Garden Frolics

After a festival weekend a couple of weeks ago, last weekend I had garden centred frolic. The community garden I belong to has a couple of open afternoons a year where we all bake a few cakes, open the garden to the public and invite them to have a cup of tea and a slice for a small donation. We have a tom bola and sometimes a raffle to add to the jollity and usually we get a good turnout which boosts our funds to pay for any new equipment and materials we might need.

Last weekend as it was men’s finals at Wimbledon on the Sunday we made it an open morning so as not to clash. The weather was perfect and all available umbrellas and gazebo’s from member’s gardens were brought into service. I donated a couple of copies of ‘Androula’s Kitchen’ for the tombola and made my version of Revani that’s written in the cake section, for the cake stall.  My good friend Gill of Paisley Pedlar fame has raved about this cake often and seems to find any excuse to make it, in fact she bought a new oven recently and the first thing she baked in it was Revani tis Sonia now that’s dedication! I also made some fig slices, I was looking for a very quick recipe using dates and found one online but realised I only had figs in my cupboard so these were duly substituted and I have to say they were a winner.

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The copies of the book were duly signed for the lucky winners. If you want a chance to win a copy, a lucky draw is ongoing at the moment on the Eugreeka website http://www.eugreeka.com/cyprus-on-a-plate it’s open to any one until 18th July and the winner will be announced in the newsletter out on the 19th July.

The same weekend, one of the member’s had a milestone birthday, it seems to be the year for them , and invited a few of our members to a birthday bash in her garden, and very lovely it was too.

I love it when the weather is lovely down at the garden and at the moment it is thriving and we are busy harvesting soft fruits, broad beans, spinach and chard, cauliflowers and cabbages, as well as digging up shallots, onions and garlic to dry off for storing. We also have masses of salad stuff on the go. I was recently delighted to find a community garden has been set up on the outskirts of Lefkosia in Kaimakli and it has been founded on the same principles as our own Tangmere garden: community and friendship and learning how to grow your own good food to live healthily.http://collectivebahce.wordpress.com/the-community-garden/

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Bring me Sunshine

Bring me Sunshine

Weather is on my mind at the moment as I think I’m suffering from the lack of sunlight here in the UK.

This is a problem they don’t have in Cyprus in fact they have the opposite. In the summer months, July ,August & September, the temperature soars and can vary, depending on where you are, inland or coastline, between low thirties to well into the forties in Lefkosia. In the Troodos mountains of course it is a more bearable temperature and this is where I would flee to in the summer, if I had to live in Cyprus all year round.

Here in the UK, back to reality, I like my summer to be summer with a good temperature of at least mid twenties and above. We, sadly, have had miserable temperatures this year so far on average in the mid teens if we are lucky and a very poor showing of sunshine. If it goes on like this, we will reach winter without having topped up on our much needed energy boost.

It is a proven fact that lack of sunlight affects our mood and our bodily health as it provides us with vitamin D. Many foreigners who come to live in the UK from extremely hot countries, suffer from the lack of vitamin D and have to supplement their diet to counteract this. We natives just get grumpy!

I, of course am tempting fate by writing this. It was only a few months ago that we had talk of a drought. There had been a series of very dry winters with less than average rainfall leaving our rivers and reservoirs bereft of the normal levels of water. There was talk of hose-pipe bans and the possibility that our households would be cut off from water entirely and stand pipes being erected in our streets. The result? Well we have been deluged with rain ever since and widespread flooding has occurred. The water levels surprise, surprise are now back to normal, but rather puzzlingly, we are still on drought alert!!!!!

I wonder if this little blog will have the same effect on the sun? Apparently the reason we are experiencing this rather unseasonal weather is due to the jet stream being stuck much further South than is normal, get on up here JS and behave!!

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