Tuesday, March 27, 2007

summer time and the living is sweaty

i have slowly been working on the garden ... i am a reluctant gardener but i also recognise that there is little substitute for hard work and planning ... in a back breaking / dirt under the nails kinda way

as this winter has been mild ... (yeah it could be global warming but it also might just have been a mild winter) ... i have been able to get ahead ... i have started some seeds off in the greenhouse (unheated but it does offer some protection and looks great when it is full in the summer) ... i feel slightly on top of things so far ... the garden looks organised and tidy with a short lists of jobs i must get around to doing

one thing i am trying to tackle is to improve a piece of land we use for growing salad stuff ... i am trying to sift the soil and remove all the large stones and roots (we are blessed with bindweed and some other weed that i don't know the name of and if you don't get rid of every last bit ...) ... we also have the London clay soil that clogs the spade and is generally unhealthy ... it holds moisture well but I imagine it must be hard for little plants to force their way through it ... once i have it all nice and soft i can then add some compost and manure and stuff and make it all nice and yummy ... well yummy for plants anyway ... i wouldn't eat it

anyway ... i have a little hand rotating sieve which is better than one of those old style ones that you use for finding gold ... it is quite hard work and i started to wonder if there was an electronic version ... i wandered towards the laptop rehearsing arguments for why it is justified to buy an electronic soil sifter ... the good news is i found one ... the bad news is it costs £300 ... hmmm

so then i thought ... it is the kind of thing you only need to use a couple of times a year ... we have the space to store it ... maybe if a group of people brought one between them ... it would need to be people who do enough gardening for them to see the sense of such a gadget ... hmmm

after visualising people quietly hanging up the phone on me i faced the fact that it wasn't going to happen and i should just stop pontificating and get back to the hand sieving

what is weird is you can't hire these gadgets ... i would have thought it was just the thing for HSS to have ... but nothing ... i tried

and when it is all done ... later in the summer ... someone will be sat eating the salad from the garden ... we might comment that it all came from the garden and they will chew and look momentarily impressed ... and yet they will have no idea of the sweat and toil and broken nails ... careful you don't choke on that tasty radish

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