Sunday 2 December 2012

Green Shoots of Recovery On The Smallholding..

There's not a lot happening on the vegetable plot at the moment.  The ground is still saturated so apart from cleaning out the cattle and ducks and feeding them silage and straw, there's not a lot we can do.  On a positive note.  You can see my Japanese Winter onion sets starting to push up their green stalks.

There's not a lot you can do except chop wood, read, watch the television, eat  and drink well and maybe listen to some good music.  Time for some music.  Here's  the late and great (Deep Purple and Whitesnake)  John Lord's version of 'Green Onion's.

Keep warm folks.


  1. Yes, our garden looks really sad and dis-spirited, leafless trees, long(ish) grass all covered in frost, has been for about 4 days, no breeze, and bright sunhine with blue skies.
    Other than the occasional birds, and the even more occasional squirrel, no sign of life of any description.
    Might look dreary, but so very tranquil, I just wish it was warm enough to sit out on the decking with after-dinner port and cigar.

    Nice to see some form of life stirring, I think I need to get a container full of compost and a few Japanese Winter onion setts.

    Another bright clear frosty morning, this will be 5 consecutive days without rain, the longest this year I think. The river's gone down a bit from very brown torrent and almost ready to burst its banks, to a sedate flow.
    Raggy cat curled up in front of fire (it's on)

  2. Saw Jon Lord a couple of times with Whitesnake (1981 and 1983) and with the reformed classic line-up of Deep Purple (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, and Paice) in 1986, Dave.

    With both bands, Jon Lord just quietly stood in the background with his shirt sleeves rolled up, while his keyboards boomed out. Incredible keyboard player and wonderfully laid-back/reassuring presence on stage. Great contrast to David Coverdale being spruced up for the women.

  3. Yeah always wish I saw Deep Purple Pat. I saw the David Coverdale band at Donington once? My favourite keyboard players got to be Keith Emerson. Didn't know he was born in Todmorden and he's 68. It frightening when you realise that you and your heroes are getting old. Who is your favourite keyboard player Pat?

  4. Same as you, Dave, Keith Emerson, but didn't know he was born in Todmorden (quite interesting town centre with the canal and the sight of the surrounding moors).

    Usually stop off at Todmorden on the way back from Hebden Bridge to Rochdale. Hebden Bridge is a great place with the walks by the canal and the Folk club (enjoyed watching a full afternoon of an Ashes Test match in there with a giant-sized screen and great Real Ale).

  5. No I didn't know about Keith Emerson being born in Todmorden until today Pat. Todmorden is in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Not many towns that are in both counties. I really miss those old northern English places like Hebden Bridge and Haworth. Had many a great holiday with my parents in Scarborough too.

    The folk club, test cricket and real ale sound excellent Pat.

  6. Did you ever go to Whalley Abbey or Salmesbury Hall? Two other great places. Parts of Preston round the centre are also interesting (retracing the steps of Dickens and 'Hard Times').

  7. As this is our first year on our smallholding we're up to our eyes with things to do! The polytunnel being the priority. Onions to be planted, the rest of the soft fruit to get down, and then to tackle the pruning of apple trees and cherry tree. And wood to chop. We've also got to look at re-fencing the front field.

    Maybe next year we'll be less busy?!

  8. Been outsidede Whalley Abbey Pat. Never been inside the building. I know Salmesbury Hall from watching 'Most Haunted. I believe it's one of the most haunted buildings in Britain? Visited Preston many times. Used to go to the second hand market on a Tuesday.

    Think you would like a lot of places in Cheshire Pat. Knutsford (Mrs Gaskell) , Tatton Park and my favourite: Cholmondley Castle and gardens. It's so quintessentially English with a mock castle, landscaped formal gardens (Italian sunken is incredible) and an old fashioned tea rooms with incredible food and coffee and tea. My other favourite places are Herefordshire, Shropshire, the Welsh Marches and the West Country. Every county in Britain is so different full of a charm of its own. You have just got to find it. Perhaps we should go on a literary tour of England Pat? That would be good. Visit some real ale pubs, steam trains, ancient churches, watch some cricket..?

    Thanks Pat.


  9. Hi Lorraine. Sounds like you're going to be busy on your smallholding this Winter?

    I have an hundred one jobs to do on mine and the wet weather doesn't help. What gets done will get done and what doesn't will have to wait.

    I'm really pleased you are so enthusiastic for the smallholding life.

    Thanks for visiting.

    1. The weather was awful yesterday and we just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to stand outside in the freeing cold and rain to put up the polytunnel bars. Today looks like a mixture of weather - so I reckon we can get work done between the showers :)

  10. I know it was Lorraine. I got wet through and muddy yesterday moving some silage bales with a neighbouring farmer. We had to do it yesterday when the main road is quieter. Can't believe the speed limits on rural roads - crazy!

    We used to have a polytunnel but it got wrecked in a gale. We shut the doors - not a good idea.

    I have read tales of people giving up this year with their allotments. The weather's been terrible everywhere. I may get another tunnel. But it's not a good idea living on the Western edge of Europe and all those Atlantic gales. Perhaps if I got one of those that you can't fully stand up in, it may do the trick.

    I look forward to reading all about your smallholding adventures Lorraine.


  11. Hi John, I think rural isolation and the bad weather puts you off working on the smallholding. Think there is a lot more comraderie on an allotment. Only thing with a smallholding, you're the boss. This isn't always good though and you don't get the work done.

    I'm itching to get the veg plot dug over. Half of it any way. Like most most gardeners, I suffer from a bad back. Anyway. One half (potatoes) is my 'Lasagna Garden 'no dig' project. I just flatten large cardboard boxes and fork FYM over them and let the worms and the weather feed the soil mulch. The other half of the veg plot is going to be dug over 'bastard trenched' and dug by hand. I use a spade and my trusty Azada to scrape off the vegetation then I dig a trench fill it with weeds and compost, scrape off vegetation and dig a trench... It's the old way that you read about in the old gardening books. The one that says the frost and rain will kill the nasty creepy crawlies and leave you with lovely friable soil. That's the plan anyway. All we need is the rain Gods to go somewhere else.

    Thanks for visiting.

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