So another day looking out at the kitchen garden, as I write, and quietly formulating what needs to be done over the coming month and the Spring. At some point I need to clean and tidy our small greenhouse but keep putting it off. Thinking back over the 27 years since we moved into this house I always think of mid-January and February as months when the ground is so hard with frost that it was best to plant Garlic and Onions in advance. Garlic needs a period of cold as does Rhubarb. Now I’m worrying that the ground is so wet that the Garlic crop, which is beginning to show, will rot. The weather has been so mild that Rhubarb has begun to sprout – which is not a good sign at all. Our hardy Leek crop has started bolting too. All of which raises questions about whether the changing weather patterns will lead to these crops being unviable. So much for global warming and the benefits of a Mediterranean climate! No doubt growers will adapt but what other changes will the unpredictability of our weather bring? Continue reading Roots


So another gale…


So another gale with yet another forgettable name is due to hit Britain. The river is in spate again and I’ve watched as the torrential downpours have discoloured the flood waters. The colour is determined by the level of soil, among other things, that is being carried from the land and hills that surround us. The colour of the river is an indicator of the continuing depletion of the lands soil and nutrient. The calls to slow the flow of rivers during periods of prolonged and heavy rain is important not just because of its impact on the towns and villages “downstream” but also on the long term health and sustainability of the soil and land on which we depend for so much. The need for tree planting on the hills is just one aspect of what needs to be done. But the campaigns focus on flood prevention misses something of equal if not greater importance. Soil loss and deprivation of soil health. The “importance of the soil and its health” has been raised over the past year. It seems odd that it’s felt that this has been “overlooked”. Continue reading So another gale…