Saturday, 28 April 2007

Saturday 28th April 07

A relaxed but productive day, spent with my family in the house and garden. The main thing I did was to get the boys to plant a lot of 'Jack Edwards Pea Beans', a climbing French pea bean which I first got from Sheffield Green Fair several years ago.

However the day started early as I was expecting a Freecycler to come and look at the big tricycle I want to sell (he didn't recieve a free one, and initially took up my offer of seeing mine with a view to purchasing it) but he didn't turn up. However Chris the more reliable Freecycler who wanted 'hessian sacks or similar' arrived to pick up a sack full of paper potato sacks, had a tour of the garden and was inspired. He said he'd just taken on an allotment so I gave him a sack of compost and a small baggie of dried Jack Edwards pea beans, which I urged him to plant immediately. I have just recieved a nice email from him thanking me for my generosity and also for inspiring him and his wife in their allotmenting and composting.

My children had fun riding the big trike (my wife cannot manage it as the steering is weird, compared to a two-wheeler) and I built a woodpile and tidied the front garden a bit. Gill made a start on sorting out the conservatory which has gotten very cluttered and needs sorting before the tomatoes go in.

Planting our favourite beans was fun... I made up lots of seed compost from loam, leafmold and a bit of rich garden compost, and mixed it 50:50 with some commercial seed compost I found in a skip last year. I had rescued a large number of plastic hot-drinks cups from a skip on Heslington Rd a few days ago and last night washed them and with a hot wire placed in the embers of the stove, melted two tiny holes in the base of each cup, four or five at a time, for drainage. The boys filled the cups with planting medium, dibbed a hole and poppoed a soaked peabean in each one. They must have done nearly a hundered, enough for us and lots to give to others. They are too good a plant to keep to oneself, everyone needs a peabean as they are truly delicious, and easy to grow.

At 1.30 I set off for Will's house in Clifton, along the cycle track ('Route 66') because one of his neighbours had given him about 400 vinyl albums to Freecycle or give away... this was advertised on Freecycle and YorkLETS, as a music giveaway from 2 til 4. I came away with about 20 records, including some Queen (which I don't know that well but want to hear more of), an original Jimi Hendrix, some Pet Shop Boys, Ultravox, some soundtracks to musicals which the boys might like, and more. I will write to Will and his neighbour and thank them. Quite a few other chaps turned up and everybody left with armfuls of old records, all free.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon putting accumulated bits and bobs collected in the conservatory in several of the compost heaps, but I didn't manage to finish this task as the pile of cardboard, shriveled artechokes and sad onions was too big to get through, even though I continued after tea whilst the others watched Dr Who which I don't like.

My tea was good, though. I picked some chard and broccoli, and steamed that with thin strips of carrot, fried tempeh chunks and home-grown leek in sesame oil, added yesterday's cooked cauliflower at the last moment, and did a rich cheese sauce with red wine and stilton... terrific.

A quiet evening, just a bit of housework and my now habitual blogging which I enjoy doing.

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