My garden


Something I had forgotten until today is that fresh pineapples contain an enzyme (it’s called bromelain) which helps to digest protein. That’s great if you are a big meat eater and like to have a slice of fresh pineapple on your gammon steak. Not so great if you are a vegetarian and if you and your three-year-old child devour a whole pineapple in the space of an hour – she had about a quarter, I had the rest – the stuff begins to digest your tongue! Ouch. Ariel had it worse than me (or else she is just less brave and stoical) – but then she is probably less than a third my size and so proportionately she ate at least the same or possibly even more pineapple than me.

In other pineapple-related news, we saw on Storymakers some while ago that you can plant the top of the pineapple and it will grow into a new pineapple plant, and we are experimenting with this. I told my mum about this and she said “oh, yes, I’ve been doing that for years and it never works – everybody does that when they are a kid.” Oh, no, mum not us! Why, why, why were we so deprived? In any case, it never worked for my mum because she didn’t have Google. We do have Google, and it has taught us that Storymakers lied – you don’t just stick the top in the soil, there is all kinds of preparation to be done. Sigh. I may have to dig the thing up and do some work…

Meanwhile, the springfever gardening urge continues unabated. Since the last update, we have done some serious tidying in the garden (we even mowed the lawn, which ordinarily happens only about 5 times a year so that in itself is an event), planted out some sweet peas, sown some spring onions and American land cress and volunteered to help out in the family garden at Ariel’s nursery. I’m also eyeing up the possibly disused community plots at our local city farm, with a view to me and a friend setting up a community group and blagging any plot that may be going begging (Tredworth Women’s Gardening Collective, here we come…) We’re going tomorrow to collect some fleece for felting and will try to find out more about the gardens then.

PS My dad has not thrown his usual cold water over my gardening enthusiasm and is even mildly supportive – horrors! – his new perspective is that it doesn’t really matter if you don’t get a lot of veg, it’s still a wonderful hobby… hm, is this really my dad?

PPS I’m still, as you see, determinedly Blogging Lite, although I do have some actual feminist topics up my sleeve for when I feel up to it. 🙂

Ariel and I have spent much of the weekend with gardening hats on. Boots, anyway.

We have dug up a corner of the lawn, one that I hope will get enough sun to grow some vegetables. My garden is small with high fences all around, so there isn’t much sun at the best of times and my Dad always tells me that vegetables will not grow here. But what the hell – as we have seen, I am the queen of losing causes. My theory is that what with global warming and the wet weather of the last 12 months, we are due a good summer this year. Hm. (If only patriarchy worked that way.)

So we have the beginnings of a vegetable bed. Our soil is UNBELIEVABLY sticky and clayey. The fact that it has rained makes the clay even stickier (you should have seen our boots – no really) but my reasoning is that this beats the iron hard clayrocks that we would have if it were dry. Anyway, we’ve dug in some sand and compost and I reckon that after another 3 or 4 years we might even have decent soil.

The compost incidentally came half out of a bag and half from the compost bin I have been lovingly filling up with kitchen waste for the last five years in the hope that one day I would use it. It is wonderful, black and smelly, just as it should be. Only five more years and I’ll have another load. Hm again.

(Did I say something about losing causes?)

Well we plan to grow potatoes. Apparently they are great for new vegetable beds, and also feature as “A” on my vegetable gardening rotation planning guide thing. I’m also going to have a go at a few mange tout in my front garden (which is sunnier – I have already been growing herbs and gooseberries at the front), some spring onions in a container. Just to see how they go. And possibly a pumpkin plant or two so that we can show off come Halloween… These are the veg that appeal right now, anyway.

Meanwhile, so that Ariel gets the idea a bit, we are doing some indoor sprouting. She planted some cress a few days ago which is starting to come up and we are going to do some mung beans and broccoli sprouts in due course. Yummy. She also wanted some flowers so we are going to grow some sweet peas up the fence behind the potatoes.

Ambitious, moi?
I think it is just the call of spring.
Growing things is something primal at this time of year, an urge I get every single spring.
This year it is just – more.