Sunday, 3 January 2016

From the miniscule; comes forth much...

Seed sowing is of necessity a forward looking, optimistic activity, and it is a source of wonder the edible and decorative glories which can sprout forth from a tiny speck of matter....

However, despite being active in two fields in which this sort of language often crops up; I don't really have much patience with talk of 'Mystical Mother Earth Miracles' and 'cosmic life forces' when referring to real stuff that actually happens. 

Personally, it frustrates that folks can't be content with the utter awesomeness (!) of what we can already see and experience and know (almost) for sure on this fine planet of ours; and that they feel the need to go chasing after faeries; making magic potions; and invoking 'higher powers'. 

 Talk of such stuff can also put off a lot of people, who might otherwise take an active interest in matters ecological.
 Whether that would be the mind, body, breath 'ecology' of yoga, or out in the wider world.

I know each to their own ; but if we are to be taken seriously I think we might need to temper some of the more flowery quasi spiritual language that makes many peoples toenails feel just a tad too tight.....

 I'm more than willing to accept that there may be many many things, the nature of of which, as of yet  we know nothing.
 But perhaps our diminutive, vulnerable, human brains couldn't really cope if the true nature of everything were to be revealed.

  Magical thinking of any flavour is probably just a way of coping with, or grasping the enormity of, it all...And a way of quelling the fears brought on by our individual insignificance within this universe. 

Creation tales, allegory, mythical fantasies, and heroic stories, are it would seem, nigh on essential for a healthy psyche, they help us comprehend our place in this world. 

 But taken too far, and too literally, they can distract from proper engagement with what's actually here right now; right in front of us; and that which needs to be dealt with in a timely fashion.....

In this particular case sowing spinach beet, so that in a few months time there is something to go betwixt the sourdough and the poached eggs? .



The best substrate (proper name for sowing compost), for getting seeds off to a happy start is peat. 
But as all good environmentalists know, extracting peat, from the bogs wherein it is formed, is a 'bad thing' in terms of habitat loss, erosion, and carbon release...
So here, is a partial answer; this substrate is made from the run off, dredged from moorland reservoirs.

 A good growing medium, created by turning a liability into an asset. But, despite it being made from a waste product, it actually costs more than the standard garden centre offering. Due, one supposes, to the usual economies of scale, marketing of a niche product etc etc.

Tea on hand of course; nothing much happens round here without tea. 
And the special piece of wood in the back ground? It's just the right shape and size for firming the tops of the modules after sowing...

Top tip...If you don't want your handy chunk of two by four tossed on a fire, or incorporated into a building project, try writing 'Special' on it. It's kept this timber safe for at least three seasons so far.....
Imbued with self protective properties, by the magic of 'Sharpie'...

Feeling personally at risk of being cast asunder; or misused? I'm not entirely certain a T shirt with the same appellation is really going to help...


And then again there is the bigger picture to consider.... 
Soon to be departing (More trains....More thrills!) to the Oxford Real Farming Conference. Fairly confident there will be a plethora of top tips (and types) there. Must peruse (and get with) the programme.

But first some preparation for leaving all of this for a few days........ There's also an onward journey to the Eastern Flatlands to undertake before returning (Even more trains! Larks!)

 From what I recall; they have very big skies to admire out that way.



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