Monday, March 17, 2008

Feeling better now

I usually see feeling/being depressed as my brain's way to telling me I need to to make some changes.

So Thursday night I made the decision to get my life sorted out.

True to form, I haven't worked out how I'm going to do it yet, or what I need to do, but just making that decision has made me feel better.

Probably a good way to start is to be healthier. More fruit and veg (I already eat loads but more can't hurt, right?) and less cake/biscuits/sweets, more exercise, more "quick reward" type tasks that don't require too much mental energy to get my brain back into work mode.

And in that vein, the garden is my big project this year. I want a pond, a wildflower meadow/wildlife area, and an organic veg plot/herb garden. I've bought a healted propagator, in which seeds are germinating, and I've ordered a shedload more seeds. I've concentrated on non-hybrid varieties so I can collect the seeds to sow for next year, because I hate the idea of paying a vast amout to seed companies every single year.

There's a fair bit of room for me to play with - for an English suburban garden mine is pretty big (something like 1/4 of an acre), with an orchard (three full-sized apples and two full-sized pears, one young plum and one young greengage). Unfortunately we do have heavy clay soil which isn't ideal, but just means I need to only grow certain veggies, or buy loads of manure.

I'd love to keep ducks and/or ex-battery chickens for eggs, but Michael isn't keen. I'll have to persuade him, they don't seem to need much looking after - I'd fence off the whole orchard for them and build them a house (and a paddling-pool pond for ducks), and they'd just need feeding and shutting in at night and cleaning every so often. Easy.

Anyway, apart from the fact that I actually like gardening, I like the idea of knowing exactly where my food has come from, what chemicals have been used on it, whatever. I'd rather get my hands dirty and produce my own food than pay silly prices for tasteless, uniform veg that's been flown halfway across the world, which the poor farmer has been paid a pittance for so that supermarkets can make vast profits.

I'll take some pictures so you can see what the garden is like now.


  1. My parents have begun doing "raised bed" gardening. Dad built these large boxes and filled the bottom with gravel for drainage and the rest with good soil. Originally, they did it because my mother doesn't bend very well anymore, but they've decided that they like it because of the ease of upkeep. Perhaps that would help with your clay soil?

    They also have chickens (no ducks yet, but the alligator would probably get them anyway), which is a MAJOR production for them. Mostly because my dad made it that way. They enjoy them, but it does tie them down to being home at sunrise and sunset.

  2. Yeah, I like the raised bed idea. That would let me grow carrots! I love carrots. It might take a lot of soil though, because I want to grow a lot of veggies.

    I would not go major with ducks/chickens. Maybe 4-6, enough eggs for us and some for friends, etc.