Sunday, 14 March 2010

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates.....

... and not that dissimilar to Wellie's blog down here on the Funny Farm, to be absolutely truthful, because from week to week, you never do know exactly what you're going to get from me, until you open the sweetie wrapper that's on offer. It could be a boring old Orange Cream that you wished you hadn't picked.... it could be a Fudge Triangle, that you can live with, but too sickly to have another, or it could be the Sweetie of all Sweeties, and your absolute favourite.

In the photo above, under the netting cloche to the left, I've planted some lst Early 'Orla' Potatoes. Interestingly, I read somewhere, that 'Orla' are one of the best varieties of potato to plant in June (having kept one or two tubers back kind of now, but don't let the greenfly get to them), and then you can have New Potatoes for Christmas, allegedly. I've also got 'Charlotte', 'Nadine', 'Belle de Fontenay', 'Kestrel', 'Rosevaal', and ooh! who knows.... left to plant.

I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure? The square-ish middle bed with the birdbath is bang smack in front of my kitchen window. I'm dithering on quite a large scale here, because if I plant my 2nd Early Potatoes and they're not ready to lift when I want to plant my Early, Mid and Late Leeks, I'm not going to achieve the 'Winter Window' that I'd planned visually.
Until I decide, the weed-supressing fabric can stay there, warming the soil as well. But it is a good idea to get all of your chitted's in by the end of March if you can, because of the risk of Blight.

Well, with it feeling so beautifully Spring-like these last few days, I'm really beginning to get my proverbial 'Mojo' back, and hoping not to disappoint you this coming year, my Wellie-brain has been working overtime, and Trousers and I have put such a lot of effort in behind the scenes to make our 'Down on The Funny Farm' blog Extra Spesh, in whatever kind of 'grabs me' that I find I want to talk about. (See Wellie lick finger and stick it in the air. Uh-Huh... it's as professional as that?!)

The scenery is inspiringly beautiful here, even on a cold day. The Sheeps do just 'blow me away' every minute of every day, as I'm assured you 'Lambing Live' fans can well appreciate, with the bouncing and boinging of their new aptly named 'offspring'...
But naturally, there have been some sad moments in the last week or two.... Mummy 'D' had two lambs; one really tiny, and the other marginally bigger. She lambed out in the field, and both, so very cute, were doing okay initially. Unfortunately, Little D died one night out in the cold under our very noses, and Bigger D died just this week also. Mummy 'D' appears not to have noticed the loss of either, and is continuing her grass-eating marathon.

However!, on a lighter note, there are lots and lots and lots of Mums'n'Babies - ooh! did someone say that it's Mothering Sunday today?! (I think you'll find that Trousers forgot to give my cat pocket-money and take her shopping for a Mothers' Day Card..... Can you believe that children? Trousers on The Naughty Step, yeah?.....)
So - back to business, and this is Wellie's very noo 'Salad Bar' wot Trousers built yesterday. It allows for short -row -sowing of CCA (cut'n'come again seedling salad crops) at regular intervals, AND, with Wellie's idea, maybe a Parsnip, Carrot or Leek, for the local Village Produce Show, if she can find the time or energy this year to enter (or not), but I've filled the raised bench with well-rotted FYM, old potting compost from tubs that also had manure in it from early last summer, and will be topping up with some John Innes Loam-based compost, etc. etc. etc.
The reason I like to do this, is so that every morsel I cut for Trousers and I, isn't being shared by a Mollusc or three?
So I guess that was my Mothers' Day Prezzie after all? Ooh! What a Loverly Surprise Trousers, THANK YOU DARLING!!
And those of you who have followed our wayward blog since it began, can have Smartie-Points for recognising 'Big Girls Greenhouse glass and louvre vents' in the wings, desperately waiting to be joined at the hip to begin it's new life in the frame of things....
Now then. Do get your Field Glasses out my friends, because top-right, we've had this particular veg bed covered in black plastic sheeting, since late last summer, given that I grew some pathetic shallots and onions in my first year here last year (the weeds did brilliantly though.... fantastic crop!)
And I took the black plastic sheeting off last night, to reveal some very healthy white shoots on the abandoned Jermor Shallots from last year.
Your 'Starter For Ten': do I leave them and see what transpires? or do I scrub them out?

Closer to home (bottom left of photo) are about two dozen newly planted Asparagusses: Mary Washington, and Gijlim, from little ones that I potted on last year and grew on.
They have had one of the best starts in life that an Asparagus could ever have wished for: a trench of very, very well-rotted FYM, followed by 'up to one's armpits' in well-rotted FYM'n'soil mixed together, and topped with beautiful loamy soil, and TLC. If we don't get any rain to speak of in the next few days, I'll water them in to settle it all.
Doesn't it feel good to have the sunshine on your back once again?
I should Cocoa!
Now get out there kids, and get growing stuff!


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