Purveyors of fantastic sausages and diverting nonsense



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Here I post the day to day goings on round about the smallholding. Animals, gardening, cooking, eating, family life, mud, laboured pastiche may and will all get a look in here at some point. It's also where I post occasional reviews. If you have something you would like me to review please contact me here.


Neither intentionally instructive nor evangelical, it's not always pretty but if self sufficiency and / or schadenfreude's your thing you might like to stick around... If you like what you read please share and do leave me a comment if you feel so inclined. I love a comment, me.


For more of the same, visit the Chants Cottage archive


By Sarah, Jun 1 2015 01:20PM

I have plants. Growing. In my garden. That are meant to be there. Yes, after a whole year and three different sets of workmen, the raised beds are finished, full of the well-rotted manure that’s been hanging around since we moved here just waiting for its chance to shine and already sowed and planted with various crops: asparagus crowns, runner beans, peas, purple sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celtuce, purple mustard, fennel, carrots, spuds, shallots and beetroot. They are also already bristling at the seams with overjoyed docks and teeny nettles, the unexorcised roots of which riddled the manure heap (it’s not for nothing that Dock plants also are known in the West Country as ‘Carrie’s Hand’.) I have overhauled the small herb bed the contents of which had basically transformed themselves into a huge a raffia mat sprouting bits of grass and twigs, and have planted sage, salvaged lovage, thyme, lavender and garlic chives. My ‘surviving’ globe artichoke has broken free of its horrible pot, split into three and is now to be found, in its new triptych form, in the mud plain beyond the raised beds. In this area the children have also claimed growing patches of their own in which to waste all my flower seeds, fight over the one mini spade and pretend not to notice that the hose is trained squarely at their sibling’s visible pant band rather than the goodly earth.

Yes, the annoying gardening pedant types amongst you will no doubt be sharpening your moaning quills and be poised to scratch off a missive. Or at least be tutting slightly at the audacity/idiocy of my sowing carrots into manure. And any fool knows that carrots that grow in manure split into the many rooted carrots favoured by Beelzebub and his dark minions / the producers of eighties schadenfreude orgy That's Life. Well, cool your boots, Neville (for arguments sake the collective gardening pedantry wonks shall be hereby known as Neville because it suits them down to their perfectly friable, horse syringe / Playmobil free, pH balanced ground with all its tilth and nutrients) because I know all this. But I have done it anyway. And I shall tell you for why.

I like to think of myself as an ‘instinctive’ gardener. Put another way, this means I never take any notice of anything anyone tells me and always think whatever I do will be okay. That this approach may not strictly apply only to gardening is really not the subject for a serious gardening blog, which is very much why I don’t write one. If you want one of those go and tug Flowerdew’s pig-tail until he gives in. Anyway viz a viz comedy devil carrots, I am happy to just see what happens. Yeah, that’s how we roll. And more’s the point, frankly, after a YEAR of waiting to sow ANYTHING into ANYTHING I could not be arsed to faff around carting DIFFERENT MUCK and SAND and BLAH and taking the manure OUT and UGH. So the carrot seeds went into the manure and I shall probably have carrots the like of which Doc Cox would have given his best sparkly bow tie for. Okay, NEVILLE?

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