Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Smoke without fire?

Not exactly smoke, but I had to do a double take when I opened the kitchen blinds this morning and saw the steam rising from the fence and bird table!

The robin on the washing line pole has become very friendly and happily loiters close by when I'm out there digging- hoping for a worm or two.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One month after 1st planting......

There is life on my plot- in addition to the worms & weeds!

One month on and the broad beans, garlic and shallots are all doing well.
The plastic cover to my cloche blew away in high winds and although my plot neighbour and I both searched, it has vanished without a trace!

With a little help from Erica from Freecycle, I now have a stack of old floorboards to finish off the raised beds. Four beds done- only eight more to go!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

He Who Does Dig (with machinery only!)

As you can see from the photos, HWDD & I were out on the plot early Saturday morning to take delivery of a rotivator for 3 hours. The site looked magical with the sun glinting off the frost & dew!

We moved the carpet off, dug out all the docks that were pushing up underneath and relocated three frogs that had been hiding. I was amazed at how long the dock roots were- some nearly 40cm and as fat as a large parsnip!

HHDD was more than happy to fire up the rotivator and get stuck in. He has, like many men, a fondness for powered tools and much prefers using mechanical things to manual ones!

I have a strange fondness for the look, texture and smell of freshly dug earth. It’s cleanliness (of weeds!) and freshness inspires me to want to sow, nurture and care for all the lovely things I plan to grow to feed us next year!

The weeds will probably grow back with vengeance in spring, but for now I feel very proud of what we have achieved together, and it was lovely to have some help and company from HWDD to achieve it! I couldn't have done it without him!

Once the machinery had been collected, I raked & levelled the plot, measured and marked out the other 12 beds and cut the carpet into strips to cover the paths temporarily. This will allow me to work through the winter building the wooden beds without getting plastered in mud! The carpet will be replaced with weed control matting as they are constructed, as I’ve found it’s best to tuck this under the wood, and secure with homemade metal staples.

Boy did I ache on Sunday!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Finally the seeds are sown

It was actually quite exciting and very satisfying to actually plant something in the ground, rather than just weed, weed & weed!

I planted Grovelands Jermor - Long shallot onion (over wintering)
Organic gardening catalogue GARLIC Thermidrome and
Wyvale T&M Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia

I cobbled together a cloche structure out of canes and old hosepipe, to cover up the broad beans to help them germinate. If it doesn't blow away it should keep the worst of the weather off!
I'm contemplating hiring a rotivator and doing the whole plot and then leveling it out to make the beds- covering back up with carpet where necessary. It is actually on quite a slope, which I didn’t realize at first, but is apparent now I've started the third bed.

Hopefully this clear, cold sunny weather will hold for the weekend and I will be able to do a bit more on both the plot & in the garden.