Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

August 15, 2010

August 12, 2010

So beans are self pollinating according to google. Here’s me doing the merry-go-round a la pollination ….

I saw a mighty front porch/steps on Cortes where all the tomotoes were strung up by strings dangling from the roof. My ma uses this method in her poly tunnel. I wonder if one can string beans in the same manner.

The Greenhouse may be getting an expansion. Another bendy pole au centre & two more bricks.

August 7, 2010

What an emotionally taxing night in the jardin!

The woman North West plot to mine was having a depressive give up gardening moment. I had just shoved a giant dustbin of water across the big highway there and was having a bit of a “Gawd this is impossible without a water supply, but somehow on…” moment on that treacherous alley incline.

(Note to self: stop bringing pink handbag to garden, and then trying to push giant trolley with balanced water-loaded dustbin while holding onto it, cease wearing impractical mini skirts and clogs when gardening and get a proper clipper thing instead of wantonly snapping and ripping stuff off the plants).

But when another gardener is emotive, it is important to stay calm and practical. I gave the poor woman a speech, I absolutely do not believe a word of — but needs must. I pointed out that to labour the water to the garden plot is very useful (it is not a bit useful, it is an unmitigated pain), I appreciate hoses I told her (I do not. I want one.), I hate lawns I said (this is true). She nodded. We discussed a political and activisit approach to try to get City Hall to connect our water supply. At one point, the woman said “I was enjoying it, of her plot, but .. and she made noises along the lines of how ridiculous is this and it’s not worth …” and quelle horreur.  I can’t recall what I said next, but it was basically a pile of auld ramble along the lines of it’s up and down and some days are hard and today the earth is so dry it all seems hopeless, but wait for your third year (it’s my second year, she said), yes but wait for your third year. Everything is great and dandy in your third year. (I do not believe this, but I am personally having a wonderful year in the garden, except today, where I stared at the soil and actively despaired and thought of the impending days and absence and despaired some more and then, hark, cut some beans and fussed over my lettuces and got a waft of my tomatoes, and back to the much more burdened woman kitty corner….

We talked potatoes. I offered anecdotes of great gardening moments including futuristic ones. Tomorrow I said six strangers will eat my zuccinis (I’d dropped three off chez quelque’ un for an impending dinner party. I reinvocated the potaotes and she called me to inspect hers.

But they’re ready says I. Let’s pull them.

At first it looked highly precarious and I was worried tiny little red dots emerge, but put my pink gloves and funky claw shovel thing (the ultimate gardening tool) into the soil, still nothing hectic. He planted them very deep, says she. So I burrow in earnest, tossing soil all over my sleeves, and finally there they are, lovely roundy red fellas. A deep handsome red. Now she’s excited. So we shriek, and I find more. She’s a pile of six. Go home and cook them I say and get your fork and dig up the rest another day. You just needed a boost, I tell her, so go home and enjoy your spuds. And she’s off and she’s happy and the downer moment is swallowed by the sight of the rising red fellas. Glory be to the potato.

August 6, 2010

How they gave me the runaround these fellas ….

August 6, 2010

glory be to the beans

August 1, 2010

Pin up beets

worthy of the side of a plane display. No pout nor bikini necessary.

June 7, 2010

I am thinking of renaming my community garden plot The Chipper. This is my 3rd or 4th year in this plot and I am still removing rubble constantly from it. It’s a heart breaker!

The slugs have mown the two budding leaves off my cucumber plant in it’s less than 12 hour lifespan. Meanwhile the Manhattan high potato plant right beside it that could afford a bit of a trim they turned their sniffer up at. I went around pressing the earth round my poor beleagured beans today, hoping some kind of pressure point tactic might have a chat to the old roots down there to charge skyward before the slugs are reborn.

I put two wee containers of beer in to drown the blighters, but my slugs are a very intellectual variety who may also be yeast proof. They are destroying my dreams of having one good year in this plot. Picture the scene all around me are thriving garden plots, year after year.

But in the only bit of uplifting news the alpine strawberry plant that is the very essence of a miracle, because it has thrived in this concrete  Chipper, had strawberries on it today. Edible ones. Yum. So the rain fell, I pressed the earth pointlessly, pleaded with the non appearing lettuces, grieved the gone cucumber and snaffled the berries, decided the rain was insufficient, lugged galloons of water across the road, left, not long after the rain absolutely lashed it down.

I am looking forward to greeting my ma’s vegetable tunnel in rural Ireland. I have these illusions I am going to be helpful in it. It’s a great thing delusion …

**

In a non gardening astonishing achievement today I managed to crash the car into a static dumpster. (Lest readers may think it was chasing me) and it is showing dent and abrasion. The combination of going backwards when there’s things beside me is not a sequence to be repeated. It’s over for me and car parks. It’s over for me and dumpsters too. But I’ve good potential for driving that buggy thing that bounces on Mars.

The only good thing was as soon as I crashed into the dumpster three cars in the area took off rapidly and i had a nice bit of space to carry on….