I got out into the garden again today. Boy, it feels good. Every time i do, i remember why i do it and kick myself for not doing it before.

Anyway, i cleared half of bed 1 of the dwarf french beans that had been growing there (technically they should be left in place till they die, so that they give back to the earth all the nutrients but.. tough. i need the space) and that have probably finished, dumped the contents of the grow-bags (that had the tomatoes in) into the space, forked it over to loosen the soil, then planted, from the end:

row 1 – Nantes carrots

row 2 – Touchon carrots

row 3 – Autumn King carrots

row 4 – “rijnsburger” onions

row 5 – boltardy beetroot

God knows if i’ll get anything out of them, but i’ve given them a good water.. and i just have to pray for a mild autum. The weather forecast for the next few weeks seems to be good so .. with luck they’ll peep above ground, i can thin them, then cover the remaining ones with cloches to protect them a bit from inclement weather. (no photos: photos of bare earth is .. boring.)

I also plan to sow both carrots and onions in pots in the greenhouse. Again, i have no idea if they will be successful, but one can hope. At this stage, there is really nothing left to lose, and i might just get something out of it. In addition, i plan to sow some winter lettuce leaves and corn salad – a first supply outside, then as the inclement weather hits, in the greenhouse. Joining them in the greenhouse will be other lettuce leaves, spring onions, and radishes – whatever i can get away with growing, basically.

I also pulled up the spinach beet and true spinach that had gone rather to seed. I’ve pulled some of the leaves off, before tossing the remains of the plants on the “compost heap” (see this post as to why i put it in “”!) – i plan to wilt them down, taste them, and see just how bitter they are – if they’re not too bad then i’ll pop them into a stirfry tonight, if they are, then they’ll join the other plants on the compost heap. and resolve next time to harvest them in better time. The other benefit of doing this is that it’s exposed the row of beetroot plants that was rather dwarfed by them, and hopefully it will enable these to grow a bit bigger and bulk up the roots some (as they are still very narrow) before i pull them – maybe i can pickle them! Where the spinach beet/true spinach was i may plant the corn salad/winter salad. Or maybe another batch of spinach/spinach beet as they’re supposed to be semi-hardy.

I’m getting quite worried about the rising food prices – not so much that we’ll cope, but that it takes all the spare cash that we have, and that we have a miserable christmas as a result. I don’t know about Michiel but i know i feel i can cope with not having very much money (i make rather a game out of it, i see it as a challenge, and that helps immeasurably) as long as i can save, even a little, for a good time at christmas. there is nothing, absolutely nothing more depressing (to me) than a christmas where there is no feeling of festive cheer, no special foods or special drinks (and yes, i have been there once or twice). And while i’m well aware that many don’t have that special feeling, i’m also very determined that we will have it this christmas.

So i feel very much, that in getting out there today, that i’m planting not only seeds for specific foods, but a little bit of hope. amazing the difference such a small thing makes. and amazing the difference getting out into the fresh air makes too. I’ll sleep better tonight.