La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vegetable Count Autumn 2010

We have a serious problem concerning the garden.  Never do we stay long enough in one place to really enjoy the fruits of our labour.  Now don't take this too literally, because we do have nice crops of whatever we grow.
A garden, even the kitchen garden is an ever evolving process and best results are really noticable when you give it at least a few years of your undivided attention.
Last spring we had a rainwater tank of 5000 liters installed, underground.  Yes, we brought a digger in and moved some earth around. This rainwater harvesting will hopefully see to next year's watering of the vegetables in and around the greenhouse.  We will benefit from it for a good while in early summer, unless we have a scorcher of a summer, like the one past.
Yup, we have a greenhouse ! Not just any old greenhouse !
Ta Da ......

Yes, I know, I know, it looks like we will be starting our own little  Eden Project .
Last February, I started nagging Bert for a 'smallish' greenhouse, just for the benefit of not having all my seedlings in the kitchen, while cats trample over them or just take a snooze on top of my trays with freshly sown seeds.
Bert not being happy with 'any old greenhouse' he trailed the internet to find him one in the shape of a dome.  Now, before Bert makes up his mind, several months pass us by and  when he finaly opted for a supplier somewhere near end of May - by that time, I've had a few months worth of seedlings in the kitchen.....once again.
He ordered his dome shaped greenhouse from the UK, here at Geo-Dome .
As Paul from Geo-Dome makes them to order, we were well into 'high'summer, before Bert and a friend of our's, Marc, collected it with a van.  It comes in kit, but it was remarkably easy to put together and took Bert about two days, all in all.
It isn't 'ready' for full use yet as we want to make raised beds, so fingers crossed that by next sowing season I will be able to do it in the geo-dome.
I admit, I didn't have  too many seedlings, as I used up all my old seeds that I had acquired whilst living in France and I bought maybe a few new packets of lettuce seeds. Some worked, some didn't, but that was fine as I didn't have anywhere yet to plant them out.  Bert made some lovely raised beds with old wooden pallets, which we filled with the soil that had been dug for the rainwater tank and compost.

Earlier in the year I had dug some 'flower beds' and I used every little space I could find to plant some veggies.

Over the summer we've had some yellow patissons (only had one white that suddenly appeared late September), a couple of tomatoes, rainbow chard and lots of salad leaves.

Now that autumn is here we've collected our four mini pumpkins and lovely buternut squashes.

Also a few mini aubergines, they weren't meant to be minis, but they didn't get the best start in life as I rescued a plant that looked so miserable in the Aldi-supermarket, for which still I paid the full asking price of € 2.49

My chillies are still green, because I didn't sow them until late in the season.

Next'll be a succes !
We are lucky, though, that my cousin - I call her Auntie Mia, don't ask - who lives nearby, gives us loads of vegetables that her husband grows so succesfully in their garden.  Hopefully, by next summer I will be able to repay them in kind, you know, some sort of veggie swap.

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