Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Garden from the air!

Looks almost organised...
My second garden was too low in resolution from the drone picture.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Next Years Fertility

A chance meeting last week resulting in me being told my neighbours were trying to get rid of a big load of horse muck as they were going round the world on a tandem bike!
Did I want any?
I'll have as much as you be got!
I'm the end he brought six loads, most is beautifully rotted, black crumbly goodness. Can't believe how good this stuff is.

Should go a long way to providing some of my soil fertility next year. 

I also got round to clearing the sheep shed, a job I should have done a few months earlier really as I only borrow the shed. 
I stacked it high and added a few sheep's fleeces for extra nitrogen and goodness (they're worth very little at the moment but I've heard they make good compost). I think I'll probably need to leave it for 12 months before use but it'll make some great compost.
I've another three bins full of this year's compost as well which should be ready for next year's growing season.

A few more loads of muck and I might have enough for next year! Bigger scale means more fertility needed!

Who here gets lots of muck in? 

How do you provide fertility to your plot?

Friday, 11 August 2017

Globe Artichokes

These really divide people.
I love the faff and the messiness of eating this delicacy and I think it's all worth it for the amazing taste - my wife doesn't! Only my younger daughter liked them as well so I doubt they're going to become a regular feature in this house! 

Looking at the four heads in the picture above, they all came from the same packet of seed, a purple variety, so I think it's fair to say the seed company had some cross pollination! Might have to let them know if I can find the packet! 
We simply boil ours for around half an hour and serve with a little butter. The hearts in the middle taste divine! 
They are pretty much they only thing you can eat where you seem to end up with more than you started with.
These were heads off plants I sowed this year as well, I was reading somewhere today how they don't harvest them the first year, but I've never had any problems with them.

So where do you stand on this giant thistle with edible flower buds?

Love it or don't think it's worth the effort?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Eden - Paradise Lost - Episode 1

So last year there was a new program started that put a load of people into the highlands in Scotland with the aim to "start again" a premise I could really get behind. 
I really enjoyed it on some levels and on others was left feeling frustrated, more by the way it ended.  
Channel Four dropped the program (without telling the people in the experiment) and as a wrap up they've put together five programmes to show what happened after we stopped watching last August.

I watch the first one last night and it was good to see the program again but immediately I was struck by the fact that I only seem to like a couple of characters out there. This might be down to editing but who knows! 

I think this is the main failing of the show, they seem to have put in the wrong people, maybe chosen for their skills or looks but not vetted for their social skills. I remember years ago watching Castaway 2000 (where we got Ben Fogle from!) and there was whole programmes on how they chose the people for it. They chose people they thought would gel as a team, who would lead, who would stand back and support, etc. Not saying this worked, but the Radio Times even gave a list to the producers of Eden of things to avoid, the main failing of castaway was the productions obsession with conflict and Edens seems to be the same. 

I get the impression that these days they try to pick people that won't get on as they think it makes better TV - this time I fear it may have back fired! A years worth of arguments doesn't make for big viewing figures. 

The leadership thing is really important as well, a group like this won't function well without a strong leader, from the viewing there doesn't seem to be one that stands out. That said the program is heavily edited to show one aspect of the show each time, maybe we'll see some leadership qualities in later episodes. 

Bullying seems rife with some group members feeling like outcasts. Food is being rationed for a year that's supposed to last for 3 months, making everyone tired, hungry and angry, this affects everything and there's no telling the difference it 's making to how people behave! 

I'm still going to watch the other episodes but can help feeling this was an opportunity missed. 

Did you watch it?

What did you think?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Weed Pressure Stops Me Growing More!

Dad thinks I farm nettles!
Weed pressure is what makes organic gardening on a large scale very difficult. The land has a huge seed bank of weed seeds that really take some controlling and although I'm probably dealing with it the best way possible this year I wouldn't say I'm on top of it!

Who else is suffering with weed pressure?
What do you do to stay on top of it?

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