Monday, 17 August 2009

Garden stuff (in which I wax lyrical about peas and whine about my sore back)


What did you feel when you saw that word?

Hope you're all having a good one so far. Mine hasn't been too bad. Irritating clients who don't communicate have been my worst problem so far, which is pretty good going for 11am, I reckon.

My back is killing me. I spent the whole of Saturday digging in the garden and serving TSC's ungrateful bunch of varsity people while they built their concrete boat. Which is actually more of a paddle ski, to be honest. It's quite impressive - they've made a metal frame, stuffed it with polystyrene and coated it with concrete-soaked cloth and some more concrete. They just have to paint it with a few coats of waterproofing paint and it should be ready to race.

I got one no-dig veggie bed done. What a mission! The veggies better be worth it in the end. first you make a frame, which I made with two layers of stacked concrete bricks. Then you put down a layer of newspaper, 5mm thick. Then you put down a layer of hay or lucerne (I had to get all this stuff from a horse-feed place), 10cm thick. Then you put down some organic matter (kitchen scraps, wilted weeds etc). Then you put down a layer of loose straw, 10cm thick, and some more organic matter. Then you water it well. Lastly, you top it with a 20 - 30cm layer of compost and water it again. Now I have to leave it to settle for two weeks before I can plant.

I have said before that patience is not my strong point. I want to plant NOW.

The point of a no-dig bed is that in theory, you never have to dig it (was that maybe a little obvious?). When you harvest your veggies, you just top up the bed with another 10cm compost and plant your next crop (obviously making sure you follow rotation guidelines so you keep your bed healthy).

The thing is... I ran out of bricks after this one bed. So now I need to get more to do the next oh, I dunno, five or six beds. Yes, five or six more of these back-breaking expensive bloody beds.

Like I said, the veggies better be worth it.

My current veggies are making me happy though. My peas are divine. There are few things in this world as yummy as a handful of freshly shelled sweet baby peas out the garden. Mmmm. In fact, these sparked my latest salad creation: a bed of sweet, tangy lettuce (not the boring variety) with sliced avocado and strawberries, finely chopped green pepper and fresh baby peas, dried cranberries and a handful of mixed seeds, all tossed in Pomegranite-infused white balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Hmmm... hungry now. Off to make some lunch. One last thing to say...



Glugster said...

Thank you!

Louisa said...

Wow! That salad sounds fantastic.

Ches said...

Tam, when I read 'peas' i thought OMG.

Now when you say sweet baby peas...are those like snow peas? Or do you leave them in their pod for the salad?

Being Brazen said...

Wish I could grow my own veggies...but alas, no garden

Damaria Senne said...

thanks for the info. have gardening space and have grown some veggies before, but not as successfully as I'd like.

NiKolaS said...

all the best with the flower beds, my mom still loves her kitchen garden to bits, spends oodles of time in there, the fruit of her labour is delicious delicious fruits and veggies. labour of love or something like that. it shall be all worth it, IMHO.

Jeanette said...

I'm very impressed with your garden. I need to seriously get stuck into mine

Slyde said...

mondays make me ill, quite honestly. work just gets worse and worse so sunday nights i sit and think about how bad monday will suck :(

Spear said...

you are sooo industrious!

Helen said...

Wow, that sounds like hard work! Maybe leave the one bed and see how it goes before you go through all that again?

phillygirl said...

Sigh, if I had someone who made salads that sounded that delish, I'd eat a lot more salad! I'm never that inspired by salad, myself.

Ruby said...

Pls to have some salad?

Anonymous said...

Um... yeah... um... um... ummmmm

Okay I'm blank. I love vegetables and I think its honourable to be growing a vegetable garden. It's just... I guess I don't get it.

I always go green when people get engaged because its such a new era in your life and its fun and interesting and SO different. But I feel happy for them too because you know... it's so nice to find someone where forever feels like a little time to spend with them which is so so so so sweet.

So congrats to 'em!

Gill said...

That veggie patch sounds very interesting. You are doing a very good job of prompting me to get mine going again. Mine is very much of the "dig" variety and I have gone off it a bit. Maybe it's time to get it weeded and do some planting....

Your salad sounds fantastic!

Tamara said...

Glug: You're welcome ;-)

Louisa: I'll make you some when you bring Squishy for an introduction, k?

Ches: LOL! Not that Peas, Ches. *grin* Sensitive much? I must say, I am not a fan of sugarsnaps or other peas in the pod. I shell them for my salads.

Brazen: there are loads of veggies that do well in pots. Do you have a balcony?

Damaria: I get such a feeling of satisfaction from harvesting my own veggies. It's addictive ;-)

Nikolas: I hope so, my friend. I'd hate to have gone to all that effort and have the bugs eat my greens!

Jeanette: Hehehe... there are no pictures here yet, becuase it doesn't look very impressive until the bed's been sown.

Slyde: You too? I feel the same. I get Sunday evening anxiety attacks.

Spear: I have my moments. Usually they fall between long periods of procrastination ;-)

Helen: Sounds good in theory, but I don't want to miss the sowing season.

Philly & Ruby: I'll have to have you ladies (and Louisa) over for lunch soon and serve the salad as part of the meal.

Paula: I guess it's what I feel about people who play hockey... awesome for them - healthy, fun, social etc. But I just don't get it ;-)

Gill: I'm hoping it will be easier not to go off the no-dig type of patch ;-)
Shout if you're ever in Jozi and I'll whip up a salad for you, Grant and the girls.

angel said...

Aaaw, thanx for the congratulations T!!!
That salad sounds spectacular...