Parsnip seedling watered and bathing in the sun
This bed may look quite forlorn but don’t be fooled, there are leeks, parsnips, spring onions, radishes and calendula growing and in a few months will be a lovely mixture of greens, yellows and orange. Anticipation moves to expectation as I watch the 2014 journey begin to unfold from the tiny seeds I planted, either at home or direct, begin to grow. Beetroot and kale seedlings are sprouting along.
And speaking of unfolding journeys. This week I have watched three gardening/botany TV programmes. BBC 4’s Botany, a Blooming History is riveting viewing (there are four episodes). If only the powers that be who are so intent on building on or destroying so much of our land could watch and take note of the real direct link between our lives and the lives of plants. To put it in basic terms – we give carbon dioxide to plants to fuel their growth and plants give us oxygen for our survival. And that just for starters!
Carrying on with the earth’s intricate living system, Chris Beardshaw’s Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of Soil examines the nature of soil from its beginnings (magical stuff, – wonderful journey) to environmental disasters – the Fenlands, 1930’s Dust Bowl in America, and to the recent deluge we experienced this winter. An experiment undertaken by an asparagus farmer with the help of soil specialists shows how the humble straw can lessen the impact of rain on the earth and help stop soil erosion. A useful tip for allotment holders.
And finally the first episode of the Allotment Challenge! I switched the TV off after the radish experiment (plant eugenics oh no – give me a tasty comical shape radish any day).
Long live BBC4!