Veggie Garden 30th September

After my last update on my veggie garden I’ve been doing a lot of clearing out. Most of the lettuce is gone. What’s left is not eatable anymore. I’ve made the last salad of our homegrown lettuce this weekend. It was delicious.

Almost all tomatoes have been cleared out. There are only 4 plants left that had healthy tomatoes. And they’ve given loads. I’ve made a huge batch of tomato soup using all kinds of recipes put together.
The endive are no more. I’ve taken them. Only used two plants. Next year I’ll try to make a sowing plan, so we don’t get everything in the same few weeks. We’ve eaten lots and lots of beans. unfortunately I’ve managed to cock-up when clearing out the freezer, so I’ve accidentally threw away the last of the chinese beans…

Still left in the garden are a few tomatoes, the strawberries and the berry bushes. The raspberry is flowering again and there’s a lot of raspberries growing on it. I’m delighted with that.

Another thing that happened… My elderly neighbour yanked out one of the flowering hygrangeas as she thought it was a weed. How she ever managed to see that one hydrangea as a weed is beyond me. I’ve been very mad about it. Since then I’ve replaced it with a new one. Sadly it’s not the same colour, but there was a big gap between the three remaining hydrangeas that I did want to fill. And it was 50% off, so not a lot of money.
Since then we agreed that she would keep out of our garden and we would keep the tiny bit of space she can’t quite reach (which is why she went into our garden in the first place) a bit clear of weeds. Let’s hope she’ll remember this next year and not yank out any other plants…

One last question. Can anyone identify the mushroom that I photographed? It’s in our lawn and I have no idea which one it is. Is it eatable?

Veggie Garden 18th April

Last friday I’ve managed to get the first plants into the garden. The week before I’ve been weeding and shovelling and watering.

The seeds I’ve been sowing have been growing pretty well. There were a few things that didn’t catch on (lettuce, bell peppers, parsley, chives), so I bought new seeds and started sowing those again. They’re now looking pretty good.

The veggie patch has come along pretty well too. The giant hole in the middle has been pretty much leveled. The hydrangeas are in as a border. I’ve changed my mind about the border between the grass and the veggie patch. I wasn’t sure what to do and will hold off on buying anything until we’ve decided what to do with it.
The berry bushes I got from my stepmom are in the ground and are beginning to sprout pretty nice. We’ve got yellow raspberry, red raspberry, red currant, blackberry and 2 tayberries. I’ve also managed to rescue 10 of the 20 (frozen) strawberries, so I’m hoping they’ll do well. There’s 2 I’m still not sure of, but stepmom has promised me new ones in exchange for a tayberry.
I also planted the snowball onions, the beets and the chinese beans. Oh, and the garlic. I’m really hoping they’ll grow nicely. The rhubarb is also in, but looks pretty dead to me.

I repotted the pumpkin, the cucumbers and the tomatoes, as they were in pots too small for the size of sprouts. And I gave some tomato plants to my neighbours. Their almost 4-year-old daughter didn’t quite understand how those tiny plants could create tomatoes, but she liked the idea.
I think my neighbour hasn’t got any idea how to care for tomato plants, so I’ll tell her what to do as we go along.

Here are some photo’s of how the garden looks right now.

Just get that horse away from my car!

We live in a rural area. Just on the edge of town. When our neighbour across the street opens his garden gate we can look out over the fields and see horses, sheep and cows. But ever since we’ve moved here I’ve been wondering about all the horses in the street. Every weekend, even on weekdays people who live in this neighbourhood and own a horse bring it home.
Why? Why would you bring your horse home? I presume it’s not because you’ll bring it into your living room and make it a cup of tea.

Horse watching TV

I can think of only one reason why you’d bring your horse home. To show off to the neighbours. “Look, I own a horse. Aren’t I better than you?!”

But the main problem with this is that those horses are lifting their tails whenever and wherever they like. We finally have laws against dog poo, but how about horse dung? I really don’t like the look of a big pile of horse droppings right outside my kitchen window.
And there are little girls (aged 8 to 12) who bring their horse home. Problem is, they aren’t able to control the beast. Which makes it dangerous for people walking or cycling on the roads. Our neighbourhood consists of lots of cul de sacs where children play on the street. Motorists are aware of that and drive very, very carefully (well, most of them), but horses are unpredictable. Small children don’t know horses are dangerous animals and you should stay away from them. The girls who are walking with the horses can’t control them and those beasts end up very close to other kids.
And very close to my car. All cars which are parked around here. I really dislike them walking the horse only a couple of inches away from my car. I’m always carefull with my car. Making sure I don’t hit something or someone. I’d be heartbroken if one of those beasts gets away from their handler and dents my car.


If that happens, I swear, I’ll make lasagna out of them!

Wood burning stoves and Asthma

Some of my neighbours have a wood burner in their home, some have a multifuel stove. It looks so cosy, so lovely and warm. It really does. And I do understand the people who want one for their home. I really do! But I don’t like them. At all!

Why? I hear you ask. Well, this is why. From the time I was 9 months old I’ve been suffering with Asthma. My childhood revolved around inhalers, asthma attacks, antibiotics, not being able to do what my classmates were doing, not competing in sports and being ill. In the village where we lived until I was 6 we had a neighbour who had a multifuel burner. Which was perfect for him as he burned everything in it. Dirty nappies, painted wood, you name it. And every time he put that bloody thing on I got another asthma attack.

When we moved house we luckily had nobody in the area with either a wood burner or a multifuel burner, but my asthma didn’t go away.

These days wood burners are very popular. A few of my neighbours have one. And now that winter is upon us they light the stove. But what they don’t know is that every time they do that, they make me ill. If you think I’m overreacting, I would suggest you read this article.

Not Just Your Household’s Health at Risk

If you don’t have a fireplace or wood-burning stove at home, don’t feel at ease just yet. You’re heath still may be at risk … from your neighbor’s fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.

Because wood smoke contains such tiny particles, the smoke is not stopped by closed doors and windows, and seeps into nearby neighbors’ houses. In fact, during winter months, wood smoke does not rise and often hangs close to the ground, entering yards, houses, schools, and hospitals. Subsequently, areas with valley locations and poor air circulation are affected most.

A recent University of Washington study in Seattle and an EPA study in Boise, Idaho neighborhoods found that indoor PM10 levels (particulate matter – one of six major air pollutants for which there is a national air quality standard) from wood smoke in homes without wood stoves reach an astonishing 50% to 70% of outdoor levels when burning wood. Neighbors to wood fires may unwillingly be breathing smoky air, even if they are not wood burners.

I’ve been sick at home for more than a week now. My neighbours lit their wood burner for the first time this season about two weeks ago. Coincidence?? I think not.

The clever neighbour.

This happened years ago, when we were living in an apartment block, mostly occupied by elderly people. A few months before this happened a new neighbour moved in. He was about 20 years old and he was thrown out of his previous apartment in the roughest area of our town. The reason being his constant antisocial behaviour. Playing loud music in the wee hours of the night, yelling, screaming, you name it. To be thrown out of that area, you have to behave pretty bad. So I still wonder why they placed him in our block…

Anyway, we had lots of trouble already. We called the cops a few times, one of which I remember best. It was Pentecost and the party had been going on for hours. There were lots of people going in and out, lots of booze, lots of yelling and screaming and lots of terrified neighbours. Around 3 AM we’d had enough and called the police. The woman on the other end of the phone asked me kindly if I’d asked them to turn down the volume. Uhm… No, of course not. There’s like 20 huge guys there and most of them were pretty drunk. No way I was going to their door. So the police came. They turned down the volume for a bit, but when the police were gone the volume went up even higher than before. So I called again. This time the music went down and stayed down for about 30 minutes. Only to be followed by a lot of screaming and yelling and banging on the door (not ours). It turned out that one of the guys had collapsed. All of the others were too drunk to have any clue what to do. At first I thought nothing of it and I wasn’t going to call an ambulance. But when I heard people yelling the guy who’d collapsed was a diabetic and he was unconscious I did call for an ambulance and I told the woman on the phone to send the police as well, as I thought they might be making trouble. Turns out I was right about that and the police was needed to let the ambulance take the guy to hospital. We contacted our housing company for the gazillionth time and finally they started making arrangements to throw the guy out. But not before this happened…

All apartments had a locker in an outbuilding, connected to the main block. The guy had kicked in the door of his locker about 5 times already and every time he got a new door. The rest of the residents weren’t too happy with this, as we all had to pay for damages to the building. But by this time, the housing company has stopped replacing the door for free. So when it got kicked in again, they asked him why it had been kicked in and they told him that if he wanted to get it replaced for free he should go to the police and file a declaration of destruction or burglary. By this time the alcohol really got to this guy, because he went to the police and told them he’d been burgled. So the police came to ask neighbours some questions. Whilest going out we found two policemen and two neighbours near the guys locker…

The policemen asked us if we wanted to answer a few questions. Of course, no problem. Did we notice the door was broken? Yes, of course. It had been like that for weeks. For weeks? So this didn’t happen two or three nights ago? No, I was sure of that. The door had been open for at least 2 weeks. Hmm, well, the guy told the police someone had broken into his locker only a few nights ago. I asked the policemen if he told them anything had been stolen and they said that he told them X amounts of empty beercrates had been stolen. (can’t remember the exact amount). I asked them what they thought of the fact that the entrance door to the locker building didn’t have any signs of a break-in and of the fact that the thief walked by at least 5 other lockers before they broke into his. They smirked a bit. I then asked them if X amount of beer crates actually fitted into the locker. Yes, they had measured it and they did fit in. I looked at them for a moment and if asked if the guy had taken into account that the door opened inwards. They laughed and told me that he hadn’t taken that into account. I smirked and told them they’d know enough now.

The door stayed open for a few more weeks and was only repaired after the guy had been kicked out. We all were very happy with this, as we finally had peace again.