Friday, 7 August 2009

Honkjazz - The Musical Allotment Part 20c

In our house they're called FUNIONS! We don't actually know what funions are. So we planted some Japanese winter onions (that concept blew my father's mind, man) that the lovely Jute gave us in December (I think). There was another variety but I can't remember what they were called.
(pssst Jute, what were the onions called?)
We weren't too sure what they were going to do having only ever planted normal onions (whatever "normal" means - its probably a media-imposed cultural trend or stereotype that people subscribe to to try and feel and like they "fit in" which only leads to the tastemakers sneering down upon them for following suit in the first place and they end up being derided by the very people that they crave to belong to but they'll bury that shame far away in a place where it can simmer and smoulder, simmer and smoulder and they'll look down on people even less confident than them, people who don't even have the confidence to try and follow others, people who refuse to follow others and people who just don't care about following others and deep down they'll end up feeling like they've betrayed their true self by following other people's ideas of what we should look like and speak like and what we should do and eat and listen to and how we should dance and where we should go and how we should behave towards different people but really all they've ever wanted to do is dance! Thats right, dance. All they ever wanted was the greasepaint and the spotlight, the music and the crowds, the leg-warmers and the geeky American-Italian keyboard players. World, get ready because HERE I COME!.....................................)

Sorry, sorry.

So the winter onions grew well but they weren't huge so come March time when they started to wilt at the top (a sign that they're taking up every last bit of onionyness) I thought it was time to start pulling them out. My reasoning was thus: they were small and didn't have much of a bulb on them so I guessed that they must be more like a spring onion. And whats nice with the spring onion is that you eat the green bits as well. The green bits which were starting to wilt and brown. So we grabbed the biggest ones and ate them all up. And they were good. And these are short sentences. I sound like a robot. Or an idiot. Does not compute.
Throughout the Spring (© Mother Nature Inc.) we grabbed the onions out as they grew bigger. Only the ones we'd been leaving because they were too small kept growing and growing and by June we realised that I'D BEEN AN IDIOT. THEY WOULD HAVE GROWN INTO LOVELY BIG ONIONS. YOU LOVELY BIG IDIOT.
So that was my lesson learned. Still, they did taste very nice indeed.

And onto the spring onions. As mentioned earlier we planted them in between the carrots to ward off the carrot fly. Next year I'll try planting them in between the carrots and the sky to ward of the stupid rain! We planted the variety BLANK in the month of BLANK (seriously I can do that all day) and unlike last year, when not a single one came up, this lot have done alright. They're still going now and we've been grabbing them here and there for our salads and stir-frys. Very tasty indeed.
And what a load of old hot air that was. A lesson for us all I think.

(Honkjazz - The Musical will enter preproduction and casting from October 2009-January 2010)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Honkjazz - The Musical Allotment Part 20b

And onwards in mega-post recap!

This one served us well last year despite sewing them far two thickly from the off. This meant that we couldn't thin them out for fear of attracting carrot fly. But they came and represented big style! A really good crop with a few monsters amidst the curly and the odd (seriously, why hasn't anyone mass-grown curly carrots yet? Kids would love them! OK, I'd love them, whatever). Pulling the carrots out of the ground last year supplied one of my all-time highlights of the Honkjazz experience - the smell of a carrot when its just popped out of the soil. Amazing, really amazing. Try saying that without sounding like you wear clothes made out of mung beans and wash your hair with your own urine.
This year we made sure to sow them nice and thin and put rows of spring onions in between to bamboozle the carrot flies. We planted the BLANK variety in the month of BLANK and hoped for the best.

Which just wasn't good enough.
The carrots this year have been poor, the vegetation is quite small and is starting to yellow although we've no idea what's going on under the soil so I guess we'll have to reserve judgement.
Oh too late.
Carrots you have been sentenced to FAILURE!

Note: I planted another bed and a half of Autumn King carrots yesterday so hopefully we'll have a bit less rain (just a little bit, just like, ONE WHOLE DAY TO PASS PLEASE THANK YOU) and eventually a nice crop. Carrots, redeem yourselves in the eyes of your God (thats us).

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Honkjazz - The Allotment Part 20a

Hello Children.

I trust you've all been behaving yourselves in our absence? Didn't think so. No rhubarb jam for you.
As with the last post the dates of our gardening activities have been lost in the mists of time (fog of ale) but so much has been going on that it would be silly to try one huge rambling post (because we've never done that before).
So instead of that I'm going to try and put together a few mini-posts concentrating on one thing at a time. The photographs will be randomly selected from that last six months or so if at all and the varieties of vegetable and planting dates will be left blank for Herb to fill in because I don't know about those sort of things. It'll be like Blankety Blank. But without the chequepen and book. Is that alright?

The spuds this year have been a bit of an oddity. Not the things themselves, just the growing process. We planted the early, second early and main varieties (which were BLANK, BLANK and BLANK) all at the same time in the month of BLANK (I'm loving this already). The growth-rate of the spuds seemed a bit slow and the plants were quite small compared to last year leading Herb to think that he'd panted them too close together. However, when I visited my Papa's vegetable garden he was complaining about his plants being too big! The thinking was that all of the growth would be in the plants above the ground and not in the crop under it. We'll find out when he hoiks his spuds out later on this year.
Which leads to the Odd Factor (reality talent show idea no. 21) - the main crop plants have died back as well as the early and second earlys. They should have another six to eight weeks left before they die back so we're a bit flummoxed as to why they've bolted early. I shoved the fork under a rotting plant a tilted the soil up last week to check and there are big ol' spuds under the ground so its not a disaster, just a conundrum. Anyone?
Whatever - we've been taking the potatoes out of the ground in stages this year just because there's no way we can eat that many potatoes (we struggled with three beds last year - this year we have four) and last weekend I grabbed the last of the second earlys leaving just the mains underground. They'll probably have to come out soon though as the rain has been constant for weeks now and I'm a bit worried that they'll rot.
The harvest has been good and the pink potatoes are very cool and magical (especially for faerie Pwincesses). The haul is never as much as I imagine it will be which is silly really - each plant has had at least six to twelve spuds underneath it which is pretty good I reckon. But there's always a part of me that expects the ground to be packed with spuds, every square inch of it!!! Thousands of them!!!!
Anyways - we've probably pulled about five or six carrier bags full as of yet and we've been using them in curries, boiling, mashing, frying them, whatever we can as fast as we can. And they're a good size for throwing at kids on their bicycles as well.
Next up - broad beans!