Categories for Gardening

A beautiful Sunday

This beautiful Sunday, sunshine all day long, a little cool wind, absolutely gorgeous. I did work in the garden. We went to the part behind the Shell fueling station. Some digging, some planting, some helping setting up the plastic tubes for putting the nets over to protect the newly planted kohlrabi from the blackbirds. A lot of talking. About vegan diet, stop smoking, stop drinking (not me!), about blogging not being a favourite pastime (not me!). Playing with the heavy soil, or rather, clay. Making a cube with it. Well, sort of.

I took a shower straight after i got home. I finished up the soup i started this morning. A vegetable tomato bellpepper onion broad bean carrot leek sort of soup with some orzo and homemade meat balls. Hmmm.. 🙂

And now, yes, now, i feel tired. I was there for around four hours, i tried staying in the shade, but i was still happy i put on sun milk over my legs, arms and face. I do see a little bit of light red on my skin, but not too much.

I enjoy it. It is good for me now. So yeah, even though it takes up a lot of time on my Sunday, i’m happy i’m doing this.

Sleepy time for now. Hopefully!

Ooh i forgot! Tomorrow, 9 May, Mercury will move past the sun in the daytime. You do need a solar filter to see it. Which i haven’t got. But still.

Published on May 9, 2016 at 6:00 by

Liberation Day

I did go to the garden this afternoon. I brought my vegetable peels, eggshells and toilet paper inner rolls with me to add to the compost heap.

I took photos of plants which i have been told are beneficial weeds. I’m still learning these names and facts. My knowledge of plants, vegetables, herbs and weeds, beneficial or not is extremely limited. I did do some searches and readings this afternoon. The following plants are the ones i have studied.

The bed with chard is almost completely covered with clover, klaver. Its main use is in animal feed. They are also valuable as soil-improving and soil-conserving plants. It adds about 55-170 kg per hectare of nitrogen.

Comfrey, smeerwortel, is a medium sized plant with purple flowers and large leaves. Daniel told me he used the comfrey root for a wound. Ordinarely that wound would be healed in around four weeks, but with the use of the comfrey root, it was healed in a week. He explained to me that this was because the plant contains a organic molecule allantoin. This stimulates cell growth and repairs and depresses inflammation.

Vetch, wikke, is a wide family of around 140 species. Broad beans, tuinbonen, are part of this family. Lentils and peas are relatives of vetches. They are nitrogen-fixing plants.

Dandelion, paardebloem, is to me a well known yellow flowering plant. Its seed heads are also well known here in western Europe, with the white seeds in a wide sphere with fine hairs surrounding the seeds, making it easy to follow the wind over a wide area. The wikipedia page describes its many uses: food, wine and medicinal.

I did publish a photo of wild garlic, daslook, in my last post about the garden. Its leaves are lovely and have a mild garlicky taste. Cows which have eaten wild garlic give milk with a slight garlic taste. The leaves can be used as salad, herb, boiled, in soup or in a pesto as a substitute for basil.

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Coots, meerkoeten, close to my home with three youngs.
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Clover, klaver, in between chard.
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Comfrey, smeerwortel
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Vetch, wikke
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Dandelion, paardebloem, and some comfrey, smeerwortel in the foreground
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Wild garlic, daslook
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Sycamore, plataan
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The same sycamore with a view on Rotterdam
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Icecream! Passionfruit and mango. Yum!
Published on May 6, 2016 at 6:00 by

De Vredestuin

Or rather: the Peace Garden.

A week ago i walked home from the Central Station. Passing the garden, i saw some people working. I leaned on the railing and watched for a while. One of the guys working waved at me. I decided to go down and talk for a bit.

It turned out the garden is connected to the Gandhigarden. The last time i went there is over a year ago. Some people from the Peace Garden also work at the Gandhi. The Peace Garden has a more open layout and is very close to the centre of the city. The Hofplein, the Coolsingel, the Weena are all very close to this park, along the side of the train.

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Last Friday i went there for the first time. I helped out planting seeds. I took home some spinach, lettuce and parsnips. This evening i cooked the spinach, boiled some potatoes and had some cottage cheese. Good.

Today, Sunday, it was a lot colder. I arrived there around a two fifteen. Some people were walking around and looking at the plants. They turned out to be German visitors. We talked a bit and i explained what the purpose is of the garden, that it is a communal garden and yes, freely accessible.

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Today i had some vegetable waste with me for the compost heap. Lat Friday i was told paper waste is good: egg boxes, toilet paper inner rolls and such. Egg shells are good too. When i went to the compost box to turn it in, i got a bit of a shock by the rat running around in the heap and desperately trying to find a way out. I walked back to the small sitting area, where three other people were sitting. We all had stare at the rat. I was sorry to see him so scared. We did try to get him out, but he dived under the compost. Later on another person arrived. He wasn’t surprised by it.

It was cold. Or as i called it, fresh. But still, around three, three thirty we were working weeding the place. I had already given the seedlings a bit of water. I got a bit of explanation about the different sort of weeds there are: some bad, some good, some very bad. I took out a couple of weeds.

I’ll be going there more. I do like to learn more about gardening, the weeds, where to plant different vegetables. I had seen a layout on paper with names of the vegetables on them last Friday. I do know you need to switch them around. But i have no idea what vegetable uses what nutrient, what vegetables go well together. I wouldn’t know where to start if i had my own garden. Well.. ok… that is not right. I would start with herbs and some vegetables i really enjoy. I would start slow.

But, this year i will plant some herbs on my one square meter balcony. Once the railing is on there. I don’t think i have talked about this: my balcony is closed because there is work being done to it. The railing is gone and we will get new ones soon. I hope.

Some photos of the Vredestuin. It is still early in the year. But left over from last year some leeks, parsnips. Also lettuce, chard to be harvested. Newly planted are around 3 rows of potatoes. Many onions. There are also some wild garlic plants in the garden. One guy showed me them. He gave me a leaf to eat. It tasted great!

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Published on April 25, 2016 at 6:00 by