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Thoughts on…..Month 46: Mind over matter.

I’m not a fan of winter so I am glad we are finally coming out of this one. Last autumn I made a promise to myself that I would try manage it better this year….today I’m reflecting on how well I did or didn’t do with it.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Couve Tronchude (Portuguese Cabbage) + to chit or not to chit.

After a few weeks of bad weather it’s time to get back to the garden. So many lovely friends to see and catch up with…..and between times I deal with my delivery of seed potatoes ( to chit or not to chit!) and some lovely cuttings from my friend Paul….including two of his Portuguese Cabbage (also known as Portuguese kale or Couve Tronchuda). I’m particularly excited about these as I’ve never eaten them before and they will form the ‘backbone’ of a dish called Caldo Verde……a favourite soup of Portugal. You may also know this plant if you’re a fan of the TV series ‘A Victorian Kitchen Garden’. I can’t wait. Oh! And I nearly forgot…….news on the extra water tank…….

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Peppers & Potatoes.

Hurrah for some more seed sowing……it’s still really early in the growing year but at least I can start my peppers (and chillies and aubergines if you are growing them). They need a bit of warmth at the moment so I’ll show you my propagators. I also take delivery of my seed potatoes and describe, briefly, what to do with them now, before planting time. The peppers I have sown are all sweet types from my own saved seed and are all suitable for growing outdoors with no extra protection: Orange Bell, Feher Ozon and Doux Longe des Landes.

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Beyond frugal! My subsistence budget.

Something I have been asked to share/show/explain for ages! This is it….warts and all…..how I manage to live without a wage. All my outgoings and all my incomings and how I manage them on a month to month basis. I hope this answers many questions…and dispels many myths/assumptions…….but, please do ask if there’s something I haven’t covered. I want to be open about all of this so other folk can think about whether they can do it!

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In the Kitchen: Beyond Frugal! Winter meals for 15p (US: 21 cents).

Today I need to brave the ice and go to the garden for a bit of harvesting. The fresh stuff today combined with my stored produce should give me meals for the next week and a half…….the cost is bonkers! Join me on my everyday food adventure to see how it is possible to eat for 15p a meal! The other great thing about eating this way is it massively reduces my plastic use and my food miles. It’s a win all round.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Tree Lily & Community.

Finally we have a break in the rain……the ground is squelchy with mud but it doesn’t spoil the fun of getting back out there. I get on with lifting/dividing my tree lily and am kept company by some of my lovely plot friends who are also busy getting stuck in to some of their winter tasks. Please note: this was filmed a few days before the freeze set in!