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Newbie from the Low Countries

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Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  PabloElFlamenco on 9/2/2013, 9:44 am

Howdy Squarefoots.  My real name is Paul, and as introduction wish to greet all members of this forum.  I intend to start growing vegetables, in a manner inspired by SFG, from early 2014 onwards.  Inspired by (1) low-flavor tomatoes from the supermarket and (2) the impossibility of purchasing, here, "Pimiento de Padrón" (small green bell peppers to be wok-fried in good oil and served sprinkled with coarse sea-salt, a traditional recipe from Galicia, España).  This is a challenge, as the climate where I live is wetter and colder than in Galicia and/or Pomodoria (i.e. Italy), but I have a hunch I might succeed, wpagw (weather permitting all going well).  I live in a house with a large garden, nearto Brussels, home of the Brussels sprout, but more specifically of that other special vegatable, the typical Belgian andive (chicory), the elaboration of same having been developed in the very village where I live.  These andives are large 3-4 inch white sprouts grown by planting, in late autumn and under heated athmosphere, roots of that plant into soft earth and, and daily mounding-up the soil as the sprout appears and grows (at least, that's how it used to be done!).  The andive sprout, like all sprouts, contains quite a bit of sugar which, when cooked, tends to give a slightly caramelly (and bitter) taste to the vegetable.  An acquired taste, perhaps, but ours!  Enough said, let me do some work (I'm retiring only next year!).  Peace to all!
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  camprn on 9/2/2013, 9:48 am

Pablo, Greetings from the US! and glad you\'re here  to the SFG Forum!

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  PabloElFlamenco on 9/2/2013, 9:53 am

Anyone quoting Thoreau I greet back, Sir!  Thanks for the welcome...
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  walshevak on 9/2/2013, 2:29 pm

Welcome. I look forward to seeing what your SFG can produce. Plantoid in Wales will probably be able to offer good suggestions on peppers in your weather patterns. I'm on the East Coast of North Carolina and have a long hot humid summer growing period. Peppers grow great here.

In 2000. I took the Chunnel train and spent the day in Beautiful Brussels. Later I took the ferry from Dover into Ostend and did a 5 day driving holiday though Belgium and The Netherlands. Bruge was wonderful.

Kay

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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2013, 3:08 pm

Pablo,  Welcome to the Forum!  glad you\'re here 

My story of Brussels in the 90's:  On a business trip to The Netherlands, the hosting company gave us a car to drive to Brussels, where we spent the night at the Dom Hotel.  Very Happy   From our room we could see the ancient stone church across the street, surrounded by modern construction.  We walked to The Place, bought a small water color of The Place from a street artist  and had mussels in a recommended basement restaurant.  They were delicious, but as veggie-starved Americans, we also ate all of the veggies in the broth, to the horror of the other patrons!  In the morning, we had, of course, Belgium waffles.

We parked the car at the train station and took the bullet to Paris for a three day visit.  When we returned, the borrowed car was missing!!  What a Face   We had missed the small sign that indicated that the Farmer's Market was held there every Friday!  Due to the different jurisdictions of the city, it was a nightmare finding the car.  A woman who lived in Los Angeles, California, for 10 years, was our salvation.  She found out which tow yard had the car, drove us from the police station to the tow yard, and guided us onto the highway back to The Netherlands.  Good Samaritan. The tow yard was in the slaughter area (maybe it was a former slaughter area of the city).  The night before, there were riot fires in that neighborhood.  I forgot to mention that the reason we took the train from Brussels to Paris is that the French truck drivers were on strike and we were Strongly advised not to try to drive on the freeways during a strike.

Fun memories.
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  TxGramma on 9/2/2013, 4:19 pm

Welcome Paul! Can't wait to see pictures of your garden and maybe even a few of Brussels too. I love brussel sprouts and can't wait to grow my own.
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/2/2013, 11:03 pm

Bien venidos, Pablo! Y buen suerte!
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  PabloElFlamenco on 9/3/2013, 9:48 am

Gee whiz, folks, thanks (muchísimas gracias) for your welcomes.  Traveling can be a challenge, ask me how I know, and as a youth, I thought the world would become a better place (it hasn't, just stayed the same as ever, except for the additional damage mankind perpetrates).  I've worked out a vermiculite/peat moss/compost calculator and posted a message in the "how to" section, maybe I'll be able to share that tool.  Even if intend to develop some SFG skills in the relatively near future, it'll be a while...before next spring.  A challenge, but a nice one:  no stress.  I once had a rather large garden plot in back of our house.  We ended up having just about a metric ton (2200 lbs) or so of zucchini, and the horseradish spread all over the surrounding countryside, well, almost ;-)  I didn't persist:  training for marathons and gardening are NOT compatible.  See ya'll around!
Paul
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/3/2013, 1:18 pm

Estoy riendo!

(Can't use the upside-down exclamation point on this computer....)
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  camprn on 9/3/2013, 2:15 pm

Oh Paul, so I am confused... clearly you can write English, yet have a spanish user name whilst living in the Netherlands.......... What is your native tongue?.... No pressure to answer, I am curious is all...Wink

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  plantoid on 9/3/2013, 3:03 pm

Welcome to ANSFG Paul,
 
The  Low Landers have a great tradition of growing some very large edible veg in mixtures similar to Mel's Mix , in fact you guys hold many world records for massive fruit and veg crops.

 May I offer that you start making your home made compost as soon as possible for it keeps thngs cheap right from the beginning whilst you are contemplating what your going to do & how your hoping to do it .  You'll know exactly what has gone in to it .
Make as much as you reasonably can for again not only will you save a fortune this way you'll suddenly find that you are going to want to construct more beds and will need the extra  compost for making the new batch of Mel's Mix  to put in them  .
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  PabloElFlamenco on 9/4/2013, 6:12 am

(Plantoid) Well, we've been dumping veggie kitchen stuff into a purpose constructed 1x1 meter "compost bin" in the back-back part of our garden (the bin was on offer by the local city government for 5 Euros) for over two years now, except I never bothered to mix it, so now (next weekend) I'll put a rake to it and examine the looks of it.  I don't think it ever "cooked", so I might have to "revive" it, don't want weeds out of there to contaminate that Mel's mix I still have to make. To be continued... 

(Donnainzone10) I use the ASCII code keys to write ñ (Alt+164) - ¿ (Alt+168) etcetera (but it doesn't work on a laptop keyboard, only on a full keyboard, which I hooked-up to a laptop computer).

(Camprn) I'm Belgian, and during weekdays I work and live in Breda, the Netherlands.  On weekends, I go home near Brussels, where I will start my SFG, which should be in full running by the time I'm due to retire.  My mother was French-speaking, my father Flemish-speaking (more or less identical to Dutch), so my native language is Dutch, French being second.  We lived in Germany (my dad was Belgian artillery) and I learned English in El Paso, Texas, and I hold a high school diploma from Bethesda, Maryland.  In 1967 we returned to Belgium, after 5 years in the U.S.  Some ten years ago, I decided to learn Spanish, and I've become pretty much fluent in that language, reading a lot (literature and history).  I speak French with my wife, Flemish with my kids, English at work, spend the evening reading Spanish and ...German whenever I have a chance to speak it, which I much like (lived in Germany a total of some 8 years or so...).  

Now I need a drink.

Cheers!
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

Post  sanderson on 9/4/2013, 2:20 pm

You are linguistically talented.  I'm English speaking and struggle with Spanglish (English trying to speak Spanish)  Embarassed   Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, English and French are not exacting similar.  Dutch has so much "flem" that if you can conquer that, then German is relatively easy.  (I politely dropped German in college, to the professor's relief!)  To my ear, French and Belgium sound similar though I know they aren't.  It's easier to read French than speak it!  You are blessed with knowing so many languages.
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I've got an avatar!

Post  PabloElFlamenco on 9/6/2013, 3:54 am

Just to explain my choice of avatar:  it shows me in my work clothes after having just finished seven consecutive days harvesting grapes (physically, the toughest work I've ever done), and the vineyards (not mine!) are located in Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy, France.  Somewhere on the right-hand side of the hill in the background is...Romanée-Conti, some of the most expensive vines anywhere in the world.  The year was 2010, early october, and it was mostly cold.
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Re: Newbie from the Low Countries

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