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Contemplating Mushrooms

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Welcome to October.

I had a thought this morning, and I think I’ll share it with you. Given that October is named after the number 8 as it was originally the 8th month (like September is named after 7, November is named after 9 and December is named after 10), what has happened to the other 6 months? And why then is October the 10th month? Ooooh, this makes my head hurt.

This weekend I managed to get a bit of gardening done despite the iffy weather, and we went out and did things as well.

Saturday morning I made the most of a bad thing and did some gardening. The outdoor tomatoes are now up. I have called time and decided that they could do with the rest.

I did a bit of weeding, but when it gets to this time of year I can’t really be bothered to weed much. I did take all the tall weeds out.

A few more of the sweetcorn plants came out this week, so I am down to single figures now. The others weren’t far off. The late crop potatoes are looking good, some of them have flowered, so with a little luck they should be ready in about 3 to 7 weeks. I may need to think about protecting them from the frost before too long.

One of my butternut squash plants seem to be dying back. I am not sure why but I’ll keep an eye on it.

On a blustery Saturday night we went to Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, a lovely place and very pretty, even more so as it is part of their ‘Floodlit Fountains Abbey’ days. They light it up at night and have guided tours and choirs. Very pleasant.

Or at least it would have been if they hadn’t cancelled it! They’d recorded wind speeds of 53mph there and with the trees in full leaf and masonry around, you don’t want to be hit by something in the dark. Disappointing as we had some friends from Derby, Rotherham and Sheffield come up. In the end we went to the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham for a meal and to try their wares. Nice.

On the Sunday mrs MK and I took a friend to RHS Harlow Carr for breakfast at Betty’s or rather for the Mushroom Magic session they had on, including a guided spotters walk. We were told it’s a bad year for wild ‘shrooms at the moment as it’s so dry. Despite that we did find a few …

I feel inspired by this so I’ve also built a mushroom box, which I will use to try and grow my own mushrooms at home. I know where I can get some spent mushroom compost from, and can get the spores, so I shall see if this works over the winter and into next year. I had tried before but without the mushroom compost and it failed dismally, so we’ll try again.

On Sunday afternoon I went to the allotment and discovered that the wind on Sunday had managed to take out a pane of glass from the greenhouse and move some stuff around.

It also flattened the sweetcorn. There’s about a week left till the corn is ready but I’ll leave it anyway.

I picked the raspberries, replaced the glass and picked some veg for dinner and came home. It has been a very busy weekend and it was turning quite chilly out there.

In case you are wondering about the months, then the answer is quite easy. January and February got added to the start of the old roman calendar in about 700 BC which moved the months to the positions we know them in now. Then the romans started naming months after gods, starting from the beginning (their old 1st month was the first unnamed month and became March after Mars, god of war). Then the roman calendar got normailsed by Julius Caesar in 45BC (who even got to name July after himself too).

From this I can surmise that Julius Caesar didn’t have many friends, because after naming July after himself he stopped there (August got renamed after a later Emperor). Which I suppose is quite lucky really as we could have ended up with the next months being the latin equivalents of Brian, Mick, Trevor and Charles.

Happy Micktober everyone.

And finally a shameless plug. If the weather is good and you are free, why not go along to the World Conker Championships on Sunday 11th October (sorry, Micktober), held near Ashton in Northamptonshire. It’s too late to enter but you can go along and watch and enjoy the stalls and entertainment. All proceeds go to charity.

More blog posts by muddy_knees

Previous post: A sad day for courgettes.

Next post: Of squashes and swede



Great blog enjoy the conker championships let us know what happens with your mushrooms.

5 Oct, 2009

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