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Thoughts on…..Month 50. Life as a five set match.

For the first time in four years I skipped making a ‘Thoughts on’ video at the end of May (month 49)……life was getting a bit bonkers…….but I’m gradually turning things around again by using a sporting analogy. ‘Quiet please, the players are ready’….

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Mid-June garden update.

You will be seeing this on the longest day, the summer solstice… seems apt somehow. I actually filmed it on the 15th, exactly two weeks after I filmed the June tour. I wouldn’t normally film another tour in the middle of the month…but this hasn’t been a normal year…..I have been ‘behind’ since March….but finally I am beginning to catch up and as so much has happened in the last two weeks I thought I’d bring you up to date with the garden………looking like it ought to have done at the beginning of June!

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Tinker Time!!

Woohooo, I finally have some tinker time! For anyone not familiar with the phrase it sort of means doing little finishing touches/jobs after the big jobs are done….no pressure, no urgency, no time constraints….just…tinkering. I shalln’t explain anymore….simply come and be with me in the garden and relax a bit.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: The Bean Arches! (with a little help from a friend).

Oh my goodness……..this should have happened in the middle of May (!) …..I am finally putting up my bean arches….the last major job of ‘spring’! Before I start this job, though, it is our community work day…so I roll up my sleeves and get stuck in on the hottest day of the year so far. After the communal work I was done in and ready to call it a day…….but help arrived so I decided to carry on and get all the bean arches built!

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Change. Adapt. Don’t give up!

Things may not have gone according to plan this year, things may not have grown as I would like them to…..but for the near self-sufficient garden there is no room for dwelling on disappointments…and there is certainly no room for empty beds through the height of the season. So….it’s time to roll up the sleeves again and make something out of nothing!

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Winter Squash.

Yay!!! I finally get to plant out my winter squash. In this video I talk about why I grow some horizontally and others vertically (and how I make my vertical structures)………and wax lyrical about their uses and ease of storage. I have made a spelling mistake on one of my pebble labels….. (!!)…it should read ‘Rouge vif d’Etampes’. The pop-up card at 20:20 will show you some of my favourite ways (recipes) to use these fabulous veggies.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Brassica massacre rescue!

The slugs and snails did a proper job on all my lovely brassica seedlings…….so toady I am on a rescue mission…..even the tiniest sign of life on a plant will put it into the rescue pile! They have also destroyed half of my precious Coco de Paimpol…….so they’ll need to be reseeded too! It’s a bit disheartening……..but won’t stop me from keeping going.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Cucumbers, tomatoes & beans.

Today it’s all about assessing and remedying the damage caused by slugs after a day of rain. The cucumbers were badly hit and the ones that remain look rather sickly so I’m going to try something I’ve never done before……plus explain how I build my cucumber frame each year. The tomatoes need a bit of attention too……..and then I check on my pot sown climbing beans…..

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Beyond Frugal: A wage-free life…the truth about the hours.

Since leaving my job four years ago I’m often asked ‘but what do you DO all day?’….or ‘you’re so lucky you can potter in the garden everyday’…I think there can be a misconception that I have somehow retired and am now a woman of leisure! Here I outline an average week……it changes a lot depending on the season and how busy the food production side of things is….but this is how my hours are at the moment. I hope by sharing this it gives a realistic idea of what your hours might be like too if you are considering going the wage-free life route. The hours are long but I couldn’t be happier!