Our green fingered Skills Exchange member tackles growing sugar snaps in his allotment
Lucy-may brings sugar snaps from Guatemala in her lunchbox everyday so I decided I’d like to replace them with our own. I was having an internal debate recently as to whether it was a good idea to put healthy stuff in her lunch box. She might associate this stuff with school and never eat it again. I contemplated giving her junk food with the hope of turning her off it for life but that was vetoed. Then there is this whole other issue of eating raw food; there’s a theory abroad that cooking food allowed humans to divert precious energy from the digestive process to brain development. The corollary of this can only mean that eating raw food would dim the lights somewhat. Mmmmm…I’m sure the odd sugar snap is harmless enough though.
Planting the peas entailed forming a trellis made out of bamboo from Asia somewhere via B and Q (willow or hazel would be ideal if one had a source). Bamboo is an amazing product. Out in Asia they make everything from scaffolding to drinking beakers; the Chinese used it to write on and the elephants love it.
The bamboos I used were 1m long ( you could use longer). I formed the drill about 1m long. This is a bed of fine earth 8 inches wide. I planted two rows of peas in it, 1cm deep at 50mm spacings. I built the trellis over the drill by tying two bamboos together at one end and sticking them upright in the ground to form an ‘A’. This I did at both ends of the drill and joined them with a bamboo across the top. I propped it and braced it and put on the netting which will allow the peas to climb. Basically, it looks like a slender ‘A’ shaped tent. I covered this with another net to keep the boids away. All this netting I picked up at B and Q for about a tenner.
While I was doing all this which took about an hour and a half which included a small tea break and a discussion about Rolf Harris with Lucy-May who somehow has discovered that Rolf Harris will be at the royal wedding (on the 29th Daddy) and she wants to keep an eye for him on the television. Ok we’ll see. It’ll be that or the zoo for the day. I was dismayed to find that colleagues at work only ten or fifteen years younger than me did not know who Rolf Harris was. It signals to me the death of culture as we know it. I mean who has not heard of Shamus O’ Shaun the Leprechaun and Jake the Peg diddle, diddle, diddle, dum, with the extra leg, diddle, diddle, diddle, dum. I mean, Rolf was an institution for gods sake – a comic genius, visual artist, and inventor of the wobble board.
Then I took a moment to admire my handiwork, the trellis, my achievement; and I imagined a bumper crop of peas enough to sicken Lucy-May for life and as I reclined against a post imagining the draw and puff of a hamlet I thought that to be truly sustainable my next project would have to be to build a tractor from bits and bobs and downloads from the internet. (Lets just stick with the allotment. Ed.)
While all this was going on in my head, the COS was planting more onions from bulbs and leeks and planting cabbages that looked half cooked already.
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