It’s hot here in the UK. Much hotter than we British feel comfortable in. Add to the sunny weather a lot of working from home and you end up with a very good looking garden, or plant pots. A while back we mentioned that during lock down we would try to grow some vegetables from seeds and in today’s English grammar lesson we give you an update on how we got on.
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Lockdown Freebies Freebie
|To Get Hold Of||3|
|And Will Help You||2|
|You Buy In The||2|
|You Grow Your Own||2|
|So That You Can||2|
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. Learn grammar and vocabulary with us, so that you can speak fluent English!
During the period of the lockdown, there was a time when we couldn’t go to the shops or go outside much, other than in our own gardens or out for our hour of exercise. And this period of time was in the spring, when lots of shops were closed completely. And this included the type of shop which in the UK we call a ‘garden centre’. A ‘garden centre’ is a shop which sells everything for your garden – that’s furniture, plants, trees, grass, pots, compost, greenhouses, barbecues etc.
So during March and April and some of May, just at the time when gardeners would be planting their seeds or starting off young plants, it was really difficult to get hold of things like that because the garden centres were all closed. We say ‘to get hold of something’ – it means ‘to get’ or ‘to find’ something when it’s ‘in short supply’ – when it’s difficult to find, when there’s not much of it. So back then, even things like bread flour were difficult to get hold of – bread flour was in short supply. And so was anything to do with the garden.
If you listen to our podcasts regularly, you may remember that I did a podcast back in April, talking about my frustrations at not being able to buy tomato plants, like I usually do – and I talked about planting seeds from an actual tomato to see if they would grow. When I did that podcast, I had 42 little tomato plants from a single tiny, cherry tomato!
Well, I chose the best 50% of the plants to grow on, and then I put many of them outside, the plants outside at the front of my house as ‘freebies’ for people to collect. In English, we say ‘a freebie’, F-R-E-E-B-I-E when we mean something that you don’t have to pay for. So some people came and took tomato plants, which I’d grown for free, ‘freebies’ from the front of my house.
And I grew on four of these plants, that I grew from tomato…..a tomato seed in pots – and two more of them, two more plants in the ground. And it’s been later in the year that the tomatoes have appeared because I started growing them later. Usually I have them ready to pick and eat by May, or the end of May at least. But this year, because of the delay, because of the lockdown, it’s all happened a bit later. But, the update is the plants are now huge and have massive trusses of tomatoes on them.
A ‘truss’, T-R-U-S-S in this context means a branch with lots of tomatoes on. If you look at the photograph on our website which is associated with this podcast, you’ll see our actual tomatoes growing. And as you can see, I think it’s a bit of a success! They taste nice too. So if you’ve never grown your own tomatoes, if you’ve got room outside to do it and a bit of sun, and time to water them, it’s worth doing. The difference in the taste between these tomatoes and the ones that you buy in the supermarket – well, it’s a lot different.
Just a pause there, and a word about our courses. If you’re finding the podcasts difficult to understand, or you’d just like to consolidate your basic English vocabulary, your knowledge of all the basic words in English, learn grammar, also associated with these words, then a good course for you would be our Most Common 500 Words Course.
Of course, it’s a ‘Listen & Learn’ course, just like our others, but it focuses on the most common words in English. And this is done through a series of podcast-like articles and conversations – but no words, no vocabulary other than the most common 500 words are used. If you’ve not tried this course, then I’m sure that it will strengthen your basic English language and will help you with the podcasts, so that you can enjoy them more easily and improve your English language learning and learn grammar in use at the same time.
Back to our topic today. During the lockdown in the UK, it seemed as though all kinds of people were growing things from seed – seeds from fruit and vegetables, which they’d bought to eat. Everyone had time to do it. I don’t know how those people and their fruit and vegetable growing are going on now. I did have one client who said to me that she was ‘sick of growing vegetables’! But presumably, for most people, they’re now reaping the harvest – seeing the benefits – and having food from their garden or their balcony.
A photograph of a our grown from seed tomato plants. Used to help practice English grammar through listening.
Many people have a dream of perhaps being partly ‘self-sufficient’. ‘Self-sufficient’ means that you grow your own food, you grow your own fruit and vegetables, so that you don’t have to buy as much from the supermarket. Of course, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible to achieve complete ‘self-suffiency’, to grow all your own food. Most people wouldn’t be able to do that. However, it is perfectly possible to grow things, especially in the summer and eat lots of food that you’ve grown yourself.
And normally it tastes better than what you buy in the shop. It’s a nice, satisfying thing to do and you can grow herbs or garlic, or strawberries or other sorts of fruit. It may be a long way from self-sufficiency, but it’s satisfying. And I also like the fact that it does seem that you can grow things from actual seeds from vegetables or from fruit – certainly it worked with tomatoes!. So apart from the c..compost and the pots, which I probably have anyway, you don’t need to buy anything. You’re just using nature. I like this idea. Now maybe I’m going to have a go at growing some lemons – from a pip into a lemon tree. And then I’ve...can have my own lemons for my gin and tonic. That’s a nice idea.
So that’s today’s podcast. I hope that you’re finding that Adept English is helping you with your basic grammar and vocabulary and your understanding of English. Listen to this podcast a number of times, until you understand all the words. Then if you remember the podcast on spaced repetition last week - when you’ve had time to nearly forget the new words that you learned with this podcast – it’s time to listen to it again to remind yourself and make those new words stick in your head.
Anyway, I hope that podcast has inspired you to think about growing things you can eat. And if you’re already doing that, I hope that you’re enjoying the ‘fruits of your labour’ as we say.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.