Friday, 8 April 2016

All to do...

At this time of year; on a vegetable farm you could quite easily work from dawn 'til dusk every day; and yet still; even going at it non stop; the end of the 'to do' list would bound away from you like a cheeky rabbit.

To fool yourself, into make it all seem a little more manageable, you can end up with 'lists of lists'.

Four types of Kale; and the last batch of peas (var' Meteor) very patiently await planting...

The old adage  "Hard work never killed anyone....... But it sure as heck bent them into some funny shapes" 

still holds true; even if not engaged in labours agricultural. There's a lot of 'worryingly shaped' keyboard drivers out there too...

And there undoubtedly comes a point whereby; if you don't down tools and take a break; you will; most likely break yourself; or some other vital piece of kit.
 Or you can find yourself making really blithering mistakes; that then take at least another day to put right.

So mindful of this; I invested in a 24 hr everso slightly northerly sojurn; to be bent temporarily into funny shapes. With the aim of putting everything back into it's proper place.

And the yoga crowd; despite the sometimes 'self denying,' image in which they are oft cast; do know how to have a laugh....... The hilarity; of some of our performances; is not entirely lost on us.

 But no matter; giggling is a proven, healthy, vibrational work out for the diaphragm......That's the sheet of muscle that separates the lungs from your abdominal organs; by the way; for those of you who might feel yourselves 'Anatomically challenged'...

Pavritta Ardha Chandrasana..... Yes I know the top leg could be straighter; being over flexed at the ankle doesn't help; perhaps the photographer missed the 'perfect' moment...? 

(I know, there's no such thing as perfection in asana; just always a little more wiggle room for improvement....)

One of the members of the 'Landworkers Alliance' wrote a book some years back; entitled 'Surviving and Thriving on the Land'. (see final link) An interesting read on many fronts; regarding how various folks go about making a small scale sustainable living from land based enterprises.

I do like our badge; you really wouldn't mess with these 'tooled up' folks would you?

 It also puts particular emphasis on how a farming business must be sustainable in terms of human energy and enthusiasm.

A drive to succeed, against the prevailing odds, might take you through the first few years. But how do you maintain those essential elements in the long run, as the enterprise matures?

And those people running it may need to be sustained in other ways. There seems to be a prevalent culture of applauding 'over work' in our world; that really does no one much good in the long run.

'Busyculture' to show just how important and indispensable we really are. Quite literally 'working ones backside off; that might save on gym fees. But butt tired; grumpy bunnies aren't nearly so much fun to be with... 

Perky rabbits, batteries recharged; are far more the thing...And energy begets energy; the 'help' is far more likely to be invigorated by the odd chucklesome moment; than a litany of woes...

And how long before technology allows you, dear reader, to enjoy the sweet aroma of these 'bee ready' blooms?

 Here showing the earliest planted broad beans flowering in the polytunnel. The first beans can be eaten whole as 'fingerlings' i.e. picked when still the size of your little finger...Lightly steamed before adding as much butter as can feasibly be persuaded to cling to them....Plus a generosity of black pepper; mmmm seldom fails to cheer.

The stems are supported by netting stretched horizontally; this is essential to prevent 'lodging' (agricultural term for falling over); which can easily happen when the plants are heavy with crop.

 The net itself is supported by thickish wooden or metal stakes driven in.... Easier on the eye than canes... Particularly if the upright should happen to meet the eye when bending to harvest beans through dense foliage. It is sadly; an all too common; potentially serious gardening injury...So sensible 'elf and safety warning here ....Use cane caps....

Or a large snail shell can be pressed into service atop the vision threatening spike  ....Mollusc dispatch duties. thus performed simultaneously.....Eeeeuurgghh.......I know.... Apologies to the more delicate blooms amongst you.

A few of my favorite things... Spotted on returning from a stiffish climb up one of the local cyclists 'fittening' hills. near the coast

* stats here if they're your thing......

Blue skies, fluffy clouds, and the start of the bluebells to further quicken the pulse. It's reckoned that finding these darlings in the hedgebank indicates that it once formed the boundary of  woodland;  long since cleared. And; just discernible as a fuzzy white splodge; the beginnings of the dainty white stitchwort...

 Sadly out of focus; but in my defence I was being squashed again the bank by one of those beloved of cyclists, oh so charming, "I own this road you know" Shiny 4wd operators; at the time.

And Alexanders, to top. Quite toothsome when young and fresh. 
And considerably tastier than many of the other foragables available. 
There is a reason why cultivated vegetables were developed. Just because something is technically edible; doesn't mean you'd necessarily want; given an alternative; to consume it...... The catch all description for a lot of these wild flavours is "tastes a bit like spinach". 
Well; how about we eat some spinach them?

The umbellifer tribe; of which Alex' is a member; contains a few individuals that are a trifle 'deathy'. (Hemlock water dropwort springs to mind)
 So unless your I.D. skills are in order; it might be best to steer clear of gathering them dinnerwards. 

And to finish; many thanks are due to a correspondent who kindly sent me this elephant in response to last weekends post...

Another way of saying that there is usually an upside to a downside...?
You just have to pay quiet attention to find it...

I also like this one: attributable  
not only to Buddha; but curiously; also to Ganesh;

Mohammed and

And often used by them; in response to any human constructed injustice....

"I never flippin' said that was OK"

Alright; that's quite enough vacillation ; procrastination ; and or displacement activity; the brassicae won't plant themselves...

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