My abject apologies for not having blogged
for so long. It has, in fact, been another obsession that has
recently taken over that has kept me from my weekly posting. That
obsession is growing food.
My friend B and I took possession of an allotment (a rented strip of land owned by the local council on which one can grow vegetables and fruits) in mid February. When we started it looked like this:
barren, empty and very daunting. But we have continued to persevere and have found the work absolutely obsession making. B, a very lovely and clever German woman, and I have spent hours every week (at least 3 times a week) tending, planting, moving, weeding and watering our dear little things and we are now harvesting the produce: an almost infinite number of salads, strawberries, fennel, beetroot, potatoes, herbs, beans and squashes. It all tastes SO good.
What is also extraordinary is how it makes you change your attitude to food and eating. I look now at those sad little supermarket salad bags or produce on the shelf here and resent buying them, resent eating them and resent, most of all, the useless airmiles spent in bringing them from God only knows where just so we can eat them all year round. We have, on our litle slice of self-sufficiency, also discovered something really interesting about seasonality - it really does ensure variety. Strawberries are here for less than two weeks, potatoes keep coming, but the earlies taste very different from the later crops. Summer salads are different from he spring varieties and we are both looking forward to harvesting for the first time our Jerusalem artechokes which are curently nearly 6 foot tall.
We started easy: planting potatoes, beans and everything we could get our hands on. In spring it started looking like this:
It all looks like this now:
So that's it - the reason I have abandoned you all for a while. My apologies, but I do heartily recommend it.