This blog shows my activities and other people's initiatives. There are also articles that have been contributed.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

New Pages

The State of the Nation
It is not ususally my practice to make social/political comments on this blog nor do i want commnts back because I will not enter into any dialogue. You take it or leave it. In the general humdrum of life it is easy to get wrapped up in our personal 'stuff and not see what is going on around us. When I look around me I see people on the streets. I see people needing to go to food banks . I see people struggling to make ends meet becuse they don't recceive a decent living wage. I see an NHS in dire straits. A train system in chaos since privitization. Detaining people who have contributed on a nonsense. A chaotic brexit process causing a brain drain and companies wanting to move elsewhere. A government trying to gain non democratic powers yet even now shows it's incompetence.
The list is endless
However at least even if we don't always have the opportunity to influence the major process at least to take time to look around us to see how we influence around us.
There are organisations such as St Mungos‎  you might want to consider a doation.
if your budget allows.
Take a  look at  'What's happening on the vegetable plot. Don't forget to click 'more' to see the rest.
There are now new pages on this blog. By clicking on the pages link on the right hand side (half way down) you will find a variety of articles.
Page 1 Provides a brief introduction to the editor and an article by the editor on fish keeping

Page 2a
Paul has kindly allowed me to reprint articles from his website however I recommend going to see the full range of interesting articles. See address below.
Yet again the versatile Paul Brecher has surprised us with a Brand New Article called the Anomaly of The Meridians . As I found this article so fascinating I have created a new page 2a where you can find this most extraordinary article  Paul runs a variety of courses and you only need go to his website:
Page 3
On Page 3 there is an article by Paul Brecher. my Teacher, which is an introduction to the martial art of Pa Kua Chang.
A new article by Paul Brecher has been added to page 3 The Wooden Man Form. For more information on this please contact Paul.
For those wanting a different perspective  an article on food and Traditional Chinese Medicine has been added. If you go to Paul's site you can now find new additions  to purchase books on Martial Arts, Traditional Chinese Medicine
 These have been reprinted by kind Permission of the author. These articles and more can be found on his website:  You will also find information about his classes.
Paul also teaches a no nonsense methods of dealing with difficult violent situations. For more information look at this website.
I have just added a link to The Pau Chui , Cannon fist performed by Paul brecher
Paul brecher has also published a number of books. Two of these can be found on page 3. Go to his website for more details and to see a great deal of fascinating material.
The following link: 

The link above is an explanation of the origins of taiji from Wutang 700 years ago..
This will give a 'taster'.

Paul's classes are stimulating and hard work an a way to really 'get to know who you are'. Paul will ask you what you want and even if newcomers ask for the mellower aspects it is inevitable that they gradually opt for the more intriguing aspects. Together with that there is great comradeship in the class and a desire to assist people to enjoy the 'voyage of discovery'. Paul has also introduced his perception of Wing Chun

Page 5: Contains articles by the blog author. The latest is: The secrets of Drip irrigation.

Page 6
I have added a new page showing some of the paintings of Matan Peles , a resident of a community for adults with learning difficulties on Kibbutz mahanayim, Upper Gailee, Israel.

I recommend looking at these photos which can be purchased online. Every painting purchased is more support for the community. You can see more of his paintings  on their  url:   The site is in Hebrew but there is a translate button on the right hand side.
Under this article there is an article explaining The Israeli Kibbutz

Page 7 contains
an article by Morris Solovitz taken (by kind permission) from his blog: The Bilateralist. which discusses recent and historical events in Israel.
A variety of articles are posted on my blog they do not necessarily reflect the blog author's view

Page 8 There is an explanation of the Shaw Trust, a Horticultural Project for Adult with learning difficulties.
A brand new page has been added 'Poems by Mark Shuck' .  Anyone who has been troubled by squirrels in the garden will surely relate to the first in a series.

More articles wanted on a variety of subjects. I hold the right to refuse articles I consider
inappropriate and likely to cause offence.

Go to the following link to watch my neices Tanya and Lauren Seifert performing a beautiful performance of pole dancing

On the Plot and the Rest

                     Scenes from early 2017
 Many entries have been erased as I have found that the page can't hold so many entries
 A Happy New Year  and may you have great success in 'growing your own'.
I have made a few Resolutions for the New Gardening Year.
I have assisted a number of people on their allotments. Particularly people with less experience.
Due to my enthusiasm I endered up digging their plots for them.
This year I will ask people to demonstrate their technique and I will then show what I do if I feel there is a need. I will cotinue to visit and provide further advice if there the person feels a need. 
photos from other years The two Brassicae cages above don't exist anymore. I fount them too flimsy. A new one is being built from wood by a friend and fellow plotholder whos DIY skills are better than mine.
The one on the right was distorted under the weight of snow. The companies response that you take off the net in winter. That doesn't make sense if you still have brassicae over winter. I took the one on the right down as that too was flimsy but more so due to poor growth . I think it was due to the net providing to much shade but only a thoery.

Greenhouse on the top plot . Lots of Germination. First Early potatoes planted

3rd January 2018
I did some seed sowing . It is quite early however I can alway plant inside if i sturdy plants. Sowed tomato, onions (given to me by a Japanese Plotholder., Cauliflower - all year round ., Aubergine. Lit the Paraffin heater. 

5th January 2018.
Worke mainly in the greenhouse. Transplanted some salad stuff ; lettuce , pakchoy to the back. A bit risky as the plant can go into shock and droop. Generally it works for me. I tarnsplant quickly leaving soil clinging to the roots. I added a bit of manure to the vacated patch  in the green house . I intend plantin Melons there on mounds.

I moved the frame (which I will use to cover vulnerable crops) to the top of the top  plot.  I rotavated the top plot and on the lower plot around the back of the polytunnel and inside the brassica cage (yet to be completed. I took out the remainde rof the crops that were left in there as they had been chewed by birds. chopped the roots off the brassicae planrs and put the tops in the compost box.

14th January 2018
Yeterday I sowed some Basil. The lettuce i sowed in a tray is  germinating. I only have one paraffin heater going. emptied some  more compost on the top plot.

16th January 2018
Rather a quiet time now. I was on site yesterday really to check. This morning I sowed some Tomato seed at home. Seed I had taken from purchased tomatos and dried. I have one this before successfully. This is more for fun as I am 'itching to sow'. This and  tray of sal are in a propogator . I also have a sweet potato in  jar held up by tooth picks  with it's tip in the water. I want to try and get 'slips' from it. i haven't one this before.

17th January 2018
Transferred the remining salad leaf  (in the greenhouse) into a long deep pot . I dug out the soil  in the be and replced it with new with an underlay of manure. On the lower pot i gapped up the winter onions . By gapping up I mean reemoving from rows where growth wa sporadic and replanted the onions in other rows that had gaps.

23rd January 2018
I put in extra staging in the greenfhouse. On the lower plot i reconstructed what was left of the frame (which had been on the upper plotl ) behind The ptunnels.

29th January 2018
I felt despite previous attempts I would try and light the main fire area as it has become sizeable . I managed to burn some of it this time. I repotted some of the larger red cabbage red cabbage into lrger pots .  I also potted up some cauliflower seedlings  into pot I took  a risk and have planted out some onion sets as few were sprouting. I have covered the rows with a net to stop birds peckng at them . I will remove the net when they come through.

2 February 2018.
I covered the onions sets I sowed really early with a layer of chippings . Thi is an experiment and I recommend to normally sow sets in March.. I dug out the first section of the communal compost bo and loaded the mature compost into wheelbarrows for people to take. I placed some larger Red Cabbage plants in a cold frame to aclimatise .

4 February 2018.
Topped up my wifes raised bed. Sowed aubergine in the greenhouse (which  is heated )  and at home.  I sowed radish and Pak Choy in one of the polytunnel. In the gardening magazines temperatures for germination are mentioned . They are higher than what I have even in the greenhouse which is heated shows that things will germinate at lower temperatures. Tried lighting the pile in the fire area without success.

6th Februrary 2018
sowed two more trays of Aubergine. May attempt to grow ome outdoors later in the law. Nice to see new growth in the polytunnels. despite cold weather . put fleece over

9th February 2018
Potted up some Red Cauliflower (seeds of Italy) .Sowed other seed such as a tropical aubergine , tomato etc.,. Took two wheelbarrows of compost down to bottom post

15th February 2018
I haven't had time lately to add to the log.Yesterday received 14 ton of compost made from recycled waste for all of the plotholders to use. Rather a frustrating morning as the driver could not manage to monouever the vehicle. he ended up backing in. Other drivers manage to do it. I had to ask  neighbour to move her vehicle outside. She wasn't too pleased and mentione the smell from the compost . As a result I am trying to get the committee to buy a tarpauline . Even if it isn't a real answer it gives the impression that something is being done and keeps the compost dry. The tarpaulin can then keep the fire area dry.
I have been on site regularly bringing the leftover 'wet' compost to raise the level of the first plot.. I have placed re cabbage seedlings in a cold frame to acclimatise.
I borrowed the metal frame I purchased for my wife's raised bed and placed it on the top plot. I now have thick polythene which I will use as a cover. I will probbly sow peas underneath. Many seeds are germinating in the greenhouse which is only heated by a paraffin heater . It shows that they can germinate on less heat than proscribed in the literature. This year my plan is to have more criops available in January/Feb such as Kale and salad in the polytunnels.

17th February 2018
Both yesterday and today moved compost to an adjacent plotholders plot in orer to help her. I dug over some of her plot. No point laying compot without clearing weeds.
I sowed more tomato seeds in the greenhouse and  three rows of peas under the low tunnel I recently erected. Gaped up the Broad Beans as there were .
20th February 2018
Reorganised the shelving by adding plastic shelving. Rearranged the trays and pots. Sowed cucumber seed.
I moved the natural pond as I felt it  could be i a better position.

Planted first early potatoes today and put some Oca in pots to encourage growth. Wheelbarrowed some compost.

8th March 2018
Due to personal matters i have not updated the blog. I have been busy on the plots. Seeds are now beginning to show in the greenhouse  and i noticed signs of germination outside under a polythene cover. In the greenhouse I sowed Armenian long Cucumber and transplanted onion seedlings into pots and of course there are the regular tasks. I collected some red cabbage plants grown from seed......  moved a frame that had been covered with polythene to protect the peas. I set it up in the Brassica cage (to be completed. Took seedlings down to the new polytunnel

11the March 2018
Sowed more Pak Choy in the poly tunnel . Partially filled up one of the raised beds at the bottom of the site. The raised beds are meant for people with medical difficulties.                    

17th March 2018
Despite not writing I have been busy sowing and already a lot of germination . Move the pond yet again because I have put in a request to the committee to build another less elaborate polytunnel to house equipment and use for growing. I rotavated the area I plan to use. I have ordered some asparagus crowns to plant and sweet corn and cucamelon seed. I am still heating the greenhouse.
Apart from voluntary work at the school seems like I may be advising and assisting a vegetable gardening group at the synagogue within the complex.

20th MARCH 2018
Yesterday sowed Aubergine seed in tray as original Italian variety wouldn't germinate! Otherwise a lot is germinating. Sowed some red Brussels Sprouts.

24th March 2018
Brussels Sprouts  seed have been sown perhaps a bit early. I want big plants  so to give time for them to develop. Seems like some more Red Cabbage will be able to planted out subject to the completion of the veg cage . Today I filled up bags of compost made from recycled wasteto take to the synagogue for their vegetable patch, I offloaded it at home.
I straightened up a plank of wood which is holding the soil.  Planted out strawberry plants .
There were spinach plants from last year bunched . I split them  into smaller plants and planted them either side of the Broad Beans. A bunch of leak seedlings  have gone outside in one place.

onion xseedlings have been moved to new tunnel. Turned the water on for the site

The Brassica cage has not yet been covered . Fellow plot holder who is more knowledgeable on these things is due to complete it . I covered the top in a makeshift fashion as I had more Red cabbage to plant . In fact I have over and above what I need in Brassicae plants .  I dug over the area . The spade sliced through the dark soil like butter. Something i wouldn't normally bother to do .
Though a bit smaller I potted up some tomato plants to see how they fare when potted up earlier.
Gave some Red Cabbage Seedlings to a plotholder and teacher at the school where I now occasionally do voluntary work. I shall be going there soon to repair their Drip irrigation system which was damaged by people working in the garden and other. I may install an overhead watering system their greenhouse which I put together at home. The problem could be the pressure as it's the end of the line

2-5/ 4/2018
I have been to the school repaired broken connections to the drip pipes and installed an overhead system in the greenhouse which I couldn't test because the timer wasn't working. Water seeped into the mechanism plus the stopcocck through which water is supplied wasn't working (it was later repaired . Sowed seed today and transplanted. Took some brassica down to the polytunnel . Built a make shift shelter to grow tomatoes as an experiment

11th April 2018
The enclosure i built with a polythene cover had collapsed due to the weight of the rain on the cover. I have dismantled it  Pricked out cabbage into small  pots . Placed a small raised bed on the lower plot with the intention of using it as a nursery bed for brassica seedlings,  will cover it with polythene or a cold frame for now.

15th April 2018
Carrots have been sown on the area behind the polytunnels. 
 I have sowed chard and lettuce on the upper plot. Rearranged trays in the greenhouse and removed a heated leaving one 

19th March 2018.
Removed the heater from the greenhouse and removed some staging.  Sowed  some more celeriac. removed some broadbean plants sown in the winter from the top plot as they were niot doing well and we are not so keen on broadbeans .  
On the lower plot cut back some overhanging prickly branches. I 'gapped  up' (replanted some onions that were sown in the winter. I was surprised to find self sets (potatoes from last year) in the ground near the new brassicae cage as I was sure I got them all out. A learning for me . Perhaps I will sow more onion sets or the onion seedlings I have in the polytunnel as a follow on crop.

20th March 2018
More onion sets sown . I covered with a net  to stop birds pecking at the sets . I also planted some onion seedlings . Brought chippings down to put around the small natural pond. I did spray roundup on the slabs around the raised beds as people are not dealing with the weeds or find it too difficult. I helped my wife clear weeds on her raised bed . I removed the drip irrigation not wanted by some people with raised beds . I installed overhead water irrigation in the greenhouse to cool down the atmosphere during this hot period > I also think the trays and pots need more water. Brought canes up for climbing Beans.