It's been a few blogs since I :-
a) Wrote a list
b) Wrote about politics
c) Didn't write about love, sex and the universe
Well, fixed the first one OK...
I've had quite a crush on Jaqui Smith, the home secretary for a while and after TheDaily Sleeze found that her husband bought two blue movies with our credit card (i.e taxpayers money), they completely lost the plot. Instead of him apologizing, she should have faced the Sky news twerp, and commented " We have a very active sex life". It would have been the best 0.00000562 pence each tax payer could have spent, and it would have wound up my Jaqui Smith and moi fantasies to the next level. I mean, 2000 pounds each to give bankers extra bonuses for failing or 1\2p in your life time, you choose.
If you keep adding bits to your garden, one of the best pleasures in life (other than Jaqui Smith appearing in yer dreams or Alan Shearer becoming Newcastle manager) is coming across dormant food stores. My Jerusalem Artichokes have been dormant for months and only accidentally I came across a shload* of them as I dug to fix a tube. They are a tuber \ potato that are great roasted. As soon as they shoot or before (if you can find them), they can be picked. As soon as they head skywards (they are sun flower family), leave them until completely died back. Very little water needed and survives hot hot climes - they line the entrance up at Tamera.
About a kilo from the original tuba in one year - this is "future food".
I have been working in Messines again - home of great coffee and the Winge Family Naggingson
(the incestuous tree squatting neighbours). Oh to have soil like this, alluvial, silty, free draining strong red soil. It rocks! I built a raised vegetable bed using rock dug up from the swimming pool, sand and a little cement left by the builder and filled up using the alluvial soil and some humanure recycled compost. Whilst not 100% eco, it will be an area that is sat on, leaned over, so the use of high carbon cement was essential for strength and with good localized irrigation, an easy way to grow some nice vegetables - climbing tomatoes, corgettes, aubergines and peppers for starters.
Use of local rocks and soil kept the price down. At a handy height of 50cms, you can reach over to all areas without having to compact the soil \ manure mix. Good veg = non compacted soil + regular watering!!
How did you all fare with last Saturday nights storm? Here near Faro we had 27mm in six hours with reports of even higher near Loule. Check the Extreme Weather link on the right or Ricks Algarve Weather Station lower down for a continuous update on all rain totals. It was magic here, with a big lightening storm here and really drumming on our tin roof. It drained away so quickly, a warning of how dry the Algarve gets so suddenly.
One nights rain, no puddles by midday...
The rain did reduce my manure pile and encourage me to fill another couple of my raised beds, after picking a record crop of broad beans - so easy to grow, throw then into any ground after the first rains of the winter and just watch them!! No chemicals, no manure or fertilizing, just pure food.
Green compost (grass cuttings), a layer of cardboard then my rotted manure on top. I will leave for a couple of weeks before planting my summer crops - all hot weather stuff, tomatoes, peppers, corgettes, aubergines et al.
This week has been great for harvesting my Brocolli, my Loquat (Nespeiras) and the ongoing crop of Cape Gooseberry. Remember the more you plant, especially fruit trees and repeating veg like the jerusalem Artichoke, the more you have free of charge. You can't beat a free eat.
This is the single large floret version - six weeks from seedling to plate
Loquat, the first of the stone fruit crops at Quinta Stuart this year, great for chutney or jam. Pick and use the same day, it rots so quick.
Cape Gooseberry, tasty little fruit, nearly all year round, just like Jaqui Smith.......
( * collective noun for a bucket full of vegetables!)