Friday, March 29, 2013

Hot, Hot, Hot?

Nope, not outside, still snowy.  But inside the greenhouse......nope, not hot there either

But I have just built a hot bed, essentially a giant heated propagator, to help germinate seeds.  20 feet of cable at 75 watts = warm, not hot, but that's OK.  Gentle warmth is what seeds need.  So here it is at the almost-final stage.  About an inch of grit-sand has now gone on top of the cable and it's quietly warming up.  In case you're wondering, there's a thick layer of coarse gravel and coarse grit underneath to ensure that the warmth doesn't simply vanish downwards.

And here's the power supply for it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Know your history

There’s an excellent article by Lia Leendertz in the latest edition of the RHS magazine The Garden, on allotment history.  In the face of local authorities, notably Watford, wanting to build on allotment sites (and presenting allotment holders as selfish and defending a ‘luxury’ position), she reminds us of the origins of allotments.

Essentially they were a revolution-preventing sop to the landless poor following the great land grab, by the already-landed classes, which was the Enclosure.  Lia reminds us that “between 1600 & 1850 the rich and powerful fenced off and claimed as their own millions of acres of common land, previously considered a common man’s birthright…..They are our last fingerhold on the vast tracts of land we [all of us] could once call upon, carved off millions of acres at a time.  No-one should ever be regarded as selfish for defending that.”

Absolutely right, and well said.  Worth remembering as allotment rents are about to rise by 100% in Sheffield.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm a lumberjack and.....

.....I'm OK

I pay my subs,
I cut down trees,
I go....

[OK, that's quite enough of that, we get the picture]

But I have done both of those today.  Paid my subs to the local Allotment Society (£3), and cut down a hawthorn which has been lurking, and a damn nuisance, at the bottom of the plot since I took it on.  It's gorn now though, the last of the self-sown trees to be cut down.

I'm beginning to wonder whether my neighbours at the plot have gorn too.  Haven't seen either side for weeks now, in fact not sure I've seen them this year.  Perhaps the proposed massive rent increases for allotments have caused them to have a rethink?