Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible...
My apologies to the gardening purists for digressing over the last few entries, and for having links to growing that are tenuous at best, but it will go back to gardening very soon, and it does have a purpose.
That purpose, is two-fold. Firstly, it allows things to grow on the allotment and the weather has been a bit mixed recently (to be fair it can be a bit boring just saying everything is the same as last week and I have done some weeding).
Secondly, and most importantly, I want to say well done to all the people that grow their own food. I want all of us to celebrate and exult in what we do. I want you all to feel righteous. In religious and rural communities a big deal is made of harvest festival, but we should rejoice in what we do more often, we should rejoice all year round.
I admire anyone that is entirely self-sufficient as I know that I could never grow enough to be self-sufficient (I’d need four times the land, livestock, a wheat field and probably a paddy field as well), but what I can do is grow as much as I can and find ways to use what I grow. It’s not just about the quality of food that you can grow. It’s about the joy you feel when those first few shoots appear. It’s about the anticipation and the nurturing. It’s about lifestyle and quality of life
If it’s true that the sale of vegetable seed has out-stripped that of flower seeds this year then that to me is wonderful, I have even seen outlets of ‘Julian Graves’ selling vegetable seeds. I hope that people have managed to grow vegetables and have enjoyed the happiness that I feel every time something appears from the ground. But I wonder how these new growers have coped with a potential glut of vegetables all in one go? I belong to the ‘I grew it so I’m not going to waste any of it’ school of thought. I think my parents have hammered the phrase “waste not, want not” into my very being (probably along with the line “if you don’t eat it for dinner you’ll have it cold for breakfast” but that’s another story). So I’ll freeze things and make jams and chutneys. Will there be a knock on to the sale of sugar and lemons, or vinegar and onions as well?
It’s often said by celebrity chefs that people should ‘reconnect with where the food comes from’ and that we should ‘connect with the seasons more’ and understand seaonality. Now this is where we, my fellow allotmenteers, should stand tall and proud, for we don’t just know these things. We live them through what we grow!
We know that you shouldn’t get strawberries in November, or fresh runner beans in January. We know that you can’t beat picking things or digging things up and cooking them when they are at their freshest. We know the true taste of carrots.
So here is to all of you out there, quietly growing things, making the most of the land and space that you have, whether big or small, whether for fun or for necessity. Every time you pick something, dig something up or harvest something I hope you all get a nice rosy glow of contentment. Congratulations and well done.
I salute you all!
Normal service will be resumed at the weekend.
- 13 Aug, 2009
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