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