It’s rubbish out right?
This weather is inhibiting so much growth which is frustrating; had 3 Cucumber seedlings shrivel and die when last year they were thriving by this point in the year.
Still, lets not get all negative. We’re cracking on irrespective and seeing what we can get out of our small plot. We currently have the following:
- French beans
- Broad Beans
- Curly Kale
- Red and White Onions
- White Grape
It’s a new plot and being as such we are having a huge problem with pests! they seem to come out of everywhere and have decimated several pea shoots which appear to be the equivalent of ice cream to a 10 year old. Feel a bit genocidal wiping out so many of the little buggers but it’s the only way they learn…
Here are a few pics to show how the plots are getting on:
We decided to make the most of the space and sow lettuce, onions and Mangetout all together. The netting is an attempt to keep the cat out who seemed to enjoy rolling around in the sun.
‘From small beginnings come great things’ This courgette plant is quite behind with late (lazy) planting and the bad weather. As soon as it hit the soil, the pest beacon was invisibly triggered…and on they came.
The Onions are doing really well. We covered them to keep off the birds and they have got on so blooming well! Except when the cat went and sat on the netting on the sun. Those wondrous growths to the right of the picture is the broccoli which will over winter and be ready come early next year (why does it take so long!) Oh - and the raspberry bush is in the background - looking pretty small right now but it’ll crack on through the summer and produce bountiful greatness come September.
The garden is around 30ft in length and is already set to produce lots and lots of veg but we’re looking for more ways to get more out of the space. We eventually want every sunny (and not so sunny) surface covered with growing deliciousness.
We’ll keep this updated to see how things go.
Connected Roots is a new enterprise that aims to get young people employed. We know you’ve all heard this before and we’re sorry about the imitators: this is for real.
We want to take you and train you with skills to become urban agriculturalists. Once trained, you’ll be able to go out and gain commissions for your skills. We’ll help every step of the way, and yes this means with the commissions too.
Why Urban agriculture?
- Well, you heard about the food crisis? - people not having enough money to eat? - that is happening right here in the UK, and you have the power to change this.
- Over 50% of the world’s population live in cities now - these people need to know how to feed themselves because farmers can’t provide enough food for everyone, they need you.
- People pay seriously good money for skilled crafts-people - that’s what you’ll be when fully trained - and with a growing population, your skills will be in more demand than ever.
- There are big waiting lists for growing spaces (Allotments) in the UK - people overlook what they can grow at home, many don’t know what, how and when they can grow - this is where you come in.
What we’re looking for:
- Young people aged 16-24 years of age
- You should be able to legally work in the UK
- We want you to succeed and bring in a decent wage for yourself; you should want this too.
Many Countries (and intelligent local governments…) are now making it mandatory that any new buildings with flat roofs have gardens on them. Such fantastic opportunities lies ahead with the proliferation of this concept.
Hopefully here in the UK the same will happen and this will also be employed retrospectively for existing buildings once it begins to catch on.
Here are some interesting examples we have found:
“I planted this illegal vegetable garden in Brooklyn and documented the experience.” (via Video of an illegal vegetable gardener - Boing Boing)
My favorite comment:
MrJM Yesterday 07:24 PM
I planted this illegal vegetable garden in Brooklyn and documented the experience.
Thank God someone is finally documenting the Brooklyn experience!
But seriously — good on this cat.
It always seems strange that with such incessant rhetoric from our imperious leaders that they fail to implement such simple mechanics when attempting to drive forward such monumental changes to operations of politics and society. The Big Society ambitions that the coalition wants to drive to fruition are coherent and idealised but don’t you feel that if they actually went out and physically did things in their constituencies that people would seize on this example of leadership and empowerment?
An unforeseen and somewhat misdirected beginning that may be, but to very quintessentially demonstrate this point we have made an observation this autumn and (every other of recent memory) of the lunacy and counter-productive behaviour of public services: this being leaf clearance.
As the leaves turn to an impossible red and fall to the ground, the minions of local government potter around clearing them up and incomprehensibly putting them into plastic bags. These plastic bags are then duly left (as per the photo that heads this post) to be collected by rubbish collectors. Having queried where these bags then go from a street sweeper, he instructed that they are taken to be burnt. Brilliant. Now this short paragraph has so many impossible conflicts of duty and manifesto that it would be beyond this post to list them all, so we’ll leave you to decipher them directly.
We shall not dwell on this approach but shall proffer a remedy, instead of burning what nature provides as fertilizer and then providing mulch and compost at additional expense to the tax payer, why not create a compost heap in the corner of each park? We’re sure the cost could be offset by the no-longer-necessary provision of natural fertilizer to the populace. People could be employed (fancy that…) by the council to accumulate this natural wonder and deposit it thus, gaining know-how, and disseminating this knowledge locally.
We’re afraid that the current backward lunacy will be the undoing of initiatives which are inherently positive, if not enforced for merely cost-cutting reasons.
Taking this a step further forward, here are our 3 ideas for ways to simply get everyone pulling in the same direction:
1. Green local business.
Set simple targets (i.e. reduce carbon emissions by 30% within 1 year OR install a green roof/solar panels to your business) and for the businesses that do, don’t give them tax breaks, rather give them marketing visibility that gives them additional sales. For example, the local government should provide a full page ad in the local newspaper, or our fave, the Government should own the 5min slot on Channel 4 every evening.
Reward them for doing something great and you see if others don’t follow.
2. Pilot empowerment. Not a flying school for the enthusiastic but an idea to get kids dreaming…
Deliver webcasts live into schools and colleges from hubs of industry and creativity. The lead architect from Foster and Partners who designed London’s City Hall, the pilot of a plane who flew missions in Libya, or any one of the winning teams from the engineering awards 2010.
Get them thinking and they will aim, they will progress and they will inadvertently make the UK a recession retardant intellectual hub for generations.
3. Make libraries the centre for growing/gardening/GYO information.
Libraries offer much that people have forgotten; they also offer a setting in the heart of a community. One of the most frequent reasons why people don’t even grow a little for themselves is because of the perceived difficulty in doing so – libraries could disentangle this myth and provide a personable human with which to deliver this service (more employment…!) This would be available to all and, in time, open to visits, seminars, best-in-practice events..ah the list could go on.
Come on D-cam, lets ‘av ya!