Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fort Brassica

At last planting has got under way, with cabbages (spring, round and red) and cauliflower. We love red cabbage. Monty Don describes it as being only slightly ahead of boiled rat in culinary acceptability, at least by his children. All I can say is they've never had any of ours, cooked with red wine, apple and marmalade. Yummy.

But growing brassicas round here is an iffy business on account of they pigeons, curse 'em. I've tried various half-baked approaches with dangling CDs to scare them off but I think they treat them as vanity mirrors; certainly doesn't scare them off. And I've nearly broken my neck innumerable times getting my feet tangled up in the netting I've carefully draped over the cabbages to keep pigey off. None of it is much good.

The best I've found so far is Fort Brassica, constructed from uprights of chicken wire, lovingly garnished with tatty old netting and tenderly enrobed with string. Let's see the beggars get through that.

Running low on blood sugar by the end of the afternoon and lacking the energy to construct a smaller version for the cauliflower plot, I cobbled together Mark 2. The observant among you will notice what were once wardrobe drawers from IKEA forming a key part of the construction.

Lest you think I idle my time away just pratting about with cabbages, chicken wire and string I should show you my other pride and joy. Just look at these mangetout; sown in a gutter at home (no, it wasn't attached to the house at the time, honestly, you do take this too seriously sometimes) and raised in the conservatory. Then simply slid into a wee trenchette and Bob is your father's brother. Still need plenty of anti-pigeon fortifications though.

I've also discovered another reader, just over the grapevine at the bottom. Good to speak to you today; hope all this makes sense.

And finally, longstanding readers of this blog may be wondering about a progress report on Woody's motorcycle adventure around Europe (working title Short Way Round). Tune in on Wednesday (30th) for an update. A bientot; tot siens!!


UKBob said...

Hi Woody, I was only thinking about the motor bike ride this afternoon whilst weeding gravel. Glad you managed to find a use for something from Ikea, It will probably make a better job of keeping things off your cauliflowers than what it was originally intended for. I know if I see anything from Ikea I run a mile so lets hope it has the same effect on the birds. I love red cabbage, last time I had red cabbage for dinner was when we were in Malta, I had duck and there was red cabbage in kiwi sauce with it, it was really nice. Bob.

Matron said...

Ah yes! here in Hillingdon it was called 'Stalag Luft PSB!' complete with machine guns. All that hard work protecting brassicas from allcomers.. and this time of year my magnificent harvest reminds me why I went to all that bother! A gourmet treat!