Sunday, 29 September 2013

Garden Update September 29th

this is how the garden looked this morning

strawberry plants

strawberry plants

fodder crops



fall fodder crops



new garden path

fodder crops, radish, leaks and carrots


green bell peppers

With the end of September, the growing season is coming to an end. The last few days saw the temperatures drop to just around or below 0C at night. Not enough to do damage to the garden but enough to freeze my car windows. The last few weeks have been busy. I started off by laying a new pathway in the garden, followed by taking out all cucumber plants. I added a mix of cut grass and rabbit manure (that was in the compost pile for the last 4 month) to the land where I had beans and cucumbers. After a lot of digging I planted 60 strawberry plants in there. Other then adding a blueberry bush yesterday, I have not done much else for winter preparation. 
The blackberries keep growing and I probably have harvested around 35kilos from it so far. The apples are ready to be harvested too. They are so sweet and I enjoy them a lot. This morning, I had a few and made them with waffles fro breakfast. I am slowly harvesting the fodder crops for the rabbits too, usually take about half a dozen a day, that means that I can use the green leafs too and the rabbits can eat them first while the fodder crops are stored.
I put a tunnel up with the hopes to extend the growing season for the salad for a few more weeks. We will see how that works. The fall kale is coming a long nicely. I harvested a bit on Friday and made kale chips, which were just delicious. I still have tomatoes growing, not as many as a few weeks ago but still more then enough. The bell pepper is doing great too but not turning red. With the temperature dropping, I doubt that they will turn red now anyway, so they will be harvested and frozen this week.

Hope your garden is doing well and have a great Sunday

Friday, 27 September 2013

New rabbit hutch




Muffin, Snowy and Blacky


Junior left all alone
The baby rabbits are growing nicely. So far they shared a hutch (always 2 together) but with them growing quickly, it was time to separate them. I spend yesterday evening building a new hutch for the rabbits, which will also allow me to have more rabbits in the future. I also planned ahead, as Blacky will be bread next year, so she is staying in the bottom hutch, where she will have enough space to breed. Junior is kept in the previous hutch and I might breed her too next year but am not sure on this yet. Muffin and Snowy will butchered once they are big enough, which is probably around February/March. Last Friday I put Mia and Thumper together and if things work out, I will have another litter of baby rabbits when I return from the UK. I would have preferred to have them sooner but with being in the UK, I could not let someone else deal with potential baby rabbits, let's just hope that we have a mild fall as last year with not too much frost until the middle of November.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Pears, pears, pears

I don't have a pear tree (yet) but I love canned pears. Last year my neigbour gave me a bucket full of pears and this year a friend gave me two buckets and I will get another bucket at the end of the week. So I spend majority of the day today, pealing and canning pears. I got 14 jars, each containing 1 liter of pears and pear juice. I had a few left over pears that I cooked to eat immediately, let me tell you they were a treat.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Just thinking

"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." 

- Miriam Adeney 
I have found this quote a few weeks ago and it explains exactly how I feel. When I returned to Germany last year, I was excited and thrilled to be back. After only seeing my family and friends sporadically for the 10 years that I lived abroad, I am exited to spend more time with family and friends, sharing important moments in each others lives and mundane details like getting coffee on a Saturday morning or cooking together. I am exited and grateful about the warmer climate that Germany has during the summer compared to chilly Newcastle, as it enables me to spend more time being the backyard farmer I would love to be. Despite all the excitement and gratitude about being 'home', the desire to leave (again) is as strong as ever. I really want to settle down and ground myself in a community, that enables me to live the 'Simple Life' that I am graving for, yet at the same time, I am thinking I can also do this abroad in Newcastle. 
This quote made me realize that what I am feeling is natural due spending so much time abroad. Meeting amazing people that impacted my way one way or another, making friends and best friends that will last a life time, means that I will never truly be at home anywhere. It's a constant pulling back and forth and despite knowing this, I am already thinking about returning to Newcastle for good one day. Most likely not for a good few years but still.... 
It often scares me that I feel this way and I keep wondering what is wrong with me. Right now I am exited to be going back to Newcastle in a few weeks. I am exited to spend time with my best friend and her family. I am exited to see my cousin in a few weeks time, who just arrived back in the UK for a 6 week holiday from New Zealand. 
But I am also scared, I can remember how homesick I felt after I returned from my Au pair year in the US, how depressed I became afterwards and how long it took to actually 'get over it'. Yes I am 10 years older now and more mature but since I am returned to Germany, there are the odd days that I again feel like that girl. And it all drills down to the fact that due to the people I know all over the world, my heart will always be elsewhere.....

Monday, 16 September 2013


"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it."

~ Mother Teresa

A walk in the woods

Yesterday afternoon the rain stopped long enough for the sun to come out. I used the time for a nice long walk around the woods. We crossed the woods, and then walked back via 'fruit tree lane' a back road fulled with apple, cherry, pear and plum trees. All together, our walk was around 8km

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A new hat

I bought some yarn on Friday afternoon, after I lost my hat in spring this year, I needed a anew one. I found some yarn that would fit and now I have a new hat.  iam really pleased with the design and it's nice and warm :)

Saturday, 14 September 2013


Apple Sauce

On Thursday afternoon I received another bucket and half full of apples. So I spend Friday morning making apple sauce. I didn't use any sugar or cinnamon on this but it tastes so sweet. I got 7 jars full and this morning the promise of me getting another couple of buckets.

Friday, 13 September 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual Inspired by SouleMama

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

ketchup & time off

This past weekend I tried my hands on homemade ketchup. The thing is I don't like the commercial ketchup at all and avoid it at all costs. Homemade ketchup I like but so far never had the chance to make some myself. This year the tomato harvest was good, so after I made enough pasta sauce, I decided to make some ketchup. I looked for different recipes online and when I found one that sounded good, I tried it. I used about 6 pounds of tomatoes for the ketchup and made 2 jars for my mom too. It was time consuming as it took 4 hours to cook but yesterday I tried it for the first time. Oh my god was that yummy. I will surely keep this recipe and make some more of this ketchup.

I also pickled another 2 1.5 liter jars with cucumbers. I might have another batch left for pickling by the end of this week and after that it's time to take the cucumber plants out of the ground.

Tomorrow the Taproot Gathering is happening at Squam. I would have loved to go but With only having worked part time until August, it was just not something that I could afford this this year (and believe me I tried to make it happen). Plus my cousin is coming over from New Zealand in a few days time. She and her kids will spend 6 week in the UK and seeing family is more important right now. I will be going to Newcastle in 4 weeks time to spend a few days with friends, before I go down to Lincoln, to spend time with me family. Really looking forward to this