It has now been two year since the horticultural hobbit blog was born. You can see the introduction and about here https://horticulturalhobbit.com/about/ The blog is two years old, and I have been on the plot now for approximately three years. We are now going into the fourth year of plot growing. The blog has come a long long way since it first came on line.
I have been sowing seeds for just under five years, nearly as long as I have been a qualified teacher. I actually stared sowing during a May bank Holiday weekend in 2009. I actually remember sowing thirty cayenne chilli seeds and minibel tomatoes. They are somewhere in the recesses of the archives actually. Prior to that, I hadn’t really given gardening or growing your own much thought. At that time, I was feeling stressed and worried. I was coming to the end of the inital teaching training period and had not gainful employment for that Autumn. So sowing seeds seemed a good a distraction as any really.
At that point, I was container gardener. I hogged one side of Dad’s garden, and built up one by one, a line of pots from Poundland. We had three running bean plants, some lettuce in a green scrappy grow bag. I remember picking those running beans. And slightly wonky, question mark shaped dwarf french beans. Cheap compost too, as I wasn’t exactly flush. Then came a week tomato greenhouse, to cover a rather dismal aubergine. I had graduated to aubergine by then,by way of experiment. I had a lot to learn, onions and cabbages were sown and plugged in when they ought perhaos not be.
Being a geek, i needed a book to help me, and I found one. Dipped in and out of it, it is Alan Titchmarsh’s kitchen garden book. I still have it, and do refer to it from time to time. When summer ended, the autumn came and I felt rather sad that nothing would grow over the winter. I kept going, and the in the following spring, found out about the local allotments. Quite literally a stones throw away. I may have inadvertently ‘bribed’ the allotment secretary. I had too many onions and not enough space in Dad’s garden. Putting my name down, I paced up and down for five months. November came, and I had a plot. Half of one at that stage. Two weeks were required to clear it all. Luckily, the half plot had been sprayed with weedkiller so once everything was dried and dead it just need pulling up and away.
This feels a very long long time ago. During the time that has passed, I have learned a great deal. What turned out to be a small scale experimental study, has grown dramatically. I had not realised just how much I would learn, and how the experiment would develop.
When it came to starting the blog, I didn’t intend to just keep a record. I wanted to share, and I was and am, proud of what I grow. Especially, if it is edible. In sharing, if I had something that wasn’t working, or didn’t happen. The chances are, someone else was likely to have a similar issue. Plus why struggle, there is no shame in asking for help. I have found fellow allotmenteers, readers across the world, incredibly helpful. Always willing to share.
You do get the odd one or two who might tut and be harbingers of doom, but for the most part, people are really supportive. Sharing, is always good. Whilst I am not exactly writing a Psychological study,and this isn’t exactly a ground breaking bit of research. Oh there is a pun in there some where. I do like to share things, be it successful or not, In the vain hope that someone somewhere might get something from it. No matter how inane it might. I still treat it all as an experiment. I’m not sure how this would all work as a research project. Would there have to be an ethics proposal? I do have to exterminate pests. There are pitfalls and positives. How boring would it be, if we had all the answers, and I didn’t learn anything. In science, we get proof of something, and other things fail miserably.
I also blog as I enjoy what I do on the veggie plot. There are some instances, where I don’t enjoy it. I mean, pulling up weeds, I hate that with a passion. Especially when it is raining, and the ground is sodden. I also believe in what i do. That might sound like a sales pitch, it really isn’t. Some folks probably would’t grow a single seed as it doesn’t interest them. As mentioned previously, I wouldn’t have. I just didn’t.
It never ceases to surprise me where the blog gets read. Perhaps I mis-underestimated the reach of the world wide web. That or there are lots of spam bots, I don’t know.