Summer reprise: week 35 [2019]

It is over. I have made it. I leave the summer holidays of 2019 older, with slightly more white hair, tired, and yet rather satisfied.

Last week was the last of the school holiday upheavals. I’ve got some time off work this week to relax and recuperate (aka, paint my patio and do more gardening!). But from now on it’s just back to regular full time working and running a household. So today’s blog is going to be a quick tour of the three key highlights of the summer, a Grow, a Make and a Mend. Just one of each?! I know!


First summer of growing French beans.

There was utterly no doubt about it. The Grow highlight spot for the summer goes to the French beans – climbing French beans. Blue Lake variety, to be precise. We planted 15, 10 germinated. Of those I think one died due to chicken attack after transplanting outdoors, so we’ll call it 9 plants for accuracy.

17 weeks ago they were still on my kitchen windowsill.

14 weeks ago they were transplanted outside and spent absolutely ages looking totally fed up and sorry for themselves.

Last night I harvested another 1.5kg of fat green beans, to add to the ~5kg we’ve already had off them over the summer.  So that’s at least 6.5kg, probably a bit more because I’m sure I’ve had a few handfuls off to cook fresh without weighing. And I can assure you, the flowers and baby beans are still coming!

All organic no dig. This means no weedkillers, no bug sprays, etc. It means minimal weeding and plenty of just leaving the plant to do what it should be able to do best: grow how it wants. From my point of view this is ideal because I don’t get a lot of time to garden. The more I can grow with the least effort possible, the better.

I’ve learned how to blanch and freeze beans so that we’ll have some for the winter.

So Blue Lake have been an outrageous success. I still have lots of original seeds left for next year, so I don’t need to seed save this year.


I am most proud of having made jam this summer.

I’ve made tons of stuff this year. I finished that pair of hand knitted socks. I made that chicken feeder trough from old pallet wood and bits of scrap guttering. I’ve made bread, and pizza, and lots of home made meals.

The single thing that I’m most pleased about though is having made jam. My whole last blog post was about making jam, so I’m not going to go on about it now. But yes. Jam.


Mended my jeans. Again.

As you know, Mend is my more philosophical category. Yes, it’s mending things that are broken. It’s also about mending our ways, living more sustainably, less waste, less plastic, living more and more in ways that fit our ethos.

I could waffle on for ages about lots of things, but I just have to pick one for the reprise and you know, I’m going to be small minded and selfish. I mended my favourite jeans again. Subtle irony because since then I’ve put the knee out of them and they’re back on the mending pile, but hey! It’s my blog.

Love these jeans. Get to wear them a bit longer now.


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