Of mud and geophysical determinism

allotment winter diggingHard at it again. Weeds got a bit out of control over the summer, so I’ll be trying to wrest my allotment back from Nature over the next few months.

Have been enjoying Guns, germs and steel, a book about the rise of civilisation. The stuff about early agriculture and human settlement is particularly fascinating. If you were ever under the impression that there is something innately ‘superior’ about Europeans, you badly need to read this book to understand that pretty much everything that’s happened in human affairs since about 9000BC has come about solely thanks to geophysical determinism.

And, er, that’s my contribution for today.

Posted on 12th November 2011
Under: Winter | 7 Comments »

Earth has not anything to show more fair

Manure dug into the earth

“Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty”

Call me a dreamer. Call me a sadster. Tell me I need to get out more.

But hey, really. Is there anything more gorgeous than a neatly trimmed, manured, freshly dug vegetable plot?

Posted on 6th February 2010
Under: Winter | 15 Comments »

Manuring and digging

Full plotGetting there. I’m still weeks behind, but hey. Nobody’s perfect.

Given a few dry weekends, I should be able to sort the digging and manuring by the end of January. The biggest challenge now is finding room for another compost heap. My bin’s stuffed.

Anyone out there able to put their hand on their heart and say they’re fully ready for next season?

Posted on 10th December 2009
Under: Winter | 5 Comments »

Clearing up this year’s corn

Old sweetcorn stalksI was digging like a Terminator on Sunday. Managed to get most of this year’s sweetcorn on the compost and even spread a bit more horse shit.

Grim job, though. Back hurts, arse hurts, arms hurt, legs hurt. Had blisters the size of Flying Saucers (remember them?!) when I’d finished.

More of the same come the weekend. It’s so important to have something nice to look forward to, don’t you find?

Posted on 17th November 2009
Under: Sweetcorn, Winter | 2 Comments »

I dig it my way

View from the shed on my allotmentIt’s not been pretty, and it’s only just done in time. But the allotment has been duly dug over and is ready to plant (give or take a bit of rubbish removal. Ahem).

Regrets? Well, never too few to mention. Wish I’d not planted so many bloody Jerusalem artichokes, and that I’d harvested them earlier. Plus it would have been nice to get all the digging done before the snow and frost.

But I’m largely happy. Roll on the summer.

Posted on 10th March 2009
Under: Spring | 9 Comments »

The dig breakfast

On Sunday I was up bright and early to do a few hours of manuring and digging. The potato bed is now ready. And only just in time.

If this warm spell continues, I’ll plant the spuds next weekend; put them in nice and deep, and frosts don’t hurt them. In the past, it’s allowed me to harvest the first new potatoes in mid May.

Posted on 23rd February 2009
Under: Winter | 7 Comments »

Plot in progress

Work in progress on the allotment

Finally got out on the allotment today. So at last I have something to blog about.

I aim to have all the manuring, clearing and digging finished by Christmas. That’s what a target is for; you know you’ll miss it, but it helps you point in the right direction.

So I’ll probably be roughly on schedule next season. In other words, doing the last frantic digging in early March.

Posted on 1st December 2008
Under: Winter | 3 Comments »

Reclaiming the plot

Overgrown plot

Responding to Pumpkin Soup’s invitation to ‘fess up, here is my own embarrassing little secret: The horribly overgrown rear of my allotment.

Shamefully, this is the same area I cleared of weeds back in July. I got lazy and it went native… again. Only this time, the brambles got involved as well as the couch grass.

Result: Pure hell. Spent yesterday clearing it and am now scratched to hell by thorns.

What a misery this ‘summer’ has been.

Posted on 15th September 2008
Under: Weeds | 4 Comments »