I’ve just been checking the January ‘to do list’ and just under “Interviews” and “Collect two trailer loads of poo” I found “Order seeds.”

I knew I’d forgotten something. Nature doesn’t seem to  have slowed down because I had to look for work, and I still haven’t managed to “Dig out the vegetable beds”, partly because of the weather but also because the process of cutting back brambles to get at the ground, then digging out some impressively ugly roots in waterlogged soil while wielding a spade that seems to have about four kilos of damp clay glued to it has sapped my energy and I’ve been doing about two square metres at a time and then giving up and wandering off in search of lighter jobs.

One of these was to put leaf mulch on the beds: I have had loads of leaf mulch donated by neighbours with a huge suburban lawn and some trees, who couldn’t believe their good fortune when they discovered I’d take as many dry leaves as they could leave by my gate, so I’ve re-mulched all but one of the beds with more cardboard and and a layer of leaves deep enough to hide a small rhinoceros. Where there are less bramble incursions I’m using a ‘No-dig’ system where I put a mulch down on top of the grass and allow it all to rot down. This avoids messing up the ground too much and disturbing the layer of humus on top which apparently is very important. It also sounds much better than admitting I couldn’t face digging any more.

This week I was able to actually get the spade into the ground for the first time since December, so today I finally got myself into gear and ordered some seeds, and now the cycle lanes are clear I’l pootle off to Farmers Shop in the next town and get a load of potatoes.

If I’m really careful, we may even end up getting more than the slugs…

There’s been some movement on the apprenticeship front as well. More to come…

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