Do you like Garlic? Ever wondered why it is so expensive? It must be grown abroad in the sun! No! Now is the time to plant it, even in the North, and your original garlic bulb will multiply tenfold when divided into individual cloves and planted a few inches apart with the pointed clove top upwards one inch under the soil.
If you have an allotment or vegetable garden, fine, plenty of room to plant, but even pots and window boxes stripped of their bedding plants and still containing their potting compost can be reused at no expense.
Garlic bulbs to plant are available at garden centres and via catalogues; but my stock is from a purchase eight plus years ago at a Bradford Asian greengrocers, opposite our favourite curry house. Each year I’ve selected the biggest and fittest bulbs to save and plant. Now I have to open my fingers two inches across to pick up the bulbs. Over the years they have naturalised to my soil and local climate. They are so juicy people beg me for them each June when they are lifted especially for making salad dressings.
Garlic likes a cold spell, and if planted in Spring, sometimes it does not segment into cloves and remains a bigger single round clove. Next time you see garlic in the shops, buy a couple of bulbs. It is even said to keep greenfly off roses when planted nearby.
What about fresh juicy solid onions in June when old shop ones are held together by chemical upkeep? Winter onion sets planted four to six inches apart with their tips just under the soil surface to put off inquisitive birds pulling them out, will give you a reason to patrol the garden in the cold to watch their steady winter growth.
The same applies to Shallots (seven inches apart) traditionally planted on the shortest day to be harvested on the longest day. Druid seasonal poetry in itself.
Broad beans, usually ‘Aquadulce’ and ‘The Sutton’ are sitting nervously in their seed packets in shops, willing customers to buy them so they can germinate, after sowing, into life.
Winter peas especially ‘Feltham First’ and ‘Meteor’ sown now, will be a magnet to the taste buds in May. I’ll bet few ever see a saucepan, just an open mouth standing above them, grazing on the hoof as primitive man did before us.
If your soil or old bedding pot compost you are planting into looks a bit fatigued by the summer growing season, fork in some blood, fish and bone, or pelleted chicken manure before planting; choose a sheltered spot you know will catch the winter sun and be warmer. If you have the soil space, leave twelve inch walkways between rows to tend the crop. Come early spring, give these winter crops a boost with blood, fish and bone or chicken pellets scattered around them for the rain to wash in.
By May, you will have such early abundant produce about to harvest, your neighbours will think you had the Mediterranean sun hired to hover above your garden all winter.
Taken from ‘The Zoo and Logical Times’, first issue, Autumn / Winter 2001
In remembrance of Peter Parr 1949 – 2012
The planet tries a trick or two to support the field losing its force. Artistic talent is looking to the future. A gripping story will emerge on the sounds of movement. The tide of history turns against the word and lends an ear to a real world of experience. Music is a natural messenger.
The coiled mirrors revealed fake violins, depleted they vanished up a multiple structure. Times spinning breeze. The aeons founded shadows to commemorate the dawn of the 21st century.
An industrial modern wire fiddler witnessed rotations. Gyroscopic power from sounds. Hovering multiple gut radar soul miracles. An unknown sailor remains. We don’t mind lubricating strings. We are dancers for a children’s outfit, and we give a figure in the sky a subsonic hum. Solidity.
Visit a musical farce. The great Wizard of the West’s mystic performance will continue with his entry into Babylon (wearing the exact costume of a Newhaven fish wife). There will be a terrific assent and a fearful scene.
Mr. Earby sends respectful compliments to the ladies and gentlemen, and begs to solicit their favours for one last time, he being obliged to leave the theatre, on account of ill health.
There will be no admittance behind the scenes on any pretext. Mistakes will be cleared up and explanations given.
A long time ago a musical foot healer not overkeen to arrive on the treadmill, presented me with a possibility of the impossible….. A pause…… The lights go out…. Anticipation….. The door opens and in they step. There are no strangers at the party. In shoes that are very old they soar to the ceiling as graceful as ten dancers.
A preparatory hiss whispers up and down, loading the air with an open groove.
Fifteen or twenty times, some imaginary swinging door opened, unhurriedly and purely informatively, and with dreamy misinformation his words sank, just perceptibly, on the horizon.
At the center of it all is a hearty welcome. The change displays a positive light.
I am in the rain in China, with an old man in the woods, after missing the bus. All the roads lead to you, cosmic comic perfection, I have to get away from here.
“The concealed custard pie, that only money can buy.”
A dose of our own medicine for everyone, gives his soul light.