Monthly Archives: September 2012

The end

25th September 2012 – Allotment Plot 326, it was over a week since Ella Montt’s last visit to Plot 326. There was evidence of a very slight frost; a dip in temperature that had tinged a few leaves of the Squash plants with the touch of autumnal death that signified their end. However, a few more female Squash flowers were attempting to open and receive fertilization from airborne insect life carrying pollen from the male flowers; the Squash plants’ lives were not over yet. The Climbing Bean plants were unscathed by frost and still reaching with eager anticipation towards they sky and bean production. Tiny beans were in the process of forming from the bean flowers.

Rain had happened after a prolonged absence, an amount that was significant, but Ella Montt found when she attempted to dig more Potatoes in some areas the wetness of moisture had hardly penetrated the soil. The ground was still hard close to the surface; there was only a trace of moisture in the soil.

The harvest of green vegetable matter was greatly improved.

When Ella Montt lifted a newspaper in the shed she disturbed a Common Lizard. The Lizard disappeared further in to the pile of newspaper. The recycled paper product would be used as mulch on the soil at a suitable moment.

Harvest: a mix of Raspberries and wild Blackberries = 6oz = 180g; Potato Nicola = 2lb = 920g and Desiree = 1lb 11oz = 780g; a mix of Swiss Chard and Canary Chard = 12oz = 350g; Oriental Red Mustard = 4.5oz = 130g, Mizuna = 3.75oz = 105g, Pak Choi = 4oz = 110g; Broccoli Raab = 4oz = 120g; Climbing Beans = 2oz = 50g; Broad Beans Hangdown Green = 1.5oz = 40g; Sweet Corn True Gold = 3 ears = 8oz = 240g.

On 26th September 2012 at Allotment Plot at MERL, it was raining. Two magpies strutted around the garden. Ella Montt fetched the wheelbarrow and the fork from the shed. Within a few days, the allotment plot tenancy at MERL was about to be over. It was time to start digging up and deconstructing the plot. The Brick Composter was taken apart brick by brick. Each brick was arranged in a pile two layers high by six bricks by ten bricks on the grass. The pile of bricks was counted. The number of bricks was expected to be equivalent to one hundred and twenty, but eight bricks were reported to be missing and there were only one hundred and twelve.

Several things emerged by deconstructing the Brick Composter. Eight of the total number of bricks that formed the composter were missing. The lower layer of the Brick Composter had sunk in to the soil and needed to be dug out with the fork in order to remove it. Between the bricks many slugs and a few snails were living. There were slug eggs in the composter. Centipedes and black beetles were also living in the Composter. When the decomposing plant material was removed from the composter, the soil beneath it was found to be very dry. The compost was not full of worms. There were no red wiggler worms in the composter, unlike the compost bins near the fixed up greenhouse at another location, where vast quantities of red wiggler worms live inside them. The compost bin at Allotment Plot 326 does not seem to contain red wigglers, but it is a cone bin structure and therefore creates a different kind of habitat. The remaining decomposing plant material from the Brick Composter was removed from the Plot in the wheelbarrow to the wild part of the garden to unite with other decomposing plant matter.

The bricks were moved from the grass, quantities stacked in to the wheelbarrow to be transported across the garden and repositioned next to the shed. At that point, Ella Montt realized that eight bricks were next to the shed, which may be an explanation for the missing bricks from the composter. A memory was recalled that previously plant pots had been seen sitting on these bricks. Ella Montt piled the bricks from the wheelbarrow on the ground and repeated the process until the bricks were stacked in their new location. The role the bricks had previously animated as the Brick Composter was now over, but it is likely that at some point in time the bricks will be re-appropriated in to another construction because that is there purpose, meanwhile they will be a habitat for wildlife.

Ella Montt started to dig the plants out of the Plot. The first to go were the two Comfrey plants. Their roots were extracted from the soil. Ella Montt had made a decision to save as many plants as possible, but some would meet certain death in this process. Plastic transportation flowerpots were on hand to be receptacles in this relocation process.

27th September 2012, it was day two of the literal deconstruction of Allotment Plot at MERL. Some plants that were removed from the Plot yesterday seemed to have survived the night (in another location). It had rained and this had watered the plants in. Ella Montt prepared herself for the final dig up. Plants would be saved where possible. The day was sunny, with a promise according to the crystal ball forecast of rain at sixteen hundred hours. Ella Montt worked steadily; large roots of Mint were removed from the soil and potted. As the soil was dug others on faraway parts of the planet were examining what potentially could be a significant realignment of tectonic plates that could be even more significant than the hyperobject of global warming and global resource use that is unsustainable.

Ella Montt wheeled the last barrow load of plant material residue to the distant wild part of the garden. An oak tree sapling on the edge of the path touched Ella Montt’s arm and transmitted an image of Joseph Beuys standing next to his virtual blackboard. Beuys turned to look at the oak sapling and then shifted his gaze to the eyes of Ella Montt as she became ready to telepathically transmit her three-year study of the Plot to Beuys download system. Whilst the Allotment Plot was downloading, Ella Montt placed the tools back in the shed and collected together the plant material that was to be relocated. When the download was completed, Beuys smiled and nodded as he turned back to his virtual blackboard to resume his calculations. At that point Ella Montt left the garden. The Allotment Plot at MERL as such was over, although it will be recoded in to other forms of communication. Allotment Plot 326 will continue.

Plants saved = 3 x small Tomato plants; 1 x sunflower yet to flower; at least two x Cosmos Cosmea plants; Mint roots and 2 x large Mint Plants; 2 x chive plants; 2 x small Marjoram; multiple Celery and Rocket plants; 2 x Comfrey plants; multiple Pot Marigold plants.

Blackberry Jam and Global Warming

5th September 2012 – At Allotment Plot 326 cabbages that had been devastated by unknown predators moons ago had recently been producing substantial re-growth. The plants had now almost reached a point where hope of harvesting vital material from them may occur soon as long as predator intervention did not manifest itself again. The re-growth had generated from the plants stalks that had been left rooted in the ground. It would seem close to an allotment miracle if harvesting from these plants could be achieved. Other seeds that had been planted yet never germinated or never achieved growth beyond seedling state before they had disappeared remained elusive to vegetable reality and shrouded in mystery circumventing their demise.

It was a beautiful sunny day. The soil was dry. There was no rainfall and none expected anytime soon. Ella Montt gazed in to the crystal ball searching for evidence of rainclouds. Ella Montt fetched the fork tool from the shed and dug some potatoes. The potatoes were few and small in size. On every visit to the allotment it was becoming increasingly more important to water the vegetables. Ella Montt went back and forth with the watering can to the water source. Squash and Climbing Bean potential was still apparent.

Harvest: Potato Desiree = 2lb 12oz = 1.27kg; Chard = 1oz = 30g; Red Mustard = 2oz = 60g; Mizuna = 3.5oz = 100g; Wild Blackberries = 6oz = 160g; Raspberries = 1oz =30g.

6th September 2012 – Allotment Plot at MERL, the soil was very dry, plants were growing very slowly or not growing at all. Ella Montt fetched the watering can to assist the plants in their efforts. As they soaked up the water, the inaudible sounds of relief from the plants were almost loud enough to hear.

Harvest: A human handful of mint, chives and 3 Climbing Beans Runner Enorma.

9th September 2012 – Allotment Plot 326, there had been no rain now for days! Beautiful sunshine prevailed and extended the summer. Due north, in the Arctic, the ice was still melting. The reason for this extended summer melt had been declared as global warming as a result of human activity all over the planet. There was one more week to go until the peek melt process should halt and the freeze should begin again. There was now a forecast that the Arctic could be ice-free by the years 2015-16. This is very soon. A sense of inevitability in a time line of progression will bring doom to some species and life to others. These species will be both animal and plant. The scavenger human waited for the melt to be completed complying a list of actions to implement. But now, prior to the inevitable melt, a fleet of nuclear powered vessels are already operational, ready to break through the ice in the name of human consumerism, because the controllers do not want to afford the time to sail around the borders of the ice field. The total devastation of a seemingly pristine environment seems to be already on course and unavoidable because of human will.

Harvest: Wild Blackberries 6oz = 150g; Broad Beans Hangdown Green = 4.5oz = 110g; Potato Charlotte = 3oz = 65g.

Ella Montt’s extra tasty Blackberry Jam recipe = 1kg Wild Blackberries, 1kg fairtrade organic sugar, 1 wax free organic lemon, 1 stick organic cinnamon bark or ground cinnamon. Method: place clean jam jars to heat in oven at about 100c; simmer blackberries with cinnamon for approximately ten minutes; add sugar, dissolve, then boil rapidly for twenty minutes; add zest and juice from lemon, check jam regularly on chilled saucer to see if it set. Remove from heat and pour carefully in to hot jam jars, seal immediately, eat as desired.

13th September 2012 – Allotment Plot at MERL, it was warmer in the sheltered garden than beyond the walls of the enclosed space. Autumn was approaching. It had rained on the previous evening, the first substantial shower in weeks, but the shower was short lived and localized to a particular area, as was the habit of all weather patterns on the Island. Across the planet, in a different sphere to the nuclear powered ice breaking fleet, super trawlers from one land mass are poised in the ocean close to another land mass. The super trawlers prerogative is to trawl the water for living species that will then be ripped from their habitat, gutted and frozen on board the vessel. Ella Montt examined the Allotment Plot staring at the state of the plant life and wondered how these two types of vast seafaring objects were given human permission to exist at this point in time in the history and place in the universe? The vessels are part of the massive hyperobject known as global warming, but how much the vessels will affect the infinite space of the universe has not been calculated, because they are contained within the planet’s gravitational system.

A white butterfly, possibly a cabbage white, fluttered over the plant life at the Allotment Plot, but it did not settle; there was no brassicas to lure the butterflies sensory mechanisms. A Sunflower was growing out of the hardened soil. Before the rain on the previous evening, the temperature had dropped, bees were now franticly busy visiting the companion planting, not just the pot marigolds and cosmos, but also flowering wild rocket. The bees seemed almost aggressive towards each other in their pollen collecting activity and perhaps desperate to gain access to the flowers. Neither were ready to die in the cold yet. The fear of frost loomed closer to the plant and insect life. Ella Montt hoped that frost would stay away for at least a month if not more, because of vegetable production. A store of vegetables is needs to be accumulated in order to survive the winter season.

Harvest was once more about to be minimal. Allotment Plot at MERL’s days are numbered, time is running out, but the Allotment Plot will be continued elsewhere. Drought was once more overwhelming the Plot. Tomato plants on the Plot were still tiny and trying to flower. At another location, next to the fixed up greenhouse, tomato plants and tomatoes were growing and vibrant. At Plot 326 the tomato plants had rotted with blight early and Ella Montt had vowed not to plant tomatoes there again.

Harvest: Pot Marigold, Camomile and Cosmos seeds = 2oz = 45g; a mix of chives, mint, Celery leaves and Runner Bean Enorma = 5oz = 160g.

14th September 2012 – Allotment Plot 326 – In the attempt to remove potatoes from the concrete like soil the fork was in danger of fracturing. The Raspberries seemed to be dehydrating through lack of moisture. It was not clear if vegetable productivity would be realised or collapse in on itself due to weather temperature and conditions.

Harvest: Broccoli Raab = 6oz = 170g; Red Mustard = 4oz = 100g; Mizuna = 2oz = 40g; Potato Desiree = 2lb 12oz = 1.27kg.

19th September 2012 – Allotment Plot at MERL, the night-time temperatures are dropping alarmingly, frost happened in other places but not yet in the garden. Allotment Plot 326 was on higher ground and Ella Montt had been unable to visit it this week, she paced the virtual floor and waited anxiously to find out the fate of the vegetation.

Harvest: Celery leaves = 1.5oz = 40g; Runner Bean Enorma = 2oz = 50g.

The activity on Allotment Plot at MERL will be concluded on the 26th and 27th September 2012 when the Plot will be deconstructed.