March seemed to be a busy month, though I couldn’t exactly say how. I built a new tyre garden on a derelict car park, harvesting a windfall heap of spent mushroom compost donated to the Red Brick Gardening Club. Once there’s a few dry days, I’ll paint labels for the plants and take pictures.
Gardening was the theme – the long wet winter has delayed planting as the soil here was too cold and wet. Seeds tend to rot in those conditions. A greenhouse would have been useful to me; my neighbour has one they don’t use much. The issue would be access for watering.
I gathered bags of the compost to fill up my own raised bed, made a trip to the seaside for seaweed, and finally began the planting. Leeks and broccoli are the staples; carrots grown in large pots with extra sand. The broccoli is from saved seed, but I’m still having trouble getting viable leek seed.
I’m planting Valor seed potatoes in the ground, and Stemster in tyre stacks. The peas, soaked for a few days and beginning to sprout, have been buried beside their climbing frames. I’ll buy in tomato plants and squashes this year. They need that head start to be ready by the end of summer. There’s only so much green tomato chutney a household can eat!
I’ve been out with the Resilience Handbook a few times too. Earth Hour in Chard was splendid, if bitterly cold. Chard has an interesting history; industrial rather than farming, unusual for Somerset. The Magic Oxygen Literary Prizegiving day in Lyme Regis was excellent, like a miniature Literary Festival! I gave a talk on food resilience, which went down well.
In between outdoor work and excursions, I’ve been working on my new book ‘Recipes for Resilience’, plus designing some talks and workshops. I’ll be talking at the Green Wedmore meeting tonight. I haven’t been out on an adventure for awhile now, so I’m planning a trip to the furthest south west – the Scilly Isles – promoting the Handbook and looking out for resilient recipes!