Dub gardeners of the world unite

Jochen harvest 2013

A big shout to Jochen of Splintercell Sound out of Germany for getting in touch and for letting us use some great pics of his veg cultivation. He’s been growing veg for a good few years in a limited space using minimalist techniques but still gets some great results (as these images show!) with the aid of his greenhouse and some tricks learnt along the way!

pollination in progress

Alongside growing other plants, he got fascinated with cultivating Bonsai. He read a lot about horticulture, studying books, blogs and online forums and did his first ‘experiments’ in the small yard of his parents house.

After school he completed an apprenticeship with a breeder of agricultural seeds, studied horticulture for one year, worked at the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food and now is studying Urban Planning. Sounds like a good grounding for this veg growing lark!

Jochen 2013 greenhouseMost of the plants are grown in pots as he only has limited space and has a small greenhouse on top of his carport (above). As he says “it’s urban gardening!” Brilliant!

He grows a lot of different vegetables and plants and always tries to use special strains and varieties. He told us one year nearly every plant was blue; blue potatoes, blue kohlrabies, blue carrots etc. Brilliant, well up my street as blue is one of my favourite colours but I am not sure what I think if it was served up on my dinner plate!

inside the greenhouse_jochen

He also tries to grow something interesting like melons or special tomato or chili strains because of his limited space and he tells me that this years cucumber-harvest was amazing! I’ve only tried growing them outdoors twice and haven’t had much success but these below in his greenhouse look brilliant!

cucumber_jochen

Even more up our street, he’s part of Splintercell Sound and also promote a regular party called “Feel like Jumping” in Münster where they play (rocksteady, early reggae and dancehall and conscious Rap.)  Here’s a mix on their great soundcloud site (with lots of modern “roots” tunes!) which is well up our street :

And a couple of great tunes picked by Jochen as well, out of his many favourites at the moment, Tell them fi farm by Tydal

And Queen Ifrica with Make you rock produced by Silly Walks Discotheque

Big up Jochen, his veg gardening and the splintercell sound!

Nine below Zero

greenhouse tipIt’s started to get a bit nippy out there now, so it will soon be out with the fleece, cloches and the like.

I’ve already stuck some pots that I reckon won’t make it outside in the plastic greenhouse for the time being and will be sticking some bubble wrap around them this weekend too for extra protection.

If it looks like it’s going to be a hard winter I might even stick the whole thing in the garage!

Two for the daynurse crew

Busy Signal – Money Flow/Greetings (Ribbidibi)
Two videos in one as played by The Rt Hon David Rodigan over the past few weeks which utilise a couple of familiar rhythms from yesteryear. Especially for everyone who’s suffering with the pre xmas flu!

Word to the dirt!

A big congrats to Si and all the team at The Dirt for winning the award for the “best non-music show” on Fab Radio International. Great stuff!

This week’s show is up online here and features lots on cheese from the team, Gentleman Gardener Geoff and blog of the week is Fromage Homage.

Cheese upon toast

Our contribution to the show this week Sounds From The South is at 22.24 (with yours truly on the blower introducing it) with a story from my council gardening days about spring bulbs. Tune of the week is The Mexicano with Move Up Starsky. The Mexicano aka Rudy Grant, is the brother of one Eddie Grant who is a bit of a keen gardener so I hear.

We look into the future (and see potatoes)

Spud in crystall ball

Thanks to Mick Matthews of The Cambridge Self Sufficiency Group for getting in touch again with news of their next annual potato day and seed swap and it’s sounds good. It might seem a long way off but it’s just the other side of Christmas. It’s at The Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3AQ on Saturday 17th January 2015 from 11am to 3pm and it’s free so if you’re around those parts go and have a gander!

They’ll have 50 plus varieties of potatoes all at £1.00 a kilo and with added onion sets and shallots, craft stand and refreshments and even children’s activities as well to keep the little ones happy while you swap your seeds. Cheers for that Mick. Best of luck!

Love sensation

Talking of seeds swaps, I’ve had a look for the next date of the London potato day as a couple of years ago I went when it was held in Sydenham Girls School not far from here, it was a quid or so to get in and they had a great seed swap area too. It now looks like it’s now part of the RHS Plant and Potato event on the 20th/21st February 2015 at Lindley Hall, Westminster. It’s free if you’re a member of the RHS but I am sure it was a fiver last year if you weren’t, and I am not sure there’s even a seed swop there.

Me, I’ll be on the look out for the smaller seed swaps like the great one I went to in Hither Green earlier this year, organised by Lewisham Gardens and Golighty Gardens. It was free, they had loads of seeds to choose from and it wasn’t the usual stingy “one for one” swap either and it was in a pub with nice people on a Sunday evening, what more do you want? Seed swaps I love them!

***UPDATE***Watch out for a seed swap in the Catford/Forest Hill area in February 2015! We will bring you more details as and when…

Robin’s revenge!

robin_2Listen to the podcast of this week’s episode of The Dirt on Fab Radio International here.

There’s some great things on the show this week including lots of talk of about Beetroot, the first of a brand new feature “blog of the week” with Agents of FieldSounds From The South (at 26.02 mins in) is about why Beetroot is my favourite vegetable (tune of the week is Big Youth – Some like it Dread) and Amie Sagar interviews the person on the street about the shocking pictures of the new killer Robin that has now settled in the UK ready to cause aggravation! Get orf me bird bath! Ta to The Dirt for letting us reproduce the shocking photo’s they obtained here!robin_1