Saturday, 2 May 2009

Ploughing and pulling

A while ago I wrote a blog about Head Gardener's exploits with his rotovator, which unfortunately decided to stop working just when things were looking good about getting the front garden dug over. What I was left with were three strips of ground, which people have remarked upon as looking like graves, "Who have you buried" being one of their frequent comments. Underling Gardener was left to hand-dig the three strips of earth herself, so that all the bramble roots could be got out (which the rotovator couldn't even dislodge). Veggies were to be planted in them once the seeds in the yog pots decided to get themselves into growing mode.

With sadness did Head Gardener bewail the fate of his precious rotovator. Often he was to be found jiggling about with its intestines, but no. It was in sleep state and there it looked like staying.

Then along came Angel Jim. Away with him he took the rotovator, back he came the next day with it to be met with beaming smiles from HG when Angel Jim , with great flourish, started it up. 'Twas a grand moment for HG.

They fluffed and fussed around the rotovator so much that it positively beamed with enjoyment. It could have been a posh car the way they glowed at it.

"I'm off to do some ploughing" yelled HG over his shoulder, as he headed off out back to his veggie plot. He couldn't have been a happier man, despite the noisiness of the rotovator which had Bruno remarking that all the neighbours knew that the little machine was now working. No matter. Head Gardener has now joined the ranks of 'man-with-digging-machine' and maintains the hope that at some point in the future a tractor will magic itself up for him.

And now the possibility of a battle. Out front Underling Gardener has veggies strips made. Out back Head Gardener has another patch of veggie ground. It would appear we have 'His' and 'Hers' veggie plots. Mmmmmm. A distinct possibility of some competition, I think, and it has started with the radish.

A while ago, I planted three little rows in one of the veggie strips, one of which was radish. Despite HG's suggestion that I put ALL the packet in, I just planted one row in a wait-and-see-what-comes-up mode of thought. Not so HG.
"I'm going to plant some radish", he said a couple of weeks ago.
"I've got some already planted."
"Well, I'm going to plant another row." Which he did. Two rows. They are coming up.

And so it came to be the time of the 'thinning' of the little radishes out front, having put it off for longer than I should have. Often my fingers have lingered over the now crowded row, trying to decide which ones were going to taken before their time so that the others might grow into maturity. It has not been done. I have not had the courage. Now it was time to be brave. With vigorous intent I marched on out to the veg-strip. I had prepped a green salad, and I was going to add the thinnings to it so they wouldn't be wasted.

A moment of deliberation as to which were to be taken out before they hit their prime. Time to do it! My fingers closed round the intented victim of the first cull. Do it, Underling Gardener! Do it! For the sake of the others, do it!

Up I pulled. Out it came. Open my eyes did pop with surprise. For at the end of the stalk was a fully grown radish! Gosh. "I'm properly veggie-gardening now!" was in my head as, with trophy held high, I raced into the Pig/chick-hut-come-office to show HG our first bit of veggie-produce from seed.

HG was surprised, and we had a lovely moment of grinning at each other with pride, which was equalled when we partook of that dear little radish later on, at lunch. And it really is true, that when one eats one own produce that it does taste better than that purchased elsewhere.
Hurrah for self-sufficiency!
Hurrah for rotovators!
Hurrah for the little radish which tasted delicious!
Hurrah for HG!
Hurrah for UG!
Hurrah for the front veg plot!
Hurrah for Angel Jim!
Hurrah to you for managing to get to the end of this blog!