Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Beginning again

This bed was as overgrown as the one behind it just a few weeks ago.

I've neglected this blog for a few years, in large part because I stopped doing the two things it was set up to document - growing plants (especially edible ones) and cooking. Not that I lost my love for such pursuits, but changes in my personal circumstances and health meant I was no longer inclined to devote so much time to them. One thing that took the place of these activities was in fact due to this blog - I bought a cheap secondhand DSLR to take better pictures to post here, and it began a passion for photography that has become an essential part of my life.

However, I'm willing to try again, especially with growing vegetables. I had never had enough space where I was based before - I signed on to the waiting list for an allotment, but never heard back from them, and now I live somewhere else. The upside is, the garden here is very much larger, and came with a vegetable and fruit patch. The first spring I got stuck in, but having weeded, dug, enriched the soil, and planted lots of crops, I was forced away for several months, so it was largely wasted.

Three years have passed, and I am in a position to start afresh. So far, I've sown a few seeds, and begun to bring the beds back into cultivation. It'll be a slow process - I can't do a lot at once, but cheeringly the work I did before has made it much easier this time round. The soil and paths were lost under a thick growth of nettles, goldenrod, coltsfoot, and creeping buttercup, amongst others, but the soil beneath is still friable and quite rich. Hoeing the top growth, then forking and removing the roots and runners has been largely successful, and the first crops are now in.

So far I have planted out shallots, garlic, and potatoes, and sown broad beans, more shallots, mixed salad leaves, beetroot, tomatoes, and basil. There's a lot more I want to try - there's no limit but the effort I make, so this year I won't put artificial limits on what I set out to achieve. Conversely, I am very realistic and know that I can't do everything, and unforeseen circumstances tend to rule, so I won't get upset with myself if things are left undone.

I'll try to document the progress that I and the garden make together this year. I can certainly take a lot of pictures, at the very least.

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