21 March 2011

Battling the elements

Traditionally, the Vernal Equinox is a time of gales (something to do with the high tides at the equinoxes apparently, I don't know the science) and so today we had winds that were somewhere between a stiff breeze and a bit of a gale. Strong enough to haul the small polythene greenhouse away from its ties to the garden fence... It was tied down securely enough - well - we thought it was but obviously not quite. So it snapped its moorings and sailed down the garden, giving the hens the fright of their lives as it settled half on top of their coop...

Fortunately there was nothing growing in it, just a storage for dozens and dozens of pots and tubs. Last year it broke its moorings and I lost trays and trays of seedlings. The problem is that because its just one of these polythene ones, it's not that heavy/ sturdy so there's an annual fight between me (on behalf of the greenhouse) and the wind. The wind is a constant feature here: frustrating, but something you have to deal with.

On a more productive note, I planted potatoes in bags in the garden: more International Kidney, Anya and Kerrs Pinks. All in all we have a few different varieties, both here and at the allotment: Charlotte; Nicola; International Kidney; Desiree; Kerrs Pinks; and Anya. We love potatoes, ideally the waxy ones - the floury ones we find a bit dry. We watched a programme last night (on iPlayer) called Great British Food Revival, where different foodie TV people (Michelle Roux Jr, Clarissa Dickson Wright, James Martin, Hairy Bikers etc) promote British food. Last night it was the turn of Greg Wallace, extolling (at top volume as is his wont) the humble spud. To help him promote the variety of potatoes to suit every palate, he visited the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA) in Edinburgh where he chatted to someone I worked on a project with. The project was the provision of an integrated IT system for the Seed Potato Classification Scheme. Did you know that seed potatoes are the second biggest Scottish export after whisky? Apparently the Scottish climate is perfect for growing seed potatoes as we have almost no pests/ diseases to affect the tubers. We export to Holland, Israel, central Europe, South America, Hong Kong, China etc. So when you're next buying spuds, there's a very good chance that though they were grown in another country, they actually started life in Scotland. Your useless fact of the day!

Energy wise today was okay - up until the greenhouse went flying and that kind of sapped my energy so I'm a bit wiped now.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel restored and able to get to the allotment for an hour or so. I bought a blackberry plant on Sunday so I'd like to get that planted. Hopefully the wind will drop somewhat so it's less of a battle on the allotment site :-)


  1. So, why do we get higher tides at the equinoxes? I did ask on UKP a while back but drew a blank!!


  2. I told you: I have no idea!

  3. I think it cos the moon has like, these watery magnets, that kinda like pull at the tides. High, high and higher.

    I'm such a genius.


  4. Sorry forgot you had said that - and maybe you had had a revelation!?

    Q -thanks!


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