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Sunday, 11 December 2011

December update and an award

I've won an award once again.  A while ago they seem to come along all the time, but then seemed to go a bit out of fashion.  I'm particularly pleased as this one was given to me by a relatively new bloger friend, Tanya from Lovely Greens.  Tanya is an American who somehow got stranded on the Isle of Man, that big blob between Britain and Ireland that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhail threw after his Scottish foe.  There she gardens, forages and makes things such as soap.  I don't know how much German she knows, but 'Liebster' in german means darling!  My wife is getting a little worried about these advances by strange women! ;)

Part of the award is that I am to pass it on to 5 other bloggers... I have recently not got around to following as many blogs as regularly as I'd like (partially due to my wife nagging me about spending so much time on the internet chatting to strange ladies...) well let's see, here we go:

  1. Top of the list has to be the blog by my adopted virtual sister at Ohiofarmgirl' Aventures in the good land.  Her stories about he she manages her menagery of farm animals make me laugh out loud without fail and never fail to cheer me up
  2. Jason at Zuchini Island in Australia has et himself a target of 80% food self sufficiency from a standing start.  I think he is finding it harder than he initially thought, but seems to have a lot of fun trying
  3. Next fellow Italian farmer and revolutionary blogging from Puglia in the south of Italy on olive farming, dry stone walling, many recipes etc: La Contadina's blog 
  4. Next a blog from the opposite end of Italy the far north at the foot of the Alps: L'Orto Orgoglioso, the proud garden, by Rowenna, a Hawaiian in Italy, I believe.  Her motto is: "You may not be reciting Dante in your dreams, but in the end, anyone can be the owner of a proud garden."  I like it!
  5. Finaly I would like to pass the award to Little Paradiso.  Not a gardening blog, but it describes the life of a Texan in Monterosso in the Cinque Terre.  She recently wrote a lot about the destruction caused by the recent rains and the efforts of the villagers to rebuild their homes.  Do visit her site and find out how to help these people in desperate need..
Right, awards out of way here's what's happening in our garden;  There's been a wee bit of rain in the last few days, but temperatures are still more like spring fooling many plants into sprouting lush greens in what should be winter.  On the land I planted out seedlings of pak choi, tak soi and kale:

This the seed packet described as 'Japanese spinach, but are clearly of the brassica family:

Swiss chard sowed itself out all over the place and is looking lush:

Even the litchi tomatoes is still producing:

The broad beans for next year have started off well:

Conspiracy Cousin is back helping out.  Here is in action picking wild autumn olive berries for making our Christmas jam.

Other than that we are slowly getting ready for Christmas, which we will be spending up in the mountains again.  We've baked mountains of biscuits / cookies, including kaki cookies.  The little rain in the last few days has brought up some interesting fungi again, so hopefully we'll find some edible varieties in the mountains:

Have a great pre-Christmas time everybody and don't yourselves too stressed, it's not worth it! :)


Ohiofarmgirl said...

Brother! what a surprise! yay.. how funny I just clicked on your blog but then got distracted by an incoming email notice.. hee hee hee it was you! thank you so much. i love these awards and think they are fun. great blog list btw, i'll especially pop over and see your friend in the Cinque Terre. i'm sending you sisterly hugs and well wishes for all! ps Kai and Zander send some tail wagging for Eddie.

Anonymous said...

I feel very honoured. Thank you Heiko.

Spookily, I too was thinking of you earlier; wondering if you were still in the mountains and if you can pick up your post as it's high time I got the lending library off the ground.

I was hoping to include a DVD called Alone in the Wilderness about an inspirational man who built his own log cabin in the wilds of Alaska and his day to day existence living in tune with nature. I think you'll love it but I can't find it, so if you can still pick up your post let me know if you'd like me to hold off sending the books until the new year, when I will have, hopefully found it again?

Heiko said...

Hey sis, hugs and tail wags returned! :)

Contadina, probably best to leave it until the New Year as we will be in the mountains again over Xmas and post arrives painfully slowly up the top of our hill. I've heard of the film, but haven't seen it. Looking forward to that, thanks.

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Haha! I actually speak passable German so was surprised by 'Liebster' as well when I received it. I think that whoever thought up the award mean't to use 'Liebling' ;)

Anonymous said...

So good to see everything is growing again.. even this painful kind of tomato.

Happy Hanuka and marry Christmas for the 4 of you.

Take care,
Yotam and Eynav

Veggie PAK said...

Christmas jam. That sounds delicious just reading it! Have a safe and wonderful Christmas, stay warm and give Eddie a pat on the head!

Mr. H. said...

Self seeding Swiss chard...pretty neat, wish mine would do that. Be careful, that litchi might perennialize in your climate.:) I enjoyed hearing about yur garden and seeing the pictures. That Autumn olive is really loaded, can't wait until ours get to that point.

Heiko said...

Tanya, Liebester and Liebling mean almost the same thing in German. Ein Liebster is more like a sweetheart or boyfriend... at least you didn't start talking dirty... ;)

Eynav and Yotam, good to hear from you. Yes that prickly tomato is still thriving.

VeggiePak, the jam also involves the fruit of the strawberry tree and myrtle berries, plus some orange and Christmassy spices. For the recipe see http://pathtoselfsufficiency.blogspot.com/2010/11/wild-food-of-month-november-autumn.html

Mr.H, my Swiss chard is becoming a nuiscance in my garden. Can litchi tomatoes go perennial?

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Liebling also means favourite such as in 'meine Lieblings-Blog' :)

Rowena... said...

Of course I had no idea what liebster meant but I appreciate the award anyway! Your garden right now is looking good (I can't believe the chard!). Our broad beans are absolutely fooled by the weather...at 20cm in height, I believe they'll continue on until it snows on them.

Heiko said...

You're welcome, Rowenna. My broad beans would normally be higher by now, but I only sowed them out in November. They can take a bit of snow.

Angela said...

Of course HERE it means "favourite", not "to a darling Blogger", Heiko is just playing with words! Dank Dir für Deinen Kommentar, ja, die Bremer sind immer reichlich eingebildet, aber den Slötel hebbt se doch nich!
Pass man schön opp mit de Funghis, datt de jüm nich öber`n Kopp wachsen dohn oder Euern Brägen verdüdeln!
Hier regnet es jetzt genug, wollt Ihr was abhaben? Traut sich der Vetter wieder in die Nähe des Drachens??? Schöne Wiehnachten!

Heiko said...

Von wegen eingebildet! Dat sin die Hamburger! Oaber wie! Wie hebt nu ook Regen un' der Drache versteckt sich irgendwo inne Berge!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey Heiko! sending wishes and blessing to you all for the new year! and i havent forgotten about my award - i'll be passing it along soon. sooooo much bacon here... so little time.

selfsufficient11 said...

wow... awesome post...