem because we didn’t really know where to start but Rich drew a few scribbles and came up with a plan.  He re-used old wood from the depths of the workshop where he could and here are the boys sawing and sanding…


In this rare shot of Rich with his clothes on you can see how the porch ended up.

The original hatches for the compost loos which have been knocking about the place getting warped got re-glued and varnished, sprouted legs and became tables under Rich’s magic hands…

Steve tackled clearing the upper terrace above the raised beds.

Here you can see the terrace completely opened up, creating quite a different view.  The smoke in the background is from the fire that Rich stoked most of the day burning the huge pile of debris that emerged as Steve hacked his way through the undergrowth.

I palmed the new fence having worked out a technique to attach the palms from the road-side rather than stream-side and Steve and I spent a day patching up areas of the fence inside where palms had degraded.  The new stretch of palm fence is a recycling triumph – palms reused rather than burnt, bits of green mesh from around the site “re-purposed” for the job and bits of the chain link fence cut up and re-used as ties to hold the palms on.

Play

Not much playing this month.  Steve got off site for a night without me to join a bunch of our mates on their boats to celebrate Tony’s 40th.  And Nik joined us for a couple of nights bringing new games to play and some welcome company.


Nature Watch

So, the weather’s been awful.  Thunder, lightning, high winds and buckets of rain.  Here’s one of the gazebo covers ripped to shreds after a storm…


Steve did find a cute baby tortoise though…

And some butterflies..

Meanwhile Daisy dreams dreams of sunshine for us…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  1. fullmonte’s avatar

    Hi there. Glad you found our blog and have enjoyed it. Summer’s our busiest season so posts are fewer and further apart but I hope to do a review of July soon!

  2. living off the grid’s avatar

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to
    mention that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  3. fullmonte’s avatar

    Ah, thanks Mason… Happy Solstice Greetings to you. Hope this longest day is a fine one for you!

  4. mason’s avatar

    I look forward to seeing your monthly posts.
    You two truly have an envyable life.
    Glad you guys pare back together and recovering from such calamity-my goodness months in the uk. Steve looked and the camp look like they suffered too.

Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>