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In the Kitchen: Courgette Soup (with potatoes and cheese)

With courgettes being harvested quicker than they can be eaten it’s time to turn them into something to store for later. This soup is so quick and easy to make (without the cheese for a budget version or for vegans), it tastes gorgeous; rich and creamy and it freezes really well to make a lovely lunch time meal in the depths of winter.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 114: Blanching celery and harvesting berries under a blazing sun.

Our heatwave/zero rain weather continues – making daytime gardening not just uncomfortable but even possibly dangerous. I tried to get a step ahead of the heat by getting to the garden early to tackle some of the little jobs that have fallen by the wayside…..in particular I wanted to get more of the brassicas into the ground. I was shocked to read the thermometer at 8.30 am…….and had to beat a retreat by mid-morning. Most nights I am dreaming of rain……….

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 112: Cabbages, beer traps, carrots and harvests….and bees.

If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again……….I have carrots!….after the millionth sowing!! The daily harvests are getting bigger and bigger so that I’m getting to the stage where things need preserving because I can’t eat it all in one go. Lots of little jobs during a balmy afternoon mean time to sit at the end of the session to take stock and enjoy some quiet time simply watching the bees…….I hope you will enjoy watching them at the end of this video as much as I do.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 111: Climbing beans, climbing squash and tomato care.

Finally we have a day with slightly cooler temperatures (still hot!) so I can attend to the garden……so many little jobs are outstanding because all I have done for weeks is water… My priorities today were the tomatoes…….the beans and squash got a bit of attention too. And I discovered the joy of spritzing myself with cold water……

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 110: Harvesting broad bean seed, lavender and calendula (and drying).

It’s wonderful to spend some quiet time in the garden amongst the flowers with the bees for company. It’s time to start harvesting and drying them for use later in the year……and it’s time to gather the first vegetable seeds for next year’s harvest. Our heat wave and total absence of rain continues so my ‘adopted’ tree in the local park needs my help with regular watering – it seems to be doing OK.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden 109: Harvesting onions and planting the first brassicas.

It was supposed to be cooler today……with rain this evening. It didn’t happen. On yet another hot and dry day I got my white onions lifted and started the process of storing them…….the gap they left in the garden was quickly filled with the first of the winter brassicas to go in. It seems rather bonkers to be panting a winter garden under such a blazing sun…….

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In the Kitchen: Squash and Chickpea Curry.

Before the summer garden really starts producing I am still relying on stored produce from last year for the bulk of my meals. This is one of my favourites……so quick and easy to make and oh, so satisfying and tasty……it’s hard to believe that the main ingredients were harvested nearly 10 months ago as they still taste so great. I shall be making up a huge batch of this to feed to friends coming to my flat to watch the final of the football world cup. 🙂

 

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: July Garden Tour (2018)

I think it is safe to say this has been an odd year for the garden! Winter seemed to go on forever…..so cold, so wet….and then, overnight, we seemed to be thrown into the height of summer with hot, dry days which started at the end of April. It is not surprising, therefore, that the garden seems to be struggling…….plants are just about alive but not really thriving and they seem much smaller and less green than in previous years….but….they are hanging in there and showing signs of wanting to produce. I have never had to work so hard to grow my own food…….every morsel I get this year will treasured and savoured! A few drops of rain and I’m sure the garden will burst forth with life and goodies……