Last Thursday evening we went outside to join in the applause for NHS and other key workers, and to maximise the decibel level I took my tambourine out with me and bashed it with gay abandon. Being the silly attention seeking idiot I am, I decided that I would bang it on my head very hard, just for laughs, not realising that I had my glasses perched on the top of my head….ouch!! You know the little bits that go either side of your nose? Well they sunk into my forehead, a trickle of blood followed. Fortunately it was only a flesh wound, because wouldn’t it have been ironic, or embarrassing, if I had needed medical assistance from the very people that we were demonstrating our appreciation for, and who we are supposed to be protecting during this crisis? Sometimes I am such a fool.

It’s a bad habit that I have got into; putting my glasses on my head I mean. The thing is, I need them all of the time now for reading, I’m hopeless without them, so what’s easier than sliding them up on one’s forehead? However, I very often forget that they are there, and on a day like today when the sun is so strong I could easily burn holes in my head! It has become so habitual that even when they are not there I think they are, and I raise my hand to place them on my nose only to find them missing. I don’t want any suggestions along the lines of having a Larry Grayson style necklace, it ain’t happening! I Have become so reliant on having a pair of reading glasses close at hand that I have currently got 5 pairs on the go – one in the potting shed, one in the van, one next to my bed and two downstairs at home. I could do with at least one more pair, to live permanently in the toilet; it’s a great place to read.

The weather has remained ideal for working since I last communicated with you, so I have made some progress in the garden. I have planted all of my early potatoes, I planted out broad beans – there are already some that I sowed last autumn, but the pheasants and the jackdaws between them dug up lots of them, so there are loads of gaps down the rows. I will directly sow a later variety soon to follow on. My other main achievement was planting the onions, a job that I did yesterday and today. I don’t grow a huge number of onions, but is good to have some to pull as bunches, ‘green’, early in the season when they are hard to come by. So I only planted out about a thousand seedlings. I normally plant sets, but this year I decided to grow them from seed, so it will be interesting to see how the yield compares. I have early season leeks to plant next, and more lettuces.

I have an uninvited guest in the garden at the moment; a young rabbit. I have caught a glimpse of it a couple of times over the past week or two, but today as I was removing some netting from the cauliflower stumps it darted out from virtually under my feet and shot up into the derelict base of the old greenhouse, which is overgrown with brambles. I looked over the edge of the wall and discovered it wedged in behind a galvanised water butt. I leaned over to grab it, but the tangle of spiteful brambles prevented me from reaching it. I looked away for a second, and there it was, gone! I have set a trap, one that will catch it alive, and then I will release it outside the garden…..if it takes the bait. At just the time that I am planting out lots of vulnerable young plants I could really do without a hungry young rabbit on the rampage.

As predicted last week, we are now entering the time of limited produce availability. My cauliflowers and spring greens have finished, and the chard, spinach and pak choi will soon have to be stripped out of the greenhouse and polytunnel to make way for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and other summer crops. Added to this is that items that I would ordinarily be buying in to supplement my own production are in very high demand as the world goes crazy for…..well everything it seems. I have been unable to buy any leafy green vegetables for this week, so you are limited to the aforementioned chard, spinach and pak choi. Onions, carrots, beetroot, parsnips, swede, red cabbage, mushrooms, potatoes, garlic and ginger are all available, and I am hoping that the radishes will hold on in this warm weather, but that will be the end of them. I am offering small bunches of chives, and wild garlic this week. Both fall into the limited availability category, so at best it will be one lot per customer. There will be lemons, kiwi fruit and a return of oranges. I don’t know what size they will be until they arrive on Wednesday, so you will get either 3 or 4 to a bag.

I am making a change to the ordering arrangements; from this week I need all orders to be placed by Tuesday night. With the volume of boxes that I am currently processing I am having to start packing some of the dry items like potatoes, carrots, beetroot, onions etc. on Wednesday, otherwise I would never get them all done on Thursday. Therefore I need to know what quantity of each item is required before commencing with weighing up. I am going to have to be pretty strict in enforcing the cut-off so please help me out by ordering early. Thank you.

It’s Easter next weekend, but deliveries will be as normal.

In an effort to stay well I will continue to leave boxes on doorsteps or in your nominated location to avoid contact. Many of you now pay directly into my bank, which is my preferred method of payment, but I realise that not everyone has the capability to do this, so cash is ok. A few customers that do pay by cash have requested that I don’t leave change, so in essence they have been over paying; if you are one of those please adjust your next payment to compensate.

Right that’s it from me. I hope that you are well, and that you are able to get everything that you need. Do take care.

Phil

 

 

 

 

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