Tuesday, March 24, 2009


A message for Ada Lovelace day

Today is Ada Lovelace day. "Who the &*^%$ is she?" you will say. Ada Lovelace was one of the world's first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.
So today is a day to celebrate women in technology! Which means me, as I work in IT! Ok this is a gardening blog, but what the fuck, gardening is also pretty technical I would say.
For more info: http://findingada.com/ or http://www.pledgebank.com/AdaLovelaceDay
I think women bring a lot to the technological sector, we look at things from a more human perspective and often can have a great global overview of a product's usability. So I want to give a big cheer to my girlfriends that work in high-tech (and really do the high tech stuff not just make the coffee):
Celine, Helena, Anne, Dorothée, Sophie, Gillian, Yveline, Cornelia, Severine, Caroline and Morgane.


Monday, March 23, 2009


Spuds and onions

Today the muscles are asking me why I decided to plant the last of the onions and the rest of the early spuds on the same day! Because it's spring and beautiful weather! so we'll just have to put up with the stiff thighs.
The rest of the early spuds went in, I seem to have caluclated just right, a whole bed will be given over to spuds this year. And another is wholly alliums, garlic, shallots, yellow and red onions. The first onions and shallots have started to send up their little green shoots so I am hoping that the harvest will be good.
I love growing onions and potatoes, it's easy and pretty satisfying, I love it when you harvest the potatoes. They look so dead on the surface and then underneath all those lovely fresh little spuds just waiting to go in the pot!
Also on Saturday morning (with the help of my friend Sophie, gardening for the first time ever!) we pulled up the old cabbages and sprouts, dug up the rest of the leeks (they will be chopped and frozen tonight) and harvested the purple sprouting broccoli! A strange experience that, it was the first time I had ever eaten it. You don't get much but it tasted good. I also sowed the broccoli, sprouts and some spring lettuce and cloched them, in a little seed bed.
The plot is still quite grassy and untidy but it now looks much more worked over, with the onion bed full and the spud corner all turned over. It has a nice spring feel at the moment: rhubarb getting taller, peas and broad beans coming up out of the ground, the berries getting their leaves, lovely mauve flowers on the rosemary.
What are the next jobs to be done? So far I have stuck pretty well to what I wanted to achieve. Next week, must get in some more horse manure, start making piles for the summer squash and mulching the potatoes, I must also sow some more carrots and beetroot (the first lot of seed has failed), weed the flower section and put in some seed for the summer, and tend to the indoors stuff (sowing the tomatoes and leeks, it's time, pricking out the chilli peppers and eggplants/aubergines).

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Monday, March 02, 2009


The tough dig begins

Yep, it is a sure sign of spring when you start planting the spuds. Despite Raymond my nice neighbour tutting and muttering about frost, 2 rows of earlies "Anoe" variety went in on Saturday morning, along with a row of early peas, some carrots (Nantaise2), radishes and beetroots. It was a glorious day, I worked up quite a sweat, digging up the ground. I am hoping that the warm sun will help give the seeds a boost.
The rest of the spuds are quietly chitting. The seedlings are being very quiet, perhaps it is still a bit chilly for them, even on the window sill?
Down at the lottie there is heaps to be done though, a lot of edging needs redoing, I think some of my plot is attempting to join that of my neighbour. The old cabbages needs pulling out, the ground needs digging over, manured and covered for the summer tenders and I would really like to cover around the fruit bushes with thick cardboard and cover that with manure, to slowly feed them all summer that way and have a good mulch too, because they are badly overgrown with grass but digging it out means 1) I get ripped to pieces and 2) possibly damaging the shallow roots of the raspberry canes. So I would like to attack the weeds differently.
So much to do, but the longer days have started and the sun is warmer day by day, which cheers the heart and makes digging seem like more of a pleasure and less of a chore.

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