Tuesday, 3 May 2011

My seeds are for sharing

Not only a chat up line for a sleazy gardener, but also a new found pleasure from gardening.

If a runner bean plant is the gift that keeps giving, then sharing out your seeds is positively philanthropic.

Tonight I roped five curious, enthusiastic, but apprehensive friends round to the garden of veg dreams to see if I could stir a bit of interest in the humble seed tray and its potential. The aim was simply to say you can learn tons by just trying it out, watching, experimenting and finding out the answers as you go along, whether from experts, books or the back of a seed packet.

There was plenty of nodding and the odd question as I did my best to share my very limited knowledge about soil type, veg groups, and what grows where, picked up from experience, books and the gardening course I did in Bath. A burst of excitement came as volunteers tested the soil's pH but that was just the warm up.

Suddenly eyes lit up as the seeds came out. A veritable feast of beans, roots, chillis, onions and all manner of half empty packets.

The only comparison I can think of is 5 kids walking into Willy Wonka's new sweet shop with the lids off all the jars and permission to pick and mix...

From then on, I didn't need to talk (although as usual I tried), these kids were having their own special sugar rush getting hands dirty in the compost and conjouring images of bumper harvests in their minds. 

We ate food inspired by the garden, sourced from, um, Sainsburys. And chicken. Although we did dig up some new potatoes. About 10 very little new potatoes. 6 weeks growth is clearly not enough and the remaining plants will be staying in the ground a bit longer.

The evening ended with 5 proud new veg parents.

Thanks to Jess, Eleri, Will, Karl and Laura for making the trek over (in Eleri's case, the seeds had their very own seat on the train across the border to Wales!). Proud parent indeed! 

I was so into it I didn't even take any photos, so you guys can be thankful your mug shots aren't on here. 

Time to share the gardening love


Han said...

Been introduced to your blog by my husband. Enjoying it very much as I am also only on my second year of kitchen gardening. (It was my tip aboutthe copper.....;-) )

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

And he said it with such authority too! Well the copper protection is doing a sterling job for my squash so thank you for the tip Han and glad you like the blog.

Han said...

Well I think you are doing well to have even planted out teh squash yet...I have to do mine, also my beans, main spuds, peas,artichokes....do you want some artichoke seedlings?!?

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

Hi Han, is it too late to have an artichoke seedling?! I've got cucumber seedling or leeks I can offer in return?

My squash is mostly holding out - keeping a watchful eye.

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.