Thursday, 19 May 2011

Mid May

Life is busy and the inspiration to blog is weak at the moment. This is a very brief catch-up.

The long dry warm weather continues. Oilseed rape and bluebells have finished flowering, cow parsley and wild roses are in all the hedgerows, and wheat is well in ear. I'm not spending much time out in the countryside at the moment as my energy is directed elsewhere.

The allotment hasn't seen any significant rain since I dug it over in March and the soil hasn't weathered much. Too many large rock hard clayey lumps remain. Potatoes are well up and those in the garden have flower buds on. I'm starting to harvest lettuces and herbs are doing well. Chives are covered in their beautiful lilac flowers and there is mint, thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary to add to salads and sandwiches. The onions and garlic are doing well and I've planted out red cabbages and broccoli. Seeds of carrot, leek, parsnip and beetroot have germinated but seem to be a bit slow to progress. Days have been warm and sunny but the evenings have been chilly at times. I'm watering where necessary. I've planted many things on the allotment and have almost run out of space there - likewise in the garden too. I've got tomatoes and more courgettes to plant out soon. One of the problems with the allotment is the poor quality of the soil. It needs stuff growing on it to break up the clay lumps and a decent amount of organic matter to improve soil structure. I water with care so as to try and avoid a hard surface crust but I'm going to break up the soil more shortly and try and introduce  selective deep watering.

I have been busy re-doing our kitchen. In true permaculture style I am repairing, cleaning, sanding and rebuilding the kitchen units where possible using contiboard. It isn't the neatest of materials to cut but for ease, cost and flexibility it is ideal. It has is hard work and quite exhausting but with the good weather at least I have been able to work outside on the patio. I have bought a new hand saw and electric sander which have made life so much easier. I will paint over all the units and get new doors when we see ones we like on offer at a local diy store. Then we will get new worktop, new sink and new tiling, all of which I hope I can install myself. I'm not aiming for perfection, but it will certainly end up much more pleasing than what we have had and for a fraction of the cost. The cost of everything seems so high nowadays and we are trying to cut down on expenses where possible.

Work is going incredibly well and I am enjoying the creativity of what I have to do. I have no vision for the future and I am not sure how to progress this.

My spiritual life seems to be a bit on the back burner for the moment mainly due to just having to get on with so many other things. I'm feeling so much healthier though - possibly because it is warmer and I am being so active in and around the house and the allotment.