>Planting out the maize and lettuce

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I was sent 10 Greek maize (sweetcorn) seeds by Gaia’s Hope and they all germinated.  They’re a variety that are very drought resistant, so I hope they’ll do well here.  Today we planted them out, as well as some lettuce plants that our neighbour gave us.

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I sowed the seeds in compost in toilet rolls (left above) and soon after they germinated they had huge roots and were outgrowing the tubes.  I took the cardboard tubes off before putting the plants in the ground in case they dried out too much and stopped the roots growing through properly. 

Spring flowers and an alien appearance

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The first cistus flowers are starting to appear – this one (above, left) is by the path to our garden on a neighbour’s plot.  The Muscat d’Hambourg table grape vine has tiny flower buds on it (centre).  And work continues on the housing development next to the garden, with the incongruous appearance of a theodolite above an ancient dry stone wall (right).

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A green salad (left) made from leaves from the garden – lettuce, spinach, broad bean, rocket, celery – with slices of cou farci we made with one of the duck necks we brought back from the Gers.  I mixed sausage meat (100 % pork) with raisins soaked in white wine, salt, and pepper, and used it to stuff the skin of the duck neck.  The stuffed necks were then added to the pan with all the duck fat and the legs to make confit, and simmered gently for two and a half hours.  They can then be stored in a cool place covered with fat for weeks, or even months, although I don’t think ours will last very long.  The leeks (in the right) are some remaining from our very poor crop this year.  They were very tasty, though, cooked in white wine, left to cool and eaten as a first course with salt, pepper and a vinaigrette dressing.

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