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Thoughts on……Self-sufficiency – living richly on a tiny budget.

I may have very little money but my life is richer now than ever. I’m still working things out……every day is a learning day…..and every day offers the opportunity for simplicity and beauty. I am happier and more fulfilled now than I ever have been. It’s hard work and takes a bit of planning but the rewards are worth it.

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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… 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…….