Tag Archives: Winterbourne

A Big Dig in the Growing Gap

Every grass roots movement finds itself pulled in two directions: mucking in vs. wider coordination; hands on vs. strategy. Birmingham’s many community growing projects find themselves getting on with the former, and not so much of the latter.

An emphasis on one direction over the other leaves us with gaps: gaps in communication, gaps in in getting things done, gaps in sustaining a project. For example, at this point, the communication gap means that we don’t even know how many Birmingham groups there are!

Balcony Larder: Salad success, a fruiting triffid & strawberries from Wimbledon to the Olympics

salad-July2012

I’ve had only one resounding success in this summer of dire weather. And that’s in the production of salad leaves. Lots of ’em, several kinds including the very tasty, impossible-to-buy chervil. I reckon I’ve had over 25 platefuls of the it.

I went away for a couple of days, though, and the stuff bolted. No, don’t eat the flowers, I stupidly learnt the hard way they don’t do you any good at all — though, as you can see in the picture, nasturtiums can be part of a salad, they have a peppery taste.

On the advice of the GreedyGardener I brutally tore the bolting salads all up.  And my infant granddaughters and I got delightfully dirty in sowing some more.

Balcony Larder: A stonking great aubergine plant

aubergine plant_23rdMay2012

I’m told that aubergines can grow like weeds in hot, dry places, though Wikipedia describes them as a “delicate perennial“. There’s one of their kind doing pretty well in my kitchen, as you can see. Decidedly  indelicate, robust even.

Given to me as a titchy little thing by @policyworks at the end of April, I plonked it in front of the window that catches the morning sunshine, and gave it a desultory water from time to time. Then these surprisingly enormous leaves started to happen.

The excitement of new liff

Kale_firstshoots

I hadn’t quite bargained for the shiver of excitement when I saw the seedlings first stick their noses up over the compost.

And, like seeing my very newborn son many moons ago, I mistook my thrill response for aesthetic appreciation.

Just as I mistook a purple wizened ET-like babe as an utterly beautiful Meaning of Life, so I mistook the sight of spindly kale as a Meaning of Life too.

Balcony Larder: Winterbourne ups the ante

Winterbourne_Botanic_Garden

Oh dear.

I’ve already got the Greedy Gardener as a guilt-tripping personal trainer on this malarkey. And now the Winterbourne people are joining in.

They’re going to be carrying out a parallel experiment. That really ups the ante.

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