Autonomous food production

2nd International Potato Harvest Exhibition of TUNGUS ASSR

That’s this year’s potato harvest. One full litre! V^(oo)^V

Earlier in the year I had several litres of radishes. The leaves were very tasty too — I used them like spinach in my daily pasta sauce.

Harvesting radishes

I also grew cucumber and dill, but as the summer grew hotter, they were very unhappy in the wind and glaring sun of my 4th floor southwest-facing windowsill. Three little deformed cucumbers still managed to grow big enough to eat, and they tasted okay.  (There are no photos because it was too depressing.)

However, now I’m renting a little piece of land outside the city. It’s a bit neglected, so I’m slowly fixing up the buildings and preparing the garden for next year. I’m too lazy to ever bring a good camera (usually I’ve had too much other stuff to carry), so I don’t have many good photos from there yet.

Greenhouse and trailer

I test planted some seed potatoes that I had left, and at least one of them seems to be sprouting, and the slugs haven’t eaten it yet. There are quite a lot of slugs in the area. Perhaps that’s why my neighbour grows all his stuff in cold frames. I have a kind of greenhouse, so I will try to grow the things the slugs like the most in there, and the less attractive plants outdoors. I’m also trying a bit to attract hedgehogs with nice piles of leaves and twigs in quiet corners of the garden.

The wildlife certainly is really fascinating in this garden. There are hundreds of spiders, of many different kinds, some really huge. Once I watched one spider catch a fly that had been annoying me as I was drawing comics. The fly got caught in the net the spider had woven in a window, and the spider rushed there and rolled it up in web, then carried it up to its hiding place, presumably to suck out its juices. The spiders are very nice, and I have to be careful so I don’t disrupt their habitat too much.
There are two ponds in the garden, and in the big one there are frogs. I’ve seen one big green frog (sunbathing on the edge of the pond) and one medium sized brown frog (strolling around on the lawn). They make noises like human babies coughing themselves to death.

What I’ve already harvested from the garden:
– One (1) hazelnut: there is a big hazel bush, but apparently it doesn’t have a lot of nuts.
– Some plums: Somehow I missed the plum season (maybe I was thinking they should still grow bigger or something, d’oh), so most plums were overripe before I even realised. I ate some of the last good plums this weekend, and they were very tasty. In any case, the nice birds and insects have certainly been appreciating them.

What I’ll hopefully still harvest this year:
– Grapes
– Rose hips
– Potatoes
– Spinach, radishes, rucola and maybe some other stuff from the greenhouse

I got some seeds for interesting stuff like “Bear’s garlic“, Welsh onion, Mitsuba (only because of the name, yes …), and Tatar bread plant (!). It will be exciting to see if any of it will grow …

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