Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Proper Summer

After raking over a recently dug potato bed (or part of one) yesterday and sowing some green manure seeds (clover, mustard and field beans) I had a taste of what it must be like gardening in Greece or the South of France, not because I was carrying in a basketful of Mediterranean vegetables, but because I was baked! The temperature got very close to 30 degrees C. I've been regularly spraying into the greenhouses, just to cool them a little.

Here are a few pictures of how things are looking at the moment.

French Marigolds and Tomatoes
French Marigolds and Tomatoes

Courgettes (Black Forest F1)
Foreground, roots bed under net, behind that potatoes, middle - two Courgettes (Black Forest F1) which I moved in their pots from the greenhouse where they'd given us early courgettes

Onions, Peas, Beans
Onions (spring planted sets), peas, beans (runner and climbing French)

Brassica beds
Brassica beds under nets, nearer cabbages, etc, further Brussels sprouts, broccoli 

Climbing courgette and spinach
Potatoes (not been a good crop). On left, one of the climbing courgettes, also in bed catch crop of summer spinach the bare bit is fresh sown green manure seeds

Leeks and carrots
Freshly planted leeks, replacing broad beans. Under net summer sown carrot, swede and beetroot. The shadows are seed heads on the elephant garlic - I decided to let them flower for the display and for the bees.

Courgettes and fruit
Four more climbing courgettes, they were planted out in pots after danger of frost had passed. Blackcurrants under net and gooseberries top the left.

Wild Flowers and compost bins
Wild flowers and elder (elderflower wine in "plopping" away happily) on the bank behind some of the compost bins

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Differences between organic and non-organic food?

Spread across my desk are seed packets from lettuce and salad leaf seeds sown yesterday as part of my usual successional sowing:

Lettuce - Colour shades mixed (T&M), Little Gem (T&M), Lobjoits Green Cos (Kings Seeds) and Mazur (free trial from DT Brown)
Salad Leaves - Green Spray Mibuna (Sea Spring Seeds - a lovely local seed company here in Dorset), Nice n Spicey Mixed (T&M), Speedy Mix (T&M), Wild Herby Leaf mix (also local - Pennard Plants).

When we eat them fresh from the garden it will be in the knowledge that nothing has been applied to the soil or the plants that will be harmful to either or to us. 

Can that be said of all foods, I doubt it and recently published research reports significant differences between organically and conventionally produced food.

Well worth a read:

See also further discussion: