Sunday 30 August 2009

Too Many Queens?

Our poetic-hearted Gerry has come up with another literary parallel for our allotment lives:-

After Apple Picking

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Robert Frost

Ready to drop

My Sungold tomatoes have been changing colour over the past week. Must be ready so. Going to chance one tomorrow.

Sunday 16 August 2009

The Fingernail Test

Dylan checking the ripeness of the pumpkins he sowed way back when.

Friday 14 August 2009

A bit of culture - Thanks Gerry


Lifting through the broken clouds there shot,
A searching beam of golden sunset-shine.
It swept the town allotments, plot by plot,
And all the digging clerks became divine –
Stood up like heroes with their spades of brass,
Turning the ore that made the realms of Spain!
So shone they for a moment. Then, alas!
The cloud-rift closed; and they were clerks again.
(Richard Church 1893-1972)

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Start 'em Early!

Dylan (3 next month) getting stuck in. Digging the spuds with Daideo!

What Smashing Spuds are these?

This crop looks particularly healthy in light of the many blighted specimens in the field. Late blossom as well, I notice. Is this one of those Hungarian Sarpo varieties, I wonder?

A Fresh Flag

Looks like new management at the Fisheries. Place looks wonderful. Wonder how this will impinge on Allotment Life?

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Keeping Up Appearances

First Coat of this one-coat stuff - gonna need at least another!

Sunday 9 August 2009

HOTBOX Part Deux

So Flan came up with some sheets of glass - the posh kind, double-glazed and away I went to the Kilkock Sawmills to purchase some more of his wonderful treated timber - enough for two cold frames. Safe enough on the roof rack all the way home but disaster struck while bringing the planks in around the back. I left the first two pieces up against the pergola and went back out to fetch the rest. A sudden gust of wind blew up and I glanced back to check if they had shifted. They hadn't budged but the garden door had and I walked into the edge of it full tilt. Now I have a nice shiner on my forehead, a massive multicoloured bruise on my stomach from the hasp, a gouge out of my right arm thanks to bashing it off the windowsill and my ribs seem to be not totally connected at the back. So - what happened to you? "I walked into a door." Yeah, right!

Saturday 8 August 2009

I love Broccoli!

I'm astonished that I never thought to sow broccoli seeing as we use such a lot of it. Too late now, of course. On the list for next year. This here is a gift from my globe-trotting neighbour. Thanks, Seán.

Green is the colour ...

of ENVY! Green is also the colour of my own poor tomatoes. These are not mine, alas! They are gifts from The (green-fingered) Brother. Sunny SouthEast. It's all true...