Little Things

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Sometimes it is the little things that make the difference when it comes to having an allotment. All the wet weather recently has meant that in total I’ve probably only spent one full day on the plot since the start of the year.

In practical terms that’s not a huge problem, I’m ahead of where I need to be with digging and the soil is still too cold to sow any seeds, but it was nice to see that the Purple Sprouting Broccoli is just starting to show some florets.

Looks like there’s already a good meal there, and the start of a few more besides.

Crazy World

I’m frustrated and a little angry about the world today. It seems to me that the world we live in is focussed on bigger being better. That we need to grow, increase, develop, expand, and basically live beyond our means.

Have I had some sort of epiphany? Some kind of change of mindset. Well no I don’t think I have, I just think that the world is becoming more focussed on these things at the expense of what is right; ethically, morally, sensibly. That the rich will get richer at the expense of the poor, who will essentially become poorer as a result. It seems that politicians, whether they are local or national don’t care or don’t understand or don’t want to focus on living with in our means rather than always trying to reach beyond them.

I know that I’m ranting a bit but I was watching the video below of a lecture given by the scientist and author Dave Goulson. It’s worth a watch.

Essentially his talk is about the use of neonicotinoid insecticides in agriculture and the unintended consequences on bee populations, who are an essential part of the growing cycle as pollinators. It’s interesting stuff, but my takeaway moment from the whole thing was his analysis of population growth, and the need to increase food production (which starts around minute 49 of the video, if you don’t want to watch the whole thing).

Essentially the current 7ish billion global population is set to increase to about 9 or 10 billion by 2050, and it has been said therefore that we need to double global food production to ensure that there is enough food for everyone to eat. However currently we waste of 40% of the food that we grow, so we are already growing enough.

Other key points are that acre for acre, gardeners and allotment holders get between 3 to 11 times more food from their plots than an intensive arable farmer.

Enough is enough and seriously the world is just plain mad if anyone thinks that this is an acceptable state of affairs. We don’t need to continue to grow and expand, just live within our means and accept what we have.

Rant over. For now.

Allotment Update & Swimming With Dogs

I’ve been a little slack posting here, so by way of a couple of videos, here’s an update on some of what I’ve been up to. I hope to have some news on the job front soon, and will cover that separately when I do.

We took the dogs to Emsworth for a swim yesterday. Only really the first time that Ruby has properly been swimming. The video is fairly low quality as I didn’t want to take my expensive camera out over the water with me, so I was using an older one, that I was less worried about dropping, but the quality isn’t as good.

Our garden seems to have become quite popular with a certain juvenile magpie, he’s taken a shine to one of the fatball feeders (rain or shine) and his acrobatics trying to get to the fastballs is quite entertaining. He’s fascinating to watch, particularly recently as he’s been trying to work out if he can dislodge the feeder from the tree branch to forgo his acrobatics (he hasn’t succeeded yet).

  

Deer, Oh Deer

Walking the Fort
Walking the Fort

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about not seeing deer on my way to work in the mornings. I’ve been on “leave” the last couple of weeks, my official last day in my current job is tomorrow, which has obviously given me more time to take longer morning walks with the dogs.

This morning we were on our way around the fort when I heard something crashing through the bottom of “the moat”. Being Summer the vegetation is now green and lush, and it is difficult to see any distance, but I did glimpse the bouncing white tails of two Roe Deer. I’ve seen deer here before, but not that often as there are just too many people about. We’d obviously spooked them, and they weren’t hanging around, but it’s good to know that I still might see deer in the mornings.