Food For Thought!

Excursus IV

We here on monsterinthecorner have been ploughing our own unique furrow the last eight years or so. In that time we have transformed a couple of neglected patches of public parkland and disused former pasture into a pair of award winning allotment gardens.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far; we rose to the challenge we set ourselves and this year is one of, if not the best from a harvest and return point of view.

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We began our allotmenteering experience and the processes of food sowing and growing purely as a hobby of sorts, but quite quickly did we come to realize just how important the provenance of quality and organic food is become, and over the last decade or so this has gained quite a lot of media traction not only on the national but also on the global stage, and dare we say –without any desire to scare monger in any way whatsoever -that food security is destined to be one of the major concern for all societies in years to come.

And just as we acknowledge the monster’s own creative bent in wishing all like-minded gardeners to celebrate the process of gardening every year on International Green-fingers Day, and just as we look forward each year to the gardening world’s own big showy celebrations in Chelsea, and Bloom and Malvern etc. we think it timely and appropriate to acknowledge the day that is 16th October: World Food Day.

Laudable, commendable, and meritorious as the plan and objectives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization may be in hoping to eliminate world hunger in 12 years,,,twelve years?,,,it is wholly indicative of just how far removed the understanding of geo-politic necessity  truly is from the man struggling in the street or the child in a ghettoised war zone. But that is a subject for expansion and discussion at another time and on another forum. We do however agree with what it says on the tin so-to-speak: Our Actions Are Our Future. There is little arguing with that.
However we do ask that if you read here,  be mindful of all those people truly hungry today, and there are tens of millions of such people: tens of millions of human beings with nothing whatsoever to eat or drink; tens of millions of people without access to the very basics of human respect and dignity; millions of children without access to even the most meagre subsistence. There are millions, and sadly quite a lot of post-modern computer literate-social-media-savvy- people cannot adequately conceptualize MILLIONS….
Our little green nation now exports 84% of all the food it produces; millions and millions of tons worth billions and billions of Euro. Our national food industry is our biggest industry by a country mile, and a timely reminder would be that we not forget that just over 150 years ago millions starved to death on this little green island and millions more emigrated because of the failure of one, singular, subsistence crop whence about the same percentages of other produce was being shipped abroad.  But, that too, is a discussion on another time, for another time.
We here on monsterinthecorner have been lucky with our produce this year, and the harder and longer we dig and rake and water and sow, well then, the luckier we get.    We share our gluts and spread our surpluses across family and friends. We know where our food comes from, and we’ve learned to appreciate the effort it takes to get it here.

There is and always has been great hunger on this spinning cosmic rock, and I doubt any one single organisation at any one point in time of our unfolding human experience will ever eliminate the scourge of human starvation, but those fortunate enough to have enough, on them falls the duty to share…Unfortunately want and ignorance are as widespread today as they were along the banks of the Nile 3000 years ago, as they were on our own emerald isle 150 years, or in Russia, or Persia, or the plains of Ethiopia as they were 70, 50, and 30 years ago, or Sudan, or indeed as they are in Yemen today or Gaza tomorrow.

WFD2018_Poster_H_ENWaste not want not,,,a morsel for thought. the link below will bring you to the relevant site.

http://www.fao.org/world-food-day

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International Greenfingers Day

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At last, something besides the weather to post about…

Once again we head towards early April, and it has to be, just has to be so much better that the year to date

Saturday April 7th will once again see us celebrate International Greenfingers Day. 

International Greenfingers Day! is that day each spring when we set to celebrate the potential that the new growing season and year presents.  It is a day to celebrate gardeners in their gardens, a day to plant up some pots and trays, or plant up a raised bed or drill on your plot.  It’s a day to take some seed sowing selfies as a record and have  something to look back on in late summer and autumn.  It is also that day when we get to enthuse and encourage other people to do likewise and sow something from seed or set, and hopefully introduce them to, and inspire them with all of the benefits of growing something for themselves.  It is a day for giving someone a gift of some seed, and helping them to get their hands a little grubby: a packet of seed, a small pot or tub with compost, a can of water and some labels.  The rest is in care and patience.

So, why not?  Gift the gardener in your life with some seed if for no other reason than for the day that’s in it, and watch the enjoyment as they get their hands dirty…

International Greenfingers Day! This is what it’s all about

 

April, come she will…

Early spring at the monster’s NEW corner

April, come she will, and the overgrown plot of land we signed for at the end of December 2016 is beginning to resemble an allotment at last.
There is still much to do on the monster’s New corner, but, at least we have some onion and shallot sets growing away in terra firma. We have also moved the onion seedlings out of our daughter’s polytunnel and set these in the ground and our cosmos are germinated and putting on an inch or so. The dwarf sunflowers have germinated, and all the fruit bushes we moved from our former plot in January have burst bud and the bees are pollinating the early flowers on the Hinnomaki gooseberry bushes; the summer John and April Queen heritage apple trees are about to bloom, and all six of Mrs. Dirt Diggers rose bushes are topping away with this year’s growth, and to cap it all off we have actually harvested some rhubarb form our new plot. We know it’s a little early as, ideally we should have left it a bit longer before picking some stalks as these stools were only transplanted in early January, but, we just had to, and what a sweet treat…the first produce from the monster’s NEW corner.
We’ve set the structures of our raised beds, marked out our pathways and mulched the whole fruiting area with woodland chippings; and last week saw us take delivery of a new shed: a new bolt-hole for the monster.
With peas, broad-beans and some new strawberry plants being set this weekend we’ll be busy as this year’s sowing season gets under way in earnest, and we are glad to say that we are just about on cue.
Although a little cool and grey for much of the last 5 days at least the weather forecast is for somewhat brighter and milder weather than of late, and remembering that tomorrow is Greenfingers Day, sure what more could any gardener or allotmenteer hope for eh!
Buy some seed…… and sow up a pot or a drill on your plot…

time to really get the hands dirty…Greenfingers Day 2017….

The Potting Shed
The Monster’s new bolt-hole… Our New Potting Shed and Raised beds
The 1st produce from the
Monster’s New Corner…April 5th

 

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Greenfingers Day 2017

Greenfingers Day 2017….

The Monster’s Face on Greenfingers Day

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Bunching Onions and Lettuce Seeds sown today..
Sowing the lettuce in the last raised bed
Bed for lettuce and scallions…
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Shallots beginning to out-grow the cloches

And so we’ve reached the milestone of Green-fingers Day.

Today we sowed Roja de Niort onions, Deep Purple and Dutch Blood Reds and White Lisbon onions, and a lettuce leaf seed mix which we also sowed last year and proved itself very successful.  We also sowed coriander seed…it was a wet, cool, miserable April day, devoid of showers..When it rains incessantly there are no showers, but at least we’ve managed to get all the raised bedded areas sown on cue; alas, no available space for a late arriving Goldilocks…