Tag Archives: September


by John Stone, Smooth Decorator

Living in the twenty-first century has brought us a lot of good things. The development of technology and science has extended the human life to the once unimaginable age, and we are thankful every day for spending them on Earth. However, with the development of big cities and rushing hours, we seem to forget about ourselves and the nature that surrounds us. Always running, we sometimes do not even have enough time to prepare a simple meal at home. Not to think of growing our own plants!

If you have decided to return to the nature and grow your food, be it in a small backyard garden, or even in your flat balcony or terrace, there are some things you need to know. So, in the following few paragraphs you will find out the basics of growing your own food.

  1. Make a good plan

Every food garden needs a good plan. Just like a start-up business plan, you need to work it out in all stages, without leaving everything out. This implies the following things:

  • Climate you are living in – Will your plants have enough water and warmth to endure the season and give fruit?
  • Soil – Is the soil good enough to yield as you expected or will you have to fertilise it additionally?
  • Rainfall – Is there enough water from rainfall to help your plants grow naturally or will you have to invest in a watering system or collect rainwater?
  • Space – Where will you grow your crops, do you have enough soil or is the space you have at your disposal limited?

Once you answer all these questions (and those answers are positive), you can go into next phase.

  1. Count every penny

Before we proceed, you will have to calculate everything in advance. Taking all these things into consideration, see if the crops you expect to get will pay off, that is if the money you invest into seeds and cultivation is going to return positively. You need to be realistic and think about so many things. Especially when it comes to the elements, such as hay and thunderstorms and floods, - will you be able to survive without the (potentially ruined) crops?

Think of agricultural insurance and see if they cover the Will of God. This can be very useful.

  1. Learn the plant life cycle

Once you have decided to grow your plants, you can start growing your food. If you do not know how to cultivate land, here you can find out all the basic things. The majority of plants need to grow from the ground, so you will have to break the ground in order to loosen the soil and allow the seed to be covered with enough soil. For this you can use either a shovel or a hoe, or some bigger machinery, such as rototiller (for bigger gardens). Next, place seed into the furrow, cover it with some soil and start cultivating (see step 4).

  1. Water is the source of life

If you want your crops to grow properly, you will need to water them every day. Especially if you live in a dry climate, you will have to be realistic in your expectations. You can help your crops grow by installing automatic sprinkler systems, which bring water from water cartage tanks that collect rainfall and recycle the water into your garden. This is a great option if you are planning to keep your water bills at normal levels and there is the additional benefit of saving the nature. A win-win situation for you.

As you can see, growing your own food is not that difficult after all. In the end, do not forget to collect the crops once they are ripe, and maintain the soil during the entire year (even in winter) if you want to grow another generation of crops in the spring.


The Cabbage growing in the Tunnel
The Cabbage growing in the Tunnel

First of the Autumn Cabbages from the Tunnel. I harvested the biggest cabbage and was proudly showing it off to The Neighbour Lady, I handed it to her to admire, she said "Thank You" and started walking away with it. I panicked and said I was just showing it to you, she looked so disappointed, I gifted it to her. Luckily there was another large cabbage ready for the Stuffed Cabbages Fran had planned. Everybody was happy.

What a pretty Cabbage
What a pretty Cabbage

The Neighbor Lady holding both Cabbages
The Neighbor Lady holding both Cabbages


The Winner of the Fran's Victory Garden Butternut Squash Pie Recipe Contest.
The Winner of the Fran's Victory Garden Butternut Squash Pie Recipe Contest.

Fran’s Ginger Snap Butternut Squash Pie, simply WOW!


For 1 Ginger Snap Crust (double for 2):

1/2 package of Ginger snaps (24 cookies for each crust)
6 tbsps. melted butter
¼ cup sugar

For 2 Butternut Squash pies filling:

4 cups of cooked butternut squash from Fran's Victory Garden
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of flour
1/ teaspoon of baking soda ...continue reading


The last cucumber is in the pile with the last cantaloupe
The last cucumber is in the pile with the last cantaloupe

Coming to the end of the season. Picked the last Cucumber & Cantaloupe.  The last Zucchini was weeks ago. We had a surprise Cauliflower, I didn't even see it grow, it was among the Butternut squash, I was counting the squash and there it was, right in the middle. I harvested right away, not like the last one that I allowed to get buggy. I love Cauliflower, Fran roasts it with other veggies, great!

Artichoke flower
Artichoke flower

Beans are still coming in strong, Tomatoes both Plum and Heritage every day and an occasional Eggplant. The Hungarian Hot Peppers are a regular now, the big Peppers are turning red. By being lazy I have allowed the Fennel and Artichokes to go to flower.

Update: Fran has made four Butternut Squash Pies now, they get better and better.  We get two pies out of each larger squash, so, at least a dozen more pies.


Just Picked Eggplants, Zuccs, Beans, Cherry Toms, and Figs. Fennel on the grill last nite with the salmon (not local).  Peas soon. Fran is making a 3 bean salad & Zucc Moussaka. A bad year for the Toms & Peps, and planted the Watermelon to late, who ever heard of Watermelon in September?

I keep thinking this is the last pick, but the Beans and Cherry Toms don't stop. Gonna have to pull the last Fennel soon, didn't know they were perennial, I will have to plan a spot.

The next project is a Rhubarb patch. Several days of rain to soften the ground and a bit of ambition, wish me luck.