While I’m on hold

Yesterday, I went for the first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The side effects came on more or less as soon as I got home, which put paid to the rest of my day of annual leave being for anything useful.

However, that didn’t stop the garden from moving forward. Once I felt a bit more spritely this afternoon, I took a walk round and noticed that the rheum I bought last autumn is starting to poke through the soil. I’m now therefore waiting with bated breath to see how big it will get this year.

I also noticed that the blackbirds have further encroached into the dedicated garlic bed. This is turning out not to be the success I’d hoped it would be. Many of the garlic shoots appear to be dying off and I wonder if this is due to insufficient water. In any case, damage caused by the birds is of little import if the garlic is failing, anyway.

On the other hand, I’d finally got round to protecting the Nine-Star Broccoli with a cloche the other day and the pigeons do not appear to have caused any further damage.

The plant doesn’t look big enough for the expected three heads of broccoli it is supposed to produce each year but it is perhaps early days yet. Then again with my soil in its current poor state, I’m not unduly surprised.

Hence, after collecting the latest batch of manure, I spread some of it round the cardoon. Originally, I’d been planning to do this once the strawberries had finished for the season but it is looking decidedly bedraggled.

The manure I’m getting this year is much more decomposed than that which I obtained in 2020, so I’m hoping it won’t have an adverse effect on the plantings that are getting a dose now. I don’t have any finished compost to use instead, though I think I am getting into a rythme now in the production of such.

I’ve decided not to take anymore food waste from my neighbours who live round the corner. It is a shame that their waste will therefore now be going to landfill but I just can’t accommodate it. There was also the difficulty of composting the bags the waste was in. It might decompose in an industrial food composting system but it doesn’t work in heaps my size.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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39 Responses to While I’m on hold

  1. Lavinia Ross says:

    The garlic problems might be fungal if you have had a lot of rain.

  2. Helen, I’m so glad you got your first jab. I’m still waiting on this side of the pond. Now that I’m eligible the wait is three months, plus.

    I grew broccoli one year, but it was consumed by pests. I hope you have better luck. It was pretty cool (before the pest invasion). I love steamed broccoli.

    I’m glad you are still working hard to improve your size and your garden.

    • Helen says:

      Who generally speaking has been vaccinated in the States? I heard from a friend in Sweden yesterday that she is still waiting.

      There are lots of political shenanigans going on this side of the pond, so who knows if I will be getting my second dose in three months. Such a shame when people’s lives are at stake!

      • It’s tiresome having one’s government mess around with something that literally saves lives. Here we have a tiered system, and of course some people have taken advantage and used connections to get a vaccine before their time. We started with health care workers (or anyone working in that setting) along with people 75 and older or living in care homes. Then it dropped to 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk.

        It’s expanded to teachers, along with anyone working in an educational setting. I’m 61 so I don’t currently qualify. We’re a huge country, and I live in one of the largest states. California is home to 38 million people. As of this week, 29% of Californians have had at least one dose and I think 14% are considered fully vaccinated.

        Best of luck!

  3. I’m sorry you reacted badly to the vaccination. Hope things in your garden perk up. I have used up all the cow manure I was given and they are now calving so too busy to deliver more. However some of my compost is almost ready so i am spreading that instead.

    • Helen says:

      Not reacted as badly as some! Maybe my body just needed me to take time out, anyway, and I’m back at work today. Glad your own compost is coming on and ready to spread.

  4. Sorry about your side effects. For what it is worth, my 98 year old mother has just had her second jab which she reports as painless and with no side effects this time

  5. I’m jealous – still waiting to be called for my jab (here in Wales we can’t book, we just wait for a letter). However, Mr Snail is going for his next week, so my turn must be getting closer. Hopefully all your side effect will disappear very quickly.

  6. We planted broccoli and calabrese amongst the garden plants and the pigeons never troubled it. Once we started planting more in dedicated beds, they trashed it.

    I used to add horse manure to my compost when I could get it – accelerated the compost and toned down the manure, so it was a win/win situation. I think general opinion is that this is not a good thing to do – I forget why – but it worked for us.

  7. Hi Helen! Good to hear you got your jab and that you have been busy gardening!

    Just wanted to let you know that we have an AdBlock Leeds internal meeting on April 20th at 5.30pm. If you are interested in joining, happy to have a chat beforehand! You can message us on adblock.leeds@protonmail.com . We would love to have you on board, but no pressure if it doesn’t feel like a good time.

    Take care,
    Diana (AdBlock Leeds)
    PS Sorry for hijacking your post, but I couldn’t find the contact info.

    • Helen says:

      No problem ‘hijacking’ my post. Good to get the word out there.

      I’ll think about joining – simply because I do already have many commitments and am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. Thanks for raising the issue, anyway 😊

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