Monday, 27 April 2009

Digging as meditation

There's something therapeutic about digging a plot. Not much mind power is needed in the process; only enough to keep me working in a methodical way, identify the things that emerge on the prongs of my fork and sort them into heaps or, in the case of worms, put them in a safer patch of soil.

Meanwhile, all kinds of amazing ideas whizz around my brain. I create wonderful letters to friends, compose moving appeals, dazzling film reviews and music critiques and dream up ideas for new felting projects. Unfortunately, by the time I get my notebook out, some of the wonderful ideas are just faded fragments. Maybe I should use a dictaphone instead?

Monday, 20 April 2009

Gardening and felting

The Allotment

This is it! February 2009.

102a roughly cleared, rotivated and some enclosed beds installed so I can at least plant something while digging up the rest of the bramble roots.

There is an astonishing amount of broken glass, melted glass from bonfires and rusty metal to clear up. Impossible to use a spade - most forkloads reveal a coiled spring (?!) or two, horrible knotted tendrils of old netting, as well as the inevitable bramble roots. Makes you wonder what's been going on here. Do people really have old armchairs in their sheds?

I've decided not to get a shed. This is a small plot and I can't spare enough land for such a luxury item.

Root cuisine?
Are bramble roots edible, I wonder? After all, they are my very first crop from the site. Not the woody ones, but the white, crisp underground roots. They might be very good stir-fried and mixed with spinach and noodles. Perhaps I'll test them out on my partner, before posting the recipe.

I'm so unfit that it seems to take forever to make any impression on the plot.
Had to stop during the really cold weather - the wind seems to be coming from Siberia and I need to invest in some more thermals!

Nice, warm work!
When it's too cold for outdoor work I get on with my wool crafts instead. I have a few projects on the go at once; at the moment it's felt jewellery, a knitted scarflette and felt animals. I've sold a few egg cosies lately so am working on a new design and testing out reactions on my flickr site -

Back to the Wilderness, 16th March 2009

This old bath is actually in the plot below mine. There are 4 big blobs of spawn in here so I'll take photos at regular intervals and see how they progress.

There isn't much green algae in here - in fact the water looks a bit red, so have added torn grass and some lettuce leaves to try and start off some green growth for them to nibble at when they hatch.

Just before hatching - you can see they are developing nicely and at least the jelly is turning green, so there must be algae in there too.

April 15th already -
and progress on the digging front is still slow but I can see results. Mostly as a growing heap of woody roots! But also the onions and shallots are sprouting well and there are tiny rows of leaves where I planted carrot, leek, chard and leaf beet. No sign of the salsify and parsley though. Yet.

April 20th
Today I've been waiting for a bit of cloud so I can go and re-plant the raspberries. It got so hot yesterday and I had such a horrendous cramp in my thigh that I had to chuck them into a couple of holes and hobble off home! Great gardening practice, eh? Hope nobody sees them or I'll get a black spot next to my name.