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Here is an update on how our garden is doing after about a month! We had rain, rain, sun. So …. what is growing best? The weeds are growing faster than our vegetables! It is a constant race!garden
My daughter Fanny and I weed as soon as possible but for now it seems the weeds are winning the race ! We will let grow some of them between rows : it is such a pleasure to walk barefoot in the grass while gardening !!

Our lettuceslettuces

and spinachspinach are ready to eat.

We had our first radishes , such a treat!

Our tomatoes, tomatoes, zucchinis,zucchinis

cucumbers, cucumbersand beansbeans have grown well, as have the artichokes and peppersartichokes and peppers

and ground cherries ( we can already see a fruit)

ground cherry

 

The Fava beans Fava beanswill be ready in a few weeks. Just over a month after planting we still do not see any pods.

The mint mintand parsely are growing well, and what is better than a tabbouleh made with our own herbs !! (That is until our tomatoes are ready!)

(I’ve included my recipe for tabbouleh below.)

And how about a grilled meat-salad seasoned with our thyme and basil !!fine herbs

In both the garden and our pasture we let milkweed (Asclepia) milkweedgrow because it is a plant bees and butterflies (especially the monarchs) love. We so need these little insects to pollinate our fruits, vegetables and plants. As our milkweed in pasturefarm is surrounded by cash crops (mainly corn and soybean), we try as much as possible to create a small oasis for them and do our best to preserve some biodiversity.

With the wet weather the beetles come. My zucchinis and cucumbers have been invaded by the Striped cucumber beetle. cucumber beetlesThey eat the leaves and fruits. I’ll try to get rid of them by spraying some neem oil on their leaves. (Neem has a strong unpleasant scent and while it has many wonderful properties and can do good things for your skin if it tastes as bad as it smells I see why the beetles will leave those plants alone!) Also I’ll be putting some bird seeds around my plants and attract the birds so they can enjoy a nice beetle meal !

Our red currants will be ready soon.red currants We’ll need to pick them quickly before the birds eat them all. Meanwhile our blackcurrants ripen quietly.black currants

So that’s the progress our garden has made in the past month. We’ll give you another update in a few weeks, and will share another seasonal recipe using our fruits and vegetables.

Happy gardening everybody , Enjoy these sunny days!

Here is my tabbouleh recipe!

Serves 6-8

500gr of medium couscous
300gr hot salted water
3 tbsp ground parsley
3 tbsp ground onions
4 tbsp ground mint
4-5 lemon freshly squeezed ( keep one for the end )
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp oil ( canola, sunflower )
at least 6 tomatoes or a big can of diced tomatoes with the juice

In a large bowl, put the couscous. Then add hot water.
Wait a few seconds, then mix with a fork.
Add all the other ingredients.
Stir everything thoroughly.
Put the bowl in the fridge for at least 5 hours. (The longer you wait to eat it the better it will be.)
Stir every hour.
Just before serving, add the juice from the last lemon and mix again. Add salt and pepper if you want to.
And it is ready to serve , fresh tabbouleh!
Perfection with a glass of chilled rosé wine

If you want to serve a hot sauce with it, then in a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of olive oil with harissa ( a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste) and add to taste.

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