March 2013

From My Allotment Diary (Tues. March. 26th, 2013)

March 26, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (2)

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imageI'm glad I live where I do - especially at this time of the year. Aberaeron, slap bang in the middle of Cardigan Bay, as far west as you can get. Go any further west & you find yourself wading across to Ireland! Sure we get rain from the westerlies that blow in from the Atlantic, BUT - and it's a big but - Aberaeron is also endowed with a micro-climate. Go down the coast a couple of miles from here and you'll find it's colder & wetter, go north by the same distance and you get wetter & colder! Our rainfall levels are much lower than the rest of the west side of Wales (with the exception of the Pembrokeshire peninsula of course, where all the early spuds are grown and frost is unheard of - lucky beggars). It's not only dryer here, but thankfully a lot warmer (all this is relative of course, we do get lots of rain and some cold, but the rest of Wales, up, down & east, gets a lot more of it - and inland the wee freezes in the potties under the beds at the moment!).

Whilst north east Walians, & their poor animals, are currently under snowdrifts of up to 12' deep we haven't had a flake of it here, it's cold & windy but DRY.

On Sunday evening we took our little grandson home. Cai & his Dad - our No3 son Alex - had come to visit us from the Friday night & over the weekend. We took them halfway home on Sunday, to meet Becca (Alex's partner & Cai's mother) who had driven up the other half of the journey, - some twenty miles inland, that's halfway to Llandybie in Carmarthenshire, which is only about 40 miles south east from here and is where they live. In Aberaeron it was +1oC, just twenty miles away there was snow on the mountains and it was -3oC which goes some way to proving what I'm saying about our little micro-climate in Aberaeron. Long may it continue!

As I've said, all these things are relative, even here it's too cold to do anything on the lottie, in fact it's more like the beginning of February, rather than the end of March. Maybe it's a good thing, remember last year? We had a heat-wave in March, with the "ever knowledgeable" weathermen predicting a water supply panic and drought for the summer. I won't forget for a while what we actually got! So employing reverse logic, perhaps we'll have a scorcher this year, either way we'll be told it's the direct effects of man made global warming.

Most of you who read my news-letters from time to time will know that I have strong views on this nonsense. Climate change has ALWAYS been there. As an example; from about AD 950 to 1250 we had what's now officially called The Medieval Warm Period. This (also called) Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) was followed by wetter weather MUCH wetter. Between then and now we've also had the "Mini Ice Age" that started in AD 1550  and we didn't officially come out of it as recently as AD 1850! Not a lot of man made CO2 emissions around in those days - unless you can calculate how much is sent into the atmosphere by candles! Our climate is in constant flux. We now attribute this latest "strange" change to our human influences - how arrogant. Sure we don't help the situation, but we are not the sole cause.

Having had that little renewed rant, I have to also say that we ARE acting totally irresponsibly when it comes to pollution, and the wanton depletion of our finite resources of coal, gas & oil. Not to mention the fact that we're also poisoning ourselves through the food chain by using fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides & any other "cides" you can think of, that are produced from these natural fossil fuel deposits. As a side issue, we're also destroying key animal & plant life (wait till our crops stop being pollinated because all the bees have been poisoned). It's a nightmare that's heading for disaster - the sacrifice of our planet on the alter of corporate greed and governmental ignorance & mismanagement.

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As it's a time to spend indoors rather than out at the moment (waiting for warmer weather to heat the soil on the lottie), I busied myself thinking about these things over the last few days, whilst resurrecting my knowledge of the great man Nikola Tesla. Have you heard of him? Many haven't - that's an amazing thing in itself, due in no small way to the efforts employed to make him vanish from our science text books by - guess who? The same people who are busy destroying the planet whilst filling their fat pockets & "Piggy" banks - at our expense.

If Nikola Tesla could have had his way we would now all be enjoying the fruits of free, clean, renewable & unlimited energy, and the oil, gas and coal reserves would still be safely tucked away underground, and for those silly enough to believe it, we wouldn't have global warming either!

So in a fit of urgency (and a bit of bad weather cabin fever) I decided to contribute my little ha'penny's worth to the task of resurrecting the buried secrets of Nikola Tesla. So whilst waiting for my lottie to come out of it's winter hibernation, I set about compiling a dedication page to Tesla and his priceless work; for others to see on the Internet.

Click HERE or go to http://sccambria.com/tesla  to view it

- whilst you're having rests from digging yourselves out of the snow - unless you live somewhere like Aberaeron - with it's now famous micro-climate for gardeners!

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From My Allotment Diary (Thurs. March. 7th, 2013)

March 7, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (2)

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The mojo is back good style after this little sunny period - now I KNOW it's spring at last!

I've been busy on the lottie. On the 21st of Feb I finally got "Big Bertha" pressed into service.

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I know it sounds a bit weird & corny but I really love Bertha! She doesn't fail to remind me of how lucky Stephen (my friend & allotment mate) & I were to bump into her at an auction. In fact we've both fallen in love with her - she's just perfect. This is now her second season with us since we eloped with her from a muddy auction field in torrential rain. A bit of TLC and she's been showing her gratitude ever since!

After a whole winter of sleeping in the polytunnel I got her out, turned on the petrol tap, gave her full choke & she burst into life on the first pull - as if she's only stopped the day before, and I hadn't even put fresh juice in - what a beauty! It doesn't get better than that with machinery.

The soil was still a bit sticky, but workable. Together we soon had the whole plot turned over. I didn't time us, but it was two mugs of tea from the flask & a couple of pipefuls of herbs later! That's just for me - I'm not quite loony enough to offer Bertha tea!

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Yesterday (a full thirteen days later) and we both did the same again - this time in the opposite direction. What a difference a couple of weeks of dry weather makes. This time the soil just crumbled into a tilth (sorry no photos - forgot to take any). In between our two adventures Stephen also used her to turn his whole plot over twice. I really don't know how we used to manage before she came into our life!

Yesterday I also managed to finally clear up the pots & benches that had been left over winter. A job usually done in the autumn, but did I ever tell you what the weather was like here last autumn?!

The poly-tunnel borders are also nearly done - digging them over will be a job for Bertha's little sister Miss Mantis, but that's not a priority.

Next on the agenda is some seed sowing, and if the weather permits I'll start getting my beds on the plot ready. I don't want to rush that. Doing it too early gives the weeds a head start before sowing - so it's a question of timing it right.

In between the two digs with bertha I've also dug over my rhubarb bed with a mattock and wheel-barrowed 6 loads of horse manure to mulch the bed. I'm quite pleased with myself! Thankfully, I don't seem to have knackered myself too much either - I'm also pleased about that. Last year was a real uphill struggle with the old health, so far things are a bit better. I put it down to the two bottles of Kombucha I down every week (click on the link under the word "Kombucha). No doubt about it, it definitely makes a BIG difference. A spot of Yoga next . . . .

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