IN THE GREEN
Now is the time you can lift snowdrop clumps and divide them up – just after flowering has finished while they still have green foliage. The individual bulbs can be replanted and will form new groups when settled in a new location. It is a form of vegetative propagation, but is unusual because most bulbs are divided when they have died down. Not so, the snowdrop, and hence the term division ‘in the green’. Last year the badgers ate most of mine as snacks so I will try again now. (And I didn’t explain this very well in my last post).
Snowdrop clump (left) and divided up (right) ‘in the green’.
STIRRING AND FRYING
I have been successful with growing stir fry greens outdoors under a protective horticultural fleece this winter. In spite of prolonged cold spells I am able to pick quantities of mustard, both red and green and mizuna. This makes the basis of a stir fry with added kale, onion, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and ginger etc.. So that proves I don’t need a polytunnel to get fresh greens now – fantastic!
Home grown stir fry greens ready now
I am waiting for my navvy, Nigel to get on with the laying out of the new lower part of the food growing project. It already has fruit trees and compost bins, and we need to build the steps and the terraced beds. The bath in the picture is moving soon to the outdoor bathroom. It will be modeled on the ‘Thrift Cottage’ set- up which Lydia has invented for outdoor bathing. More on that later.
(To be fair to my navvy he has just spent the weekend planting 120 trees in a wildlife hedge at the bottom of the field – great job done, thank you).
New lower area of project – deluxe bath in foreground
I have not run classes for the last two years due to moving house and ill health. However, I have now bounced back in action here at our new homestead. This week we are learning to sow seeds outdoors. If you read seed packets they say things like ‘sow thinly in a prepared seed bed’. Well, beginners want to know ‘what is a seedbed?’ and ‘how do I prepare one?’. Some seed packets mention sowing seed in lines, some use ‘drills’ and most are rather vague about how deep – so ‘what does shallow mean?’ All this is covered in my seed sowing workshops and participants go home confident that they can sow seeds and get good results.
Friday group getting to grips with seedbed preparation
It is war out there on the poster boards of Stroud – so many courses and workshops are on offer here that poster space is at a premium. My sensible food growing courses have to compete with the likes of ‘knit your own yoghurt’ workshops. I never leave home without a poster in my bag. If you are a workshop junkie, you should definitely move to Stroud.