Plippity Plot
Wednesday 17 October 2001

carrot seeds are so tiny!!

As you have probably noticed, the world seems overly complicated right now and I've been feeling that stress-pressure just above the middle of my eyebrows (or the third eye area as my yoga teacher would call it) and the things that are worrying me are beyond reckoning or control. At times like this there is nothing like digging in a garden.

Big-P and I are flat dwelling urbanites with only the teeniest of the tiniest bit of shady outdoor space which is useless for even growing potted herbs. My Kumquat tree greedily takes up the one splash of morning sunlight leaving all other plants looking very sad and starved. A while back my Mum suggested we all put our names down on a waiting list for a community garden plot. We did, and now several months later our number has come up.

Our little bit of dirt is around 2.5 metres wide by 3.5 metres long (or thereabouts - it's a little hard to judge). On one side we have a plot neighbour called Pat who I like and who impressed us with her dislike of our current Prime Minister and told us she thought the federal immigration policies were racist (gotta love a plot neighbour with lefty leanings). On the other side there is Rudy who scatters egg shells on his plants and grows things in cardboard toilet rolls and seems to prefer not to chat, which is fair enough. Behind us is the local skate park, so wafting about us are hip hop tunes from 13 year old's stereos and adolescent breaking voices calling out "rad dude".

The soil seems pretty good; dark and healthy looking and apart from some feral beetroots and some spritely weeds it was almost ready to go. There is even an already thriving strawberry patch which has me excited. Being allergic to store bought strawberries (not sure why but might have something to with the nasties that they spray on them) it's been a long time between strawberry daiquiris.

Last weekend we hit the plot - digging, planting, erecting of trellises, scattering smelly animal poo and pea straw... the sun was bright, the air cool, the dirt thick and wet. We planted beans, peas (sugar, snow and regular) and carrots and talked up big plot plans for the coming months. As we were leaving with blisters and aching backs other plot owners thrust bags of chubby beans and luminous rhubarb at us to take away. I can see it's going to be a good Summer...

Other exciting plot plans

1) tomatoes: Romas which we will plant on Melbourne Cup day, which is in November. This is the traditional day to plant tomatoes in this part of the world - by this time the soil is warm enough for the little seedlings.

2) a funky permaculture herb spiral: Big-P and I built one of these the last time we had a back yard and it was truly magnificent. The theory of planting herbs in a built up spiral is that you create a micro climate - warm on one side, dry at the top, moist at the base and cool around the back.

3) Rhubarb: Is there anything nicer than warm rhubarb and apple crumble? I think not!

in the tradition of pooh bear, milly molly mandy and all other good books with maps on the inside covers:

Interesting related links:

Ceres - who have heaps of interesting groups, projects and schemes going on.
Community garden links and listings
You Grow Girl - and in particular this interview
herb spiral madness : 1, 2, 3 and this little beauty


Last time : reality tv


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