The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Gardening and reading

Photo: Bee in the hollyhocks

Photo: Bee in the hollyhocks

“What are you doing?”
“Pricking out and potting on.”
“Which is which?”
“You prick out seedlings. You pot on more mature plants. The potting on process is in stages. You can’t move from thimble to bucket – there are many steps in between.”
“Do you know that you are at your happiest when you are farming?”
‘Farming’ has me firing on all cylinders. This enforced rest has been a tremendous bonus.

Danny is right. I love gardening and I also love cooking. The two for me go hand in hand.  Creating beautiful spaces and trying to produce delicious food every day has become a mission. If I had to give one up I’m not sure which one it would be. If I plump for one the other becomes far more alluring – beckoning and teasing me.

I got up reasonably early yesterday and motored into Newmarket to pick up some manure, Easter eggs and other essentials (how my life has changed). Then I spent the afternoon pricking out and potting on. In fact I felt so good that I skipped the afternoon rest and consequently I was exhausted.

I made my favourite meal – spaghetti with a prawn and cream sauce and we dined early. I repaired to bed with the book that my mum gave me for Christmas – Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. The author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I’ve finally finished Restless by William Boyd. I loved savouring it – as it was my waiting room book but in the end just couldn’t put it down.

This morning I found the new novel beside me on the bed unopened. So I’ll definitely be taking an afternoon rest today with this treat to look forward too.

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  1. You know, this “pricking out and potting on” stuff is something that I haven’t found the rhythm for, and my garden suffers from my lack of patience.

    Your post here helped me think of it more like digging and weeding. Thank you.

  2. ChickPea

    Oooooooh ! WHAT a relief ! You had me quite anxious there with ‘pram and cream sauce……..’ Now PRAWNS……. mmmmmmmmmn ! x

  3. There is something just so RIGHT about growing stuff isn’t there? Especially things that you can cook and then watch people you care about enjoy eating them. For me, it’s just the best feeling. In the past few days I’ve been working, mostly on my own, in the derelict orchard that came with our “farm”, and the sense of peace and calm, despite being in a foreign land where I can’t yet speak the language, was just wonderful. I am utterly convinced that gardening, and particularly fruit and veg growing, is incredibly good for the mind, and helps the healing process for those who need it.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Chick Pea

    Ooops… I meant to write prawn!

  5. ChickPea

    I am perplexed, Fiona – how do you get the pram into the saucepan without spilling the cream all over thre place – perhaps you have a VERY large pan, or spend hours with metal cutters so’s it is in very small bits……. or is this a recipe which happens outside, fully integrating your two vocations ? (I note the date is the 2nd…..)

    Easter Greetings ! x

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