22 November 2009

Schadenfreude is the spur

It's a shameful thing to admit, but it was a fellow blogger's foiled plans for this weekend that got me working today. Soilman promised that he'd be cutting down his asparagus and spreading muck. Then the weather let him down.

I had no such excuse: a glorious, windless, sunny day with temperatures nudging 10°C/50°F. My asparagus needed cutting down, too:

Perhaps I would have done the job anyway, but I have an unpleasant feeling that the knowledge that poor Soilman was unable to attend to his allotment was the main motivation. I cut down the old spears, Child#2 carried them off to the compost pile and I weeded the tyre/tire beds. I emptied one of the compost bins and topped up the beds with chicken-manure-enriched kitchen waste. The asparagus/rhubarb garden is looking a lot tidier now:

I'd like to claim that Child#2 helped out for the pleasure of it, but there were frequent comments along the lines of "What do I get for doing this?", which would suggest that the simple joy of gardening is not quite enough for the younger generation.

I had to enlist further help to harvest the parsnips. There's something about the stoniness of the soil here that makes it difficult to extract them intact from the ground. Carrots and potatoes are no bother, but parsnips are just impossible. Mike did a good job:

He didn't ask for any reward, either. He's known me a bit longer, though, so perhaps knows not to expect any! After preparing and blanching them, I ended up with five pounds of parsnip in 64 pieces, now all in the freezer.

There's not much left in the open to harvest now: half a dozen leeks, some pak choi, more cabbages (of course!) and the broccoli, which is still producing well (though probably not for much longer).

I'm sure that next weekend the wellington will be on the other foot and we will be deluged with rain (or worse) while the south-east of England basks in sunshine. Then it will be the UK garden bloggers' turn to gloat over how much they've got done outside...


Soilman said...

I'm delighted my failures inspired you! It's nice to know that even when things are going utterly pear-shaped around here, somebody, somewhere is getting something useful from it!

All the best

Lou said...

I love seeing what other veggie gardeners are growing, especially in a garden so far from mine in southern California. Nice work.