A sunday in seedy sydenham

Love sensation I’ve just come back from the Potato Fair and Seedy Sunday at Sydenham Girls School and it was great! It was £2 to get in, all seed potatoes were 15p each and I spent just under a tenner. For that, I got 3 Raspberry canes (£4.50), 10 tubers of Orla earlies and 10 Sarpo Mira (£3) and a bag of 10 Daffodil bulbs (£1.50).

The atmosphere was well friendly and there was free advice galore too. I learnt a great tip from Colin from Thompson & Morgan who told me his grandad used to say you can plant potatoes in the ground if you can put your whole hand into the soil and leave it in there comfortably for ten seconds. That would prove that the soil is warm enough, brilliant!

As for the swapping it’s a great idea. Just bring what you have and exchange for what they have on offer. I swapped five packets of veg seeds (Kale, Cauliflower and the like) and got in return Baby Leek, Borage, Chamomile, Foxglove and Scabiosa. Excellent! There was a girl there who had two A4 typed out sheets worth of seeds to swap, all of them painstakingly put in tiny packets in her bag, how great is that?

More details about your local Potato Fair and Seed Swap from http://www.potatoday.org/potatodays.htm

A seedy sunday in sydenham

The London Charity Potato Fair and Seed Exchange
Sunday 27th January 2013
Sydenham School
Dartmouth Road
Forest Hill
London SE26 4RD

A last minute news flash about a seed swap event a stones throw from the weeds up to me knees HQ tomorrow. It looks a great day out and I’ll definitely be wandering up there if the weathers okay and I have a spare tenner in me pocket.

As it says about the event on the web:
At all these events in addition to a huge range of seed potatoes, there will be our Heritage and Heirloom seeds, onion sets, shallots and garlic bulbs, fruit trees, soft fruit and other edible plants such as rhubarb and asparagus.

If you’re up there I’ll be the one trying to do deals with the stallholders with bags of small change and old washers!

Tripping the light fantastic

Dustin not justin, ok?

Andrew Weatherall – The White Light Mixes – White Light 74

Here’s a deep little mix to listen to while getting a little introspective reading the small print on the back of the seed catalogue/bank statements. A well ambient selection from the DJ who is also a secret radish grower so I’ve been told. Features a couple of nice tracks by Dustin O’Hallaran (above) and touches of Suicide and Morricone in there too, moody!

In a different stylee…

One careful owner (possibly)

if not who is?

Carlton & Leroy – Not Responsible (Lord Koo’s) 
An excellent seven inch from 1974 on the Lord Koo’s record label by Carlton (Patterson) & Leroy (Smith). The flip is an excellent version from the King (Tubby’s), “Psalms of Dub”. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s also the rhythm track of Mikey Dread’s “Love the Dread” released a few years later. Bought for a couple of quid years ago at the excellent Rat Records in Camberwell Green.

A council workers dream come true

westminster council moment 1.13 (lo)There isn’t going to be much gardening done today, I tell you! Thank god the worms are in the garage and I’m warm in the house. If I was working on the parks for the council today, the kettle would be on, a topic for the all-day discussion chosen and a family pack of povvy digestives purchased for the long day of non-work inside the confides of a park keepers hut (10ftx10ft)!

This is the only gardening that is going to done here today, the leggy Coriander and Basil seedlings on the kitchen windowsill:

the only gardening done today (lo) 1-13And our mate Nigel Slater’s favourite, Lemon Thyme purchased for a quid or so off ebay a few weeks ago (Terracotta pot and saucer optional. Bought from the local garden centre for around around about £1.50):

Lemon thyme on window lo)Big up the council work ethic of yesteryear!

I’m too cold, I’m too cold, I’m too cold

The above features versions of Keith Hudson’s Hot Stuff (and boy do we need something hot!)

I couldn’t believe it, the sun came out last Sunday so I moved the wormery (a bucket I found in the street perched upon an old xmas tree container which catches any liquid) into the garage as the forthcoming cold months outside won’t do the worms much good. I’ll pop in on a weekly basis and top up with kitchen peelings, tea bags etc and see if they are still okay. There was a good bit of liquid in the bottom bucket which I’ve drained off and will use as a great plant feed this summer comng. All for nothing by just keeping your kitchen waste!

The pots on the kitchen windowsill with the seeds I sowed just before xmas are coming along, the Corriander is looking a bit leggy but I’ll use the seedlings for cooking so nothings wasted, the Basil seeds did germinate but are very slow off the mark but that’s to be expected at this time of the year. Also I’m holding off a while with starting the Tomatoes indoors as last year I sowed them far too early and they were well lanky when finally put in the garden. A lesson learned, don’t be too keen!

allotment keepers handbookFor the second time now I got this great book from my library, The allotment keeper’s handbook (a down to earth guide to growing your own food) by Jane Perrone (The Guardian 2007). The first time I got it out, I renewed it to the max allowed as it was so informative, trouble is I dropped it into the bath by accident so had to return it with my head down in shame! On getting it out again a year later, it looks like someone has done the same and possibly dropped it out in the garden too! If you’re getting an allotment or thinking of starting to grow vegetables in the garden/patio at home this book is a must. It covers everything including composting, planning and preparation, heritage seeds, the magic of Comfrey and some mad tips too (starting seeds off in empty egg shells, I never thought of that one!) An informative read with some humour throw in to boot. A book not to read in the bath tho!  Have a look a Jane’s blog which is great too.