It’s been a quiet and fairly lazy day – which I think is a Good Thing.
The Sage and I sorted out the greenhouse staging. Two of the greenhouses have none, as plants are put straight into the soil, or in pots on the soil (this is actually the best way as it contains their roots somewhat – for early crops and not too rampant growth), but the third is where I raise all the seedlings.
It is, in fact, three 10 foot x 8 foot greenhouses end to end, with interconnecting doors. The middle greenhouse has electricity laid on, where I plug in soil-warming cables. These are buried in shallow trays – the sort you can put a growbag in – and the pots and seedtrays are laid on top, then I have a framework above, on which I drape clear polythene to keep the air warm and humid. It is makeshift and there is no temperature control – if it’s hot I take off the plastic and if it’s cold I leave the heat day as well as night – but it is the cheapest and easiest way to raise the number of seedlings that I do, using Economy 7 (cheap overnight rate) electricity.
The staging used to be wooden and homemade, but a few years ago the Sage found that a local business was going to throw away a lighting system, the framework of which he could see could be converted. I’ll have to take a picture of this, which will be easier than a description. And recently he was able to get hold of some staging that someone had used for their greenhouse-full of cacti, so at last all our slightly rotting wooden stuff has been disposed of. Well, no. I suggested we don’t break it up yet, just in case I can use it elsewhere. Blimey, I’m turning into a clone of the Sage. But, like many converts, worse, for he would have taken it apart. And used the wood as fuel, I expect. I think I remember N1gella L@wson once saying of herself, that she is extravagant but not wasteful. I rather appreciated the description.
Tonight, a simple meal. Lamb raised on our field: progeny of a few sheep, a hobby for the farmer, we don’t charge him grazing rent as they keep the ground in good heart, but it’s beautiful, slowly and naturally reared meat – we butchered it ourselves a while ago, as you may remember (no idea how much you take what I write to heart, I tend to remember this sort of thing once read). This is a loin of lamb, with which we’ll eat roasted pumpkin, garlic, shallot and red pepper and Egyptian new potatoes. Yes, I know. Zero food miles for the lamb* and the homegrown pumpkin**, whole lots for the spuds. Then we’ll have rhubarb, cooked with marmalade and topped with a flapjack*** mixture.
Tomorrow, back to a very pleasant grindstone. DV***, of course.
*There is an abattoir on the edge of the village.
**Only two pumpkins left. One butternut squash and one large Blue Hubbard. Time to cook them, tonight’s was just going a little soft inside.
***I only discovered today that flapjacks are pancakes in America. Here they are flat chewy biscuits made of rolled oats, sugar, syrup and butter, melted, mixed and baked.
****DV – Deo Volente – God Willing.