A frog, some news and a recipe

Little frog basking in the sun
Last year the frogs and toads never went to this smaller pond near the greenhouse, and the people I’m renting this place from said they never had gone there before.
But this year, for some reason, the frogs and toads have all decided to hang out there, too!

My herb garden got some additions: rosemary, mint and chives in the smaller pots. The two former were on a special offer at one of the supermarket chains, and I’m too impatient to wait until the chives I sowed will finally grow big enough to eat …

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Spanish slugs sure aren’t vegans

Better than potato leaves: kitty food!

So, in the last post I was contemplating my slimy little neighbours. I’d been trying to give them salad and pears, but they mostly didn’t give a crap and kept chomping away at my potato plants.
Now mum gave me the expert tip to give them dry cat food.

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Gardening in June

I got a bit of a late start this season, because I was flooded with work all of March through May. But my garden has already made a little progress …

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Renovation frustration

Stuck here. I’ve stripped the wall of the old panelling, fixed the insulation and replaced some rotten wood from the inner wall. But I can’t continue from there until my drill arrives, because the wall is in such bad shape that I need to use massive screws that go all the way through the inside panelling. I also can’t continue if it rains, which is what will be happening all next week if the weather report is correct. Nooooo …

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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 …

HOMEGROWN LITTLE POTATOES

I grew some potatoes on my windowsill this fall.

Oh my goodness, what is that?

From this ^ (July 19th) …

Windowsill potatoes, day 52.

… over this (September 3rd) …

Windowsill potatoes, day 106!

… to this (October 28th). At 106 days, they weren’t really ready to harvest yet. You should wait until the plants have died down completely, about 100-120 days.
But I couldn’t water them for the next month, since we’re going to New York, so we might just as well eat them now. :3

Windowsill potato harvest

Still, we got a few nice medium-sized ones, and a lot of tiny little ones. :o)

In more comics-related news, the last weekend I feverishly drew some kind of autobiographical activist comic about racism. However, it was closely related to me having PMS, and now that my PMS is over I haven’t dared look at that comic again, since it’s probably really bad and embarrassing. :o(
I really wanted to draw Driftwood, but I only managed about half a page. The only thing I could draw without having anger outbreaks every ten minutes and having to punch the wall to abreact my frustration was this stupid activist comic.

Luckily Ilan was not at home most of the weekend. Poor Ilan who has to live with me. I did warn him about my PMS of Fury. :3