Thursday, 1 January 2009

looking back, looking forward

Yes it's a review of the greenpatch year, as I came to the conclusion that if now is not the time to do it when is?

It was in March that I ventured into the world of blogging and I am not sure why I did. It coincided with starting to get the patch going. Being on maternity leave and with the brain cells a little depleted I thought it would be a way to record all the things that we have done, what went well etc. It would hopefully show me which of the mad plans I hatched for the patch actually managed to be put into action. I fear it became a list of things that were eaten by slugs. In the spirit of learning from the experience this is what I think of 2008.

The thing I learnt the most over the year was don't count your produce before it is ready to harvest, something just might happen before you can get to eat it - the gooseberries were a good example of this - I still don't know what happened to them.

The best weather moment for me was the day I spent dodging spring showers under the tree in my waterproof. There is something so lovely about the sun glistening through the curtain of rain bucketing down beyond the cover of the tree branch. It was fun. I was full of hope with what we were going to achieve. But I didn't know that the rain would not stop and the slugs would have their own jungle to roam around.

The best produce we had in 2008 was our sweetcorn it was just so tasty and fresh, Owen just loved harvesting them so we must grow lots in 2009.

growing disappointment were the peas I tried several times but failed miserably to grow any, but there is always 2009

Funniest moment, I've been meaning to share this for ages, I arrived with the kids and laden with stuff. I put the baby into the red three wheeler pushchair and piled stuff on top. As I went through the gate one of the old boys was approaching in his car and gesticulating. He obviously wanted something and despite the kids and all the stuff I thought I would be helpful and open the gates for his car. More gesticulation later it wasn't the gates that he wanted and he was rather gruff and rude I think I heard him mumble about getting his potatoes in. I was completely frustrated and confused by his rudeness so grabbed the pushchair and headed to my plot. The old boy at this point seemed to have made a sulky retreat. I spent the next few days thinking about how unfriendly and rude some of the old buggers are. It was at a subsequent visit next to the club house I noticed there was a wheelbarrow that obviously some of the older members consider they have earned the right to use (this is not offered to us newbies as far as I know and is the shops to deliver manure I think). Yes you have guessed, what colour is it, red of course. I laughed, until I realised that the old boy really couldn't see my baby in the pushchair and this old boy is driving his car around town.

The thing I wished I had done most on the patch in 2008, is actually doing the marrowthon (not just buying the seeds) and other competitions for the open day I definitely will do the 2009 events and hopefully our corner of the site won't have to hang its head in untidy shame this year.

What I am going to grow again this year: definitely more sweetcorn and I am going to try and get the pak choi and kohl rabi to make it to harvest.
What I am going to grow new for this year: lots and lots of sunflowers
What I am definitely not going grow again: nothing really falls into this category apart from waist high weeds but I can't promise on that one!

I will be waging war on slugs in 2009 as I think that can lead to rapid improvements, I may even like many bloggers before me, try different methods to see which is best and blog about the results

It is really the end of our first proper year at the patch and I think I understand how to improve things. Next year I have to have a bit of a better show on our patch as rival patches have now been revealed during the year. No I have no intention to compete with the neighbours, but teachers patch is on the site and there is the other mum from school who made better progress than me this year and she has four kids and spent less time at her plot than I did. Arrgh... I resolve to have less of a scatter gun approach to cultivation in 2009

My other resolutions for 2009. This might not be what you expect as it is not a detailed work harder plan. No, I just resolve to visit Harlow Carr and the Malvern Show, there should be nothing difficult in that!

What now for the next few weeks?
Dig and tidy the patch before the weeds spring to life, then think about what we need to sow and when, oh and maybe I might get a new gooseberry bush.


Magic Cochin said...

Happy New Year! And here's to a good growing year in 2009. I like your summary of 2008 – each year is different and teaches us something.

best wishes

VP said...

Happy New Year!

I think there'll be lots of garden/allotment bloggers at Malven thi syear, judging by what I've read so far!

Rose said...

I can commiserate with all your resolutions for this year. My biggest one is not to let the weeds get the best of my vegetable garden! My biggest disappointment were the tomatoes which got the blight last year. Here's to the perfect garden in 2009!

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I enjoyed reading about your plans and laughed at the baby in the stroller incident:)

Anna said...

Thanks for your welcome message when I recently joined Blotanical. I loved your review of the year. I think that I shared that same dodging spring showers moment but in my shed - no handy trees about. Good luck with your plans for this year. I will be back to see how you are getting on.