Category Archives: Object

March, almost without Precipitation

In the human settlement of Reading, the month of March 2012 was without Precipitation apart from on the 4th March. Even before the month was over it was possible for Ella Montt to gaze in to the crystal ball and see that the forecast contained no evidence that Precipitation would occur in that time period. The weather was and is beautiful. The temperatures seem perfect, yet a paradox exists, and within the paradox sits the object that is Global Warming. The object is almost a phenomenon, but at the same time it is still an object, a living, vibrant object, pulsating in a galaxy amongst other stars and planets. The humans, who existed within the object, were vigilant to extend the object so that Global Warming could continue on its path. The Warming that produced the pleasurable temperatures and dryness of March had the power to seduce the human population. Desirable sunshine mellowed each day as it passed. Some of the humans did not notice the Warming, because they existed in the state of mellow seduction and could not sense the dryness of the soil or the moisture levels receding.

1st March 2012 – Allotment Plot 326 – Ella Montt continued to cover the soil with processed tree products to act as a barrier mulch to decrease moisture evaporation. Leeks and a Parsnip were dug up.

Harvest: Leeks Blue Green Winter = 4oz = 100g; Parsnips Halblange = 6oz = 180g.

9th March 2012 – Allotment Plot at MERL – Ella Montt returned to the Plot, the anticipated sunshine was absent and the sky was dull grey. In the garden last night at another location Ella Montt had gazed at a large Moon, it was white and full, small clouds drifted through across the sky in formation. The sky on this particular night was a thing of exquisite beauty, the Moon a spectacle of infinite eternity. Beyond the Moon in further regions, many light years a way, new stars were forming. Back on Earth, the air that surrounded the Plot had a delicate refinement that was devoid of all moisture content.

At the Plot shoots of Garlic were starting to emerge. Broad Beans were not apparent. The Onions looked weak. Ella Montt harvested the remaining Leeks and then removed more Mint Rhizomes. The Sage plants seemed to be dead so they were dug up. Where the herbs had been removed, Rocket and Beetroot seeds were planted. The Bamboo wigwam was dismantled. The long Bamboo lengths were cut in half so that they could be stored in the rafters of the shed. Stones were gathered in to a wheelbarrow and dispensed to the wild part of the garden amongst the trees.

Harvest: Leeks Blue Green Winter = 5oz = 150g; Herb roots (Mint, Chives, Thyme, Sage, and Strawberry) = 3lb 1oz = 1.48Kg

14th March 2012 – At another location, a Sweet Potato was placed in a glass jar filled with water.

15th March 2012 – The day had started of shrouded in chilling fog, which had the gradually melted away to produce an almost cloudless light blue sky. At Allotment Plot at MERL the soil was very dry. A huge Bumble Bee murmured close by, it was in search of emerging petaled flowers. Ella Montt planted three rows of Broad Beans next to the Brick Composter. These Beans were replacements for ones that were planted in the Autumn to overwinter, which had never appeared. Next five rows of Peas were planted.

Seeds Planted: Rocket Esmee; Heirloom Beetroot Flat of Egypt; Broad Bean Superaquadulce x 1 row, Supersimonia x 2 rows; Pea Meteor x 60 seeds, Kelvedon Wonder x 60 seeds, Ambassador x 60 seeds, (Mange-tout) Oregon Sugar Pod x 60 seeds and (Edible Podded) Ezetha’s Krombek Bluaschokker x 15 seeds.

19th March 2012 – Allotment Plot 326 – It continued to be dry, a drought was in full effect. There seemed little point in planting seeds at Plot 326. The overwintered Broad Beans were gradually being nibbled. There was evidence of mouse activity. Garlic and Onions were slowly, slowly growing. Ella Montt demolished a mound of compost, distributed it and then covered the area with tree products (newspaper, cardboard, wood). A blue trap was unfolded, stretched across part of the Plot and then weighted down with wood. The tarp and the tree product mulch were aids in moisture retention, if there was any left in the soil at all, it needed to be contained and restricted from evaporation. Worms were sent messages encouraging their participation in soil maintenance production. Ella Montt had decided the digging needed to be restricted and weed growth hampered. There were no vegetables to harvest.

22nd March 2012 – At Allotment Plot at MERL, it was truly a hungry gap. It would be some weeks before any harvest could be contemplated. Pot Marigold seeds were germinating on the Plot and some Rocket. A Globe Artichoke plant that had been frost damaged contemplated revival. Ella Montt fetched the watering can, a hose pipe ban was soon to be enforced across the land.

24th March 2012 – In the fixed up green house at another location, more seeds were planted.

Seeds planted: Tomato Golden Queen, San Marzano, Rotkappchen, St. Pierre; Sunflower Tiger Eye,  Sunrise Yellow; Celeriac Ibis; Celery Tall Utah; Cabbage (Savoy) Marner Grufewi, Vertus.

Lawn Mower, Atlas, a Dead Bee, and Plant Regeneration

20th September 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Harvest: Oriental Greens Tai Sai = 2oz = 50g; 1 x Courgette Patriot F1 = 12oz = 350g; 1 x Squash Green Hokkaido = 6oz = 170g; 1 x Squash Green Hokkaido = 13oz = 370g; 1 x Squash Green Hokkaido = 1lb 2oz = 510g; 1 x Squash = 1 x Squash Red (Uchiki) Kuri = 10.5oz = 300g; 1 x Squash Red (Uchiki) Kuri = 10oz = 290g; a mix of Beans (Climbing and Runner) = 7.5oz = 210g.

22nd September 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – The sound of a lawn mower machine erupted close to the Plot. The driver drove the small tractor like object around in circles. The grass did not look like it needed to be cut, but the driver was programmed to automatically follow instructions from a higher level even if this meant abandoning an initiative to abort the cut grass operation if the grass was deemed not long enough to warrant cutting. On the radio* that morning there had been a conversation about the size of the ice sheet at Greenland as represented in a new atlas (The Times Atlas). This discourse it seemed had been happening in the media for several days. The concern was whether or not the ice sheet was depicted accurately or inaccurately in the new edition of the atlas. It was felt that demise of the ice was over exaggerated, but at the same time the depletion of ice and snow was a cause for alarm, an ecological change and evidence of the Hyperobject, global warming. Whether or not the atlas is accurate or not, Greenland is becoming more green, and less white. The obsession with the grass lawn as an object that needs to be trimmed on a regular basis contributes to the hyperobject, (along with a high proportion of other human activities), which results in the depletion of the ice and snow on Greenland and the rise in sea levels.

Ella Montt shifted her gaze away from the mower and searched the garden for any signs of the Chaffinch or Greenfinch birds, but there was none immediately to be found. These two taxonomic groupings of birds are in serious decline due to an outbreak of trichomonosis parasite in birds since 2005**. It would be safer for these birds to feed from seeds growing in the garden, rather than from a communal bird feeder, so Ella Montt prepared to leave many of the Companion Planting seeds as part of the Plot and a source of food for the birds as “naturally” occurring bird food as opposed to bird feed that had been placed in a feeder for the birds, where parasites can multiply and spread the disease.

(* & ** BBC Radio 4 Today program)

When the mower machine was gone Ella Montt found a dead bee lying on the grass next to the Plot. The time of this particular bee’s death was unknown and the reason of death also unknown. The bee was not squashed or mangled, but it was dead. Ella Montt removed the bee corpse to the Brick Composter to prepare for the bee’s body’s decomposition. The Carrot crop was harvested. The crop was a dismal failure. Another female flower was appearing on the healthy Squash Plant.

Harvest: Companion Planting seeds, Chamomile, Calendula Pot Marigold, Cosmos Cosmea and Sunflower = 1oz = 20g; Tomatoes = 1lb 4oz = 560g; Rainbow Chard = 2oz = 50g; Carrots = 3oz 90g; Beans (Runner) Enorma = 11oz = 320g; Beans (French Climbing) Blauhide = 2oz = 50g; Neckarqueen and Blue Lake 6oz = 175g.

29th September 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – The day after the Cultivation Field Postgraduate Symposium, Ella Montt sat resting in the shade of the Mulberry Tree. The weather had become warm again and was about to reach record breaking temperatures in the UK for the time of year. The sunshine and warmth was without a doubt universally beautiful to human beings (even Kant agreed). The plants that had begun to decline and fade with the Autumnal downward spiral towards death also appreciated the warm weather and started a burst of new vigor and unexpected growth. The Sun was prolonging the growing season. The danger of frost was temporarily halted, but will resume again later. It seemed a long time since the warm weather in April and summer had been rather cold. There appeared to be two Squashes growing on the most healthy Squash plant, and a fourth female flower developing, but the plant growth would need to accelerate in order to reach fruition (the first female flower did not bear fruit). Ella Montt was gazing in to her Crystal Ball and although the reading was hazy, she had a strong sense that there will be early snow in November, but this could be just residue of a memory left in the Crystal Ball from last year.

Harvesting was about to commence. The Barlotta Di Fuoco Beans were left to mature in to more substantial Beans. The Celery was also left to continue its growth. There were some unexpected happenings on the Plot, because of the warmth of the Sun that was allowing the plant growth regeneration. A Sunflower plant was flowering prolifically with multiple blooms.

Harvest: Companion Planting Seeds, self-seeded Nigella, Calendula Pot Marigold, Cosmos Cosmea = 1oz = 20g; Tomatoes = 6oz = 170g; Beans (Runner) Enorma = 1lb 2.5oz = 525g; Beans (French Climbing) Blauhide 1.5oz = 45g, Neckarqueen = 2oz = 60g.

30th September 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – The warm weather was continuing. Harvest: Perpetual Spinach = 4.5oz = 135g; Kale Red Russian Curled = 1.5oz = 45g; Oriental Greens Tai Sai = 4oz = 110g; Chard = 4.5oz = 130g; Beans (Runner) Enorma = 10oz = 280g; Beans (French Climbing) Neckarqueen = 9oz = 250g, Blauhide = 1oz = 25g; Beans (French Dwarf) Royalty = 1oz = 25g; 1 x Courgette Patriot F1 = 12oz = 340g; 1 x Squash Blue Kuri = 1lb 13oz = 820g; 1 x Squash Green Hokkaido = 1lb 12oz = 790g.

The Oak Tree seedlings continued to grow in pots.

2nd October 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – The warm weather still continued. Harvest: 1 x Pumpkin Cinderella = 5lb 9.5oz = 2.55Kg; 1 x Squash Turks Turban = 5lb 15oz = 2.7Kg; 1 x Squash Blue Kuri = 2lb 7oz = 1.11Kg; 1 x Courgette Patriot F1 = 4oz = 100g; 1 x Cucumber Tanja = 11oz = 310g.

Zombie Tomatoes, Fertilized Squash, Compost

2nd September 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – For the human it was a very warm day, in an exterior context, such as the garden, but not if placed in an interior, where it seemed much cooler and autumnal. Ella Montt crouched next to the Plot. Her body moved slowly around the edge, redefining and removing plant material, then the plant residue was gathered and deposited in to the Brick Composter. The watering can was needed and fetched from the Shed. There had been no rain since sometime last weekend, when there had been a fair amount that was an assistant in mud making for the Festival.

Ella Montt dug up the rest of the Potatoes. EB examined them carefully. The Potatoes were with out disease or skin blemish aside from a few marks of damage received from the garden fork. EB was satisfied with the result. Beans were harvested. Unfortunately, most of the Squash plants were dissolving and composting themselves in to the soil as a result of cold weather. The Tomatoes looked without blight, but were mainly still green. A profusion of Pot Marigold flowers were suddenly lit up by sunshine that fell to Earth and illuminated the Plot, but this illumination did not last for long and the vibrant orange flower objects were darkened as the sun disappeared behind a grey cloud, shading the Plot. Ella Montt scattered a mix of Chard, Lettuce and Wintergreen Cabbage seeds that are suited to September planting, in the place that the Potatoes had been extracted from. Companion Planting seeds heads were gathered to be saved for future Guerilla Gardening broadcasting (at a later date).

Harvest: Seeds from Companion Planting, Calendula Pot Marigold, Cosmos Cosmea, Borage, Chamomile = 3oz = 80g; Tomatoes = 0.5oz = 10g; Potato Eve Balfour = 6lb 3oz = 2.8Kg; Bean (French Climbing) = Blauhide = 8oz = 220g; Neckarqueen and Blue Lake – 1.5oz = 30g; Barlotta Di Fuoco = 4.5oz = 130g; Beans (Runner) Enamor = 14oz = 400g.

5th September 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – The last of the blighted Tomato plants were removed, some Tomatoes were saved from the deadly disease. A blighted Tomato appears to transform its flesh rapidly in to that of a Zombie, an un-dead Tomato, the fruit becomes ugly and rotten with decay putrefying other Tomatoes it comes in contact with. Blight is a deathly, airborne fugal disease from which there is no cure apart from fire, burial or very high temperature composting that will nullify the toxicity and eradicate the spores. The Potato crop remained perfect, untouched by the blight, as the final tubers were removed from the soil.

Harvest: Potato Charlotte and Sante = 10lb 5.5oz = 4.72Kg; 2 x Beetroot Bolivar = 5oz = 140g; Spinach Perpetual Leaf Beat = 7oz = 200g; Oriental Greens Tai Sai = 3.5oz = 90g; mix of Chard = 4oz = 110g; Beans (French Dwarf) Royalty = 6oz = 160g; mix of Beans (French Climbing) Blue Lake, Neckarqueen, Barlotta Di Fuoco, Blauhide and (Runner) Enorma = 11.5oz = 360g; Kale Red Russian Curled = 2oz = 50g; Tomatoes = 6oz = 180g.

8th September 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – Ella Montt drew sketches of the Allotment Plot with pencil on a length of recycled paper (30cm x 400cm). An observation was made of the drawing as it wrapped itself over the Bamboo frame the surrounds the Plot. The drawing or the paper was then folded in to the Brick Composter to brake down in to the soil. If art is part of all objects that inhabit the surface of the Planet, all objects being part of nature, whether or not they are shaped or unshaped by humans, then returning the drawing to the soil will speed up the process that art can be made by perpetuating new resources for human animation. The human world is overloaded with commodities; green businesses produce more commodities, which strive to be more centered on the best use of planet resources yet remain commodities. There is no escape (as yet) from the perpetual thinking that business has to thrive and economies must boom, as human breeding approaches the figure of seven billion occupying the planet. The humans forget sometimes that they are all animated pieces of soil and will return to the soil and compost when their animated time has run out. Meanwhile the process of humans desire for objects, (which is basically material borrowed from the Planet, then rearranged in to assemblages that become other material/ objects/ commodities), can extinguish other human and non-human life forms. William Morris lent over muttering words from his utopian novel explaining that humans realized eventually that the obsession with commodity and market growth would eventually dissolve. It was a dark and cloudy day, it became darker and darker.

Harvesting commenced: mix of Beans (French Climbing and Runner) = 14oz = 400g; Wild Rocket, Coriander Santos and Chives = 2.5oz = 70g; seeds from Companion Planting Calendula Pot Marigold and Cosmos Cosmea = 1.5oz = 35g; Tomatoes = 6.5oz = 180g. The Tomatoes at Allotment Plot at MERL were not afflicted with blight.

14th September 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – The night was extremely cold for the time of year. The fear of frost started again. Harvest: Courgette Patriot F1 x 2 = 8.5oz = 240g; Courgette Cocozelle x 2 = 2lb 14.5oz = 1.32Kg; Oriental Greens Tai Sai = 5.5oz = 150g; Beetroot Bolivar = 2lb 12oz = 1.22Kg; Beans (French Dwarf) Royalty 4oz = 120g; a mix of Spinach and Chard = 8oz = 230g; Beans (French Climbing) = Barlotta Di Fuoco = 2oz = 50, Neckarqueen and Blue Lake 4oz = 110g; Beans (Runner) Enamor = 5oz = 140g.

15th September 2011 – Allotment Plot at MERL – Ella Montt had experienced fear, during the darkness of the previous two nights. A sense of doom had accompanied the contemplation of the recently waning gibbous moon that hung first low as a golden ball close to the planet just above the human rooftops and trees, and then high, piercingly white in its intensity in the upper hemisphere with stars reflecting the white light in their pinpointed geometries. The nighttime temperatures had plummeted and there had been weather reports the there could be ground frost in rural areas. Both MERL and Allotment Plot 326 were in rural areas. MERL is in itself a place of rural areas, because it is a Museum of English Rural Life, yet the garden has some shelter, because the buildings on two and a half sides surround it. Allotment Plot 326 is on higher exposed ground that is wide open to the elements; there is no defense from the sky. The clarity of the cloudless atmosphere welcomed the onslaught of freezing temperatures that drop through infinity to hit the planets surface, but this time the vegetables plants were saved and the temperature remained above zero, for now. Parsnips would welcome the frost, because it increases the sweetness of their root, but for other plants frost would mean annihilation, a sudden death, deconstruction of their vibrant matter would become inevitable and a signal to return to the soil from whence they came. Ella Montt was aware that tragedy would need to be avoided, monitoring of temperatures resumed.

The early summer in April 2011 seemed long ago. At Allotment Plot at MERL, the one Squash plant that looked like it might support a fruit had yet to be successfully fertilized. A female flower rotted on the vine, whilst another was unsure if a bee would pollinate it. Ella Montt searched for a male flower to assist in the operation, finding one she transported pollen to the waiting female flower. Some of the other Squash plants at Allotment Plot 326 had successfully produced fruit, although not as many as anticipated, and also inside the fixed up green house at another location, both Squashes and Cucumbers were in the process of successfully production.

The Brick Composter had started to take on a plant life of its own. The bricks were accumulating a green covering.

The colours of green were beginning to fade, but were still punctuated with the pulsating colours of the Companion Planting. The Cosmos Orange Cosmea was flowering, its flower is different to the pink and white Cosmos Cosmea. Across the garden the established perennials were vivid in their autumn shades. Ella Montt thinned out some of the Pot Marigolds so that light could penetrate the Tomatoes ad ripen their fruits. Water was applied to the Plot and plant residue gathered in to the Brick Composter. Harvesting commenced.

Harvest: a mix of Companion Planting seeds heads, Calendula Pot Marigold, Cosmos Cosmea and Chamomile = 1oz = 20g; Tomaotes = 1lb 7oz = 650g; Beans (French Climbing) Blauhide = 1.5oz, Neckarqueen and Blue Lake 2.5oz = 70g, Barlotta Di Fuoco = 3oz = 80g; Beans (Runner) Enorma = 9oz =250g.

16th September 2011 – Allotment Plot 326 – Ella Montt had recently uncovered a large mound of compost that had been covered for a year by a tarpaulin. The Compost had broken down in to new soil. The soil had been dispersed, but not removed from the area. Ella Montt was in the process of adding more material to the compost that included grass, nettles, comfrey and other excessive plant residue that was growing on the Plot. Over the next few months Ella Montt desires to organize composting strategies at Plot 326 and digging will commence in areas of the Plot that have so far remained uncultivated. Cardboard Compost Lasagna will aid in the break down of the soil to assist in its workability. The next growing year from October, when Garlic and Onions will be planted, shall seek to optimize the Plot. This last year two areas of the Plot remained un-planted, 20011-12 will re-engage with the performance of productivity in order to off-set the lack economic growth in the public sector of commodity, the human obsession of which remains futile in the history of the universe.

Harvest: Squash 1 x Buttercup = 3lb = 1.37Kg, 1 x Green Hokkaido = 1lb 14oz = 850g.