Tag Archives: Global Warming

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.

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.