I picked this up from a friend's blog (Barnabas Quotidianus):
On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.
Blog Action Day is about MASS participation. That means we need you! Here are 3 ways to participate:
And what does sunshine mean? It means I've actually managed to motivate myself to do something other than looking at a computer screen and eat chocolate HobNobs.
Been out in the garden for most of the day, in fact. Have mowed the lawn with the pushmower (unfortunately this still leaves the stringy sticky-up seed heads in tact, so it doesn't look wonderful, but is definitely lower than it was), weeded the vegetable bed (it was difficult to see whether the crop was onions or bindweed for a moment there...) and gone threshing!
I'd left half a row of turnips to go to seed from last winter's crop, and had been waiting for the seed pods to dry out, as per my instructions from www.realseeds.co.uk . They finally acheived this last week, and all I needed was enough dry weather to get out and do something with them! That's where today's sunshine came in handy. Anyone wishing to thresh turnip seeds, here are my top tips:
1. Split the pods with your fingernails. Seeds will fall out, together with half of the pod crumbling into dust and the pith in the middle of the pod.
2. Catch seeds and detritus in jamjar. This is often best done at a garden table, with one's spouse(handily between gig 2 and 3 of a 4-gig-weekend) and a cup of tea. Enjoy sunshine.
3. Fish out large pieces of detritus with fingers (half pods and so forth).
4. Blow gently into jamjar and watch the chaff spiral up and out. Remember to close eyes against chaff.
5. Revel in your jamjar of potential turnips!
Tim also dug our first potatoes of the year (they should have been ready in June, but the weather has held everything except weeds back!), and I cut a lettuce to go with them and some Sosmix veggie sausage patties. Realised that if one discounts the cost of seeds, today's main meal cost us about 25p per head and 2/3rds of the meal had food yards, rather than food miles.
What's more, it tasted FAB!
Anyone interested in a packet of Feuille de Navarre turnip seed? I've got lots :-D
Last year wasn't the first time the squirrels took most of the walnuts, but this year is the first year I've found walnut seedlings sprouting from buried ones.
Win one of several walnut seedling by completing the following sentence in an apt or appropriate manner: "I have a large space in my garden I don't mind waiting many years to fill and you can easily get a walnut seedling to me because ....".
Competition void in the event of walnut seedlings dying when pulled up and put in pots.
This is an excellent concept. Locally grown food even in the most urban of environments?
I'd pay extra for that.
Free entry by email, UK residents over 18 years old competition closes 23.59 friday 25th May 2007.
email name + phone number to email@example.com
I can't find a record of it, but I *think* I've had my eco-balls for a little under a year. (Rika got hers in May, and I got mine a couple of weeks after that, I think). The little clay balls inside them have been shrinking considerably, and are now at the point where every wash means a few less little beads/balls, which get stuck in the washing machine seal.
This means that it is time for the refill beads! They are meant to be good for 500 washes, and seeing how I reckon I do an average of 10 washes a week, and have had them for a year, I think I'm probably spot on.
I dread to think how much money I would have paid out in this last year on detergent if I hadn't had the eco-balls. I really like them, and when they finally give up the ghost (probably next year, although they are starting to look a bit tired) then I'll certainly buy them again. Hurrah!
In other green news, the allotment is growing a splendid crop of thistles (must take welding gloves to pull the rotten little s*ds), and I've lost half of my cherokee pole beans to slugs and wind-snapping. Raspberries are doing quite well, and my allotment neighbour has a chicken house on her plot, which looks idyllic! Planted out some courgettes and squash yesterday, and we'll see how they do. My early potatoes are showing signs of flowering which seems a bit too early to me...
At home I'm still waiting for the turnip seed pods to dry out so that I can experiment with threshing. Seed gathering is a wonderful thing, but it ties up the ground for two years instead of one, and I'm getting a bit impatient now.
Hmmph. Something has been nibbling (or pecking at) my ripe strawberry.
Our water butts are nearly empty, especially the two near the vegetable bed (which is like dust at the unplanted end I haven't been watering).
Planted some runner beans and asparagus peas, partly because their "best before date" wasn't going to be any less past if I didn't.
I bought some strawberry plants in Aldi a few weeks ago, and the early ones have (green) berries already. Photo.
Potted pepper seedlings. I now have more tomato and pepper seedlings in little peat pots than I have space for eventual growbags for, but we'll see how they do.
Chard isn't looking terribly happy in its length of gutter (the theory is it can slide into place as a row in the raised bed later), but is alive.
Put sweet pea seedlings in big pots.
Coriander seedlings are very straggy, but do now have coriander shaped leaves.
Alpine strawberries have germinated.
Did much raking of lawn, and sprinkled some grass seed on bare patches.
Peas and broad beans are looking ok in the bed. Only a very few radish and rocket leaves though.