Thinking outside the compost heap

throw away the keyI found this brilliant tip last night while flicking through the magazine I bought at the market the other day. It suggests keeping your gardening tools in a fake compost bin on the allotment. How great is that? I mean whatever next, storing those important insurance policies in a hidden drawer beneath a raised bed, the spare house keys dangling on a string between the runner bean canes or keeping your passport in a plastic bag submerged in the garden pond? Excellent.

On that note, a big Happy New Year to all our gardening and music friends out there and we wish for some better weather in 2013. As I’m writing this the rain is lashing against the back window, not a great sign but we live in hope!

Super black market clash

grow man grow!It’s great what you can pick up cheap at a market. Yesterday I had a mooch at the out of date magazine stall at Leather Lane and found a gardening one from April 2012 with a free pack of 5 varieties of brassica seeds on the front. There’s purple sprouting broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, calabrese and kale, all for the bargain price of a quid, how good is that? There’s also an article  about egyptian walking onions in it, something I’ve been thinking about trying next year. Definitely keep ’em peeled!

howling at the moon Also, today through the post I got the 2013 edition of Maria and Matthias Thun’s Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar. Big thanks to our good mate Scarlett Cannon for getting us into the old biodynamics lark. It might be bonkers but it’s costs nothing extra to try (that’s what we like!) and it’s something that hasn’t done us too badly this year even with the rubbish weather we’ve had. The latest guide has a nice piece on Maria, who passed away earlier this year at the grand old age of 89. A book worth having a butchers at (and it comes with a handy wallchart too!), available for around £7.

Finally a big thanks to everyone who has got in touch with us and had a butchers at the blog this year. A big festive greetings and best of luck in the garden for 2013 to all! 

Another second hand classic

the mighty two

Leo Graham – Not giving up – Locks 1975
An excellent slab of 70’s reggae produced by Joe Gibbs and Errol T (the Mighty Two), released in the UK on Birmingham’s Locks label. This was procured off a punk mate in 1978 for a piece of garb from a second hand shop I think. An excellent record with a nice dub! Always strangely puts me in mind of that old time song “Where did you get that hat, where did you get that hat?”. Excellent!

This is Major Tom to ground control

Felipe Lopez – Radio Space (Ape.Choons)
Here’s a great track heard on Dr Strangedub and DJ Baby Swiss’ excellent “Echo Chamber” on KFAI a few of weeks ago. The tune is a lovely piece of dub which samples a Brazilian radio amateur communicating with the International Space Station (ISS). The les dubthiers mix (the second clip) just pips the original to the post. Get this tune, you’ll love it! Big shout to Dr Strangedub for this one.

In a big people’s music style

The first part of the excellent late 70’s documentary Deep Roots Music with Mickey Dread featuring Tommy McCook, Daddy U-Roy, The Skatalites, Count Machuki (looking good!), Sir Lord Comic, Bobby Culture, Jack Ruby Hi Power amongst many others. An excellent watch for these cold nights! Big shout to Will for passing this link onto us.

Herbman hustling

I tidied up the last of the autumn leaves after slipping on a wet pile of them by the front door the other day when popping out a bag into the dustbin and whacking my shin on the doorstep. When collecting leaves I use the old council workers trick of using two bits of hardboard to grab a big load and then put them into a black bin bag. Rather than chucking it in the dustbin, I’ve stuck it at the bottom of the garden and will forget about it until next year when they’ll have turned into some great leaf mould. Excellent stuff to add to your soil and all for free!

cabbage patches and allI took the netting off the pond today as most of the leaves are off the surrounding trees now and put it over the overwintering cabbages to stop those pigeons and birds from having a go at them. Notice the once big pile of prunings behind which is now a lot smaller, thanks to the incinerator! I’ve stuck a row of broad beans behind the cabbages to overwinter too.

Herby HancockLast weekend I treated myself to a few terracotta pots and saucers (about £1.50 for both from the local garden centre, Shannons) to stick on the kitchen windowsill and sowed some corriander and basil then covered them with a small plastic sarnie bag until they germinate. I also bought a lemon tyme plant off ebay for £1.99 and that’s up on there as well. Herbs, you can’t beat em!

You need wheels

Hell on wheelsI spotted this outside a cafe in Covent Garden on the damp and moody Monday morning just gone. The reason it has wheels is probably more to do with it getting pinched at night rather than being moved about a few times a day to get maximum sunlight. A good idea all the same though!

nice burnersA few minutes before seeing this I walked through the barriers at Charing Cross train station and got stopped by an American tourist and his wife who wanted a photo taken with me as I looked “the spitting image of the eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren”. Of course I obliged and shook his hand and waved at his wife who was taking the picture even though I look nothing like him. He’s got bushier burners and a better Roger De Courcey barnet than I have. Talk about bizzare happenings on a Monday morning (and at 8am too)!