Thursday 6 August 2009

Back to Basics

 I have a new allotment. Well, it is a 15f x 25f bed in a communal plot. I am so looking forward to starting to dig and care for the plants again. I feel like it will atone for a lot that did not go right this year. In August I would usually take time away from home to think about my faith and renew my commitment to it. This year however, that has not been possible. I miss it. Having an new patch of earth to care for might just be the path to a cure. It is a bit late in the year for planting, but that does not stop me making plans for proper winter salads. I have been thinking about what will survive its infancy in the autumn and live to give harvest in the cold, dark winter. 'Dominant' spinach is a winner, it will grow fast and harvest through to January, and 'Red Giant' mustard will make for a tangy salad leaf. It is still possible to grow rocket at this time of year, and it is much less likely to be attacked by bugs. Crinkly leafed lettuces are also in the offing, with 'Black Seeded Simpson' being a winner for the greens, and 'Merveille de Quatre Saisons' conquering the reds. I will put down lamb's lettuce to cover some ground. Okay, so it won't win any chef's awards, but you can harvest its leaves in handfuls and add them to almost anything. I have some 'Red Bor' kale to sow to impress the neighbours with its red frills, and help me pretend to be chinese chef genuis (it makes great crispy fried seaweed). With all that under my belt I am hoping I might be well on my path to redemption.

What on earth is the connection between pilgrimage and allotments I hear you ask? Simple, they both root you in your earthly existence at the same time as showing you the majesty of God.