DIARY OF A BLACK COUNTRY GARDENER
[in Stratford Upon Avon]
JANUARY 7th 2013
Hello again. I hope you are enjoying the last few hours of this early spring as a cold snap is at our door! In fact it arrived about an hour ago, thankfully though the snow isn’t sticking. Yes!! It was nice whilst the early spring lasted, but in reality, we are in the middle of winter and the weather has totally confused the spring plants and the birds for that matter! Come to thing of it, it’s confused me a bit too, but being as I’m a bloke, that don’t take much doing! LOL!
It’s been an interesting week in the gardens at Stratford. I have manages to remove a lot of old shrubs that I didn’t want there as they were old and scraggy! However, up until the last year I have had little to replace them with, but now with the use of the greenhouse I have struck quite a few nice Hebes and Euonymus, so I can start to fill some gaps. I have also propagated a lot more Michaelmas daisies and perennial Phlox too, so I am filling quite a few gaps thankfully! As soon as things are developing a bit more, I’ll take some snaps!
I had a few trays of Calendulas [pot Marigolds] hardening off in my planter bed, however, even though they are very hardy, I shan’t take any risks, so they are under glass now until this cold spell ends. Did you know you can eat the petals of the pot marigold flower? Well you can and they are used in salads. They have a nice peppery taste. Grow some, they’re a doddle to grow and it’s another way of getting some natural goodness in to your body, a theme I am going to develop more as I go on with this blog!
I have taken quite a few snaps of plants in flower so, here they are:
A nice showing of early chives! Yummie!
I am also posting an article that Kathryn shared with me [she’s our warden at Stratford care home] you know, the holiday lady* it’s an interesting article and this with other articles I’ll print really needs to be read, because some of the food we eat out of shops is useless when it comes to nutritional value, hence I am seeking to encourage more folk to grow their own, and it’s not only healthier, but in the long run it works out cheaper.
‘The lousy economy over the past few years boasts a silver lining in the temperate Floridian climate where I live. Some folks who lost their jobs have started small farms or expanded existing ones, many of them growing local, organic produce. While this is a fantastic turn of events, unfortunately, some of these farms have chosen to grow organic hydroponic produce. Why do I use the word “unfortunately” and “organic” in the same sentence, you may ask?
The reason is because organic hydroponic produce produces big, watery fruit that is very low in mineral content. In a nutshell, organic hydroponic produce is not nutrient dense food and is basically a waste of money!
The essential problem with hydroponic farming arises through its use of a mineral based solution to grow and nourish the plants instead of soil. Some hydroponic operations even rely on artificial lighting. Proponents of organic hydroponics claim that their produce is just as good as organic produce grown in soil. Such claims are extremely short sighted. To actually assume that an artificial growing environment could ever come close to the perfection of nature is just plain silly! No mineral solution can ever take the place of black, worm filled, organic soil that is carefully tended and worked by the farmer season after season’. [Sarah the healthy home economist]
So, how do you know what’s hydroponically grown when you buy it in a shop? Well, you don’t apart from the taste, or should I say lack of it! Your best bet is to grow as much fruit and vegetables of your own! DO YOU DIG IT?
*Stratford on Avon Travel Consellor
Anyway, if you need a gardener, or just want to ask a question please contact me on this post, on face book or on email@example.com, happy gardening. J