Social history website

So damp over the last few weeks, there's been little chance to do anything on the allotment. So what's been occupying me?

I've been building a social history website all about St Ives. It's such a beautiful little town with an ancient history. Quite a bit of my time has been spent transcribing newspaper reports from 100 years ago mentioning St Ives in local and national newspapers. 

Seems so much further back in time. Transportation to Australia for minor offences, and public whipping. World War 1 seems to have crept up unannounced locally, but pretty soon all the town was taken up with military manoeuvrings. Poignant letters from sons at the Front. And the first news of casualties and deaths in battle.

If you're interested in that type of thing, click the image above to go to the website.

Vegetables to plant in October

October is a forward-looking month. Time to plan for spring. So here's a list of vegetables to plant now.

Garlic cloves are best planted in Autumn. They benefit from a good dose of frost. Don't need much tending once in, just keep the weeds at bay, water when dry from late spring and cut off any stalks that appear. Read more >

Broad beans
Autumn sown broad beans mature a good month ahead of spring-sown varieties and are more resistant to mildew. Sow two inches deep, eight inches apart. Support with canes as they grow. Water as flowers appear and once a fortnight thereafter.

Sow Senshyu semi globe yellow seeds now for perfectly sized onions next July. One packet will supply enough onions for you and all the family. Read more >

Still a couple of weeks left to sow spinach for a nutritious, tasty and trouble-free crop over winter. Read more >

St Ives Flower & Produce Show 2015

The summary, exhibitor results and photos of this year's show are now available, learn more >

Zen and the art of weeding

Few things are more satisfying than doing a bit of weeding. Why? Because it achieves on all the important levels. So it...
  • Makes you slow down
  • Compels you to take notice
  • Returns a sense of achievement

Really? Just try it. Of course, it's more satisfying if you've got good alluvial soil and the weeds are all annuals. So much easier to pull. But even if your soil is clay and it's full of couch grass, it's still worth the effort. Will just take longer. And who else is going to do it?

So take a couple of hours out. Pack a snack and flask for a half time break. Put the radio on low volume. Get comfortable. Slowly and carefully work away. You'll be surprised what progress you make and how restful the work is. And to quote from the original 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' by Robert M Pirsig...
We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with the emphasis on 'good' rather than on 'time'...

St Ives Flower & Produce Show 2015

Getting to the exciting stage!

Posters all around town. Programmes available to pick up at West End Stores, St Ives Town Council offices, the Corn Exchange, St Ives Library and the Farm Club. Big banner goes on The Waits railings in a week.

Just waiting for the first of 400+ exhibit entries to come in by the deadline date of Monday 31 August. No doubt it will be the usual last minute rush. Always amazes me that almost all the entries come in over the last two days. With cars frequently drawing up outside the house for just a few minutes, the neighbours must wonder what's going on.

Will we get 400 entries as last year? Or 700 for the previous year and all the problems of squeezing the exhibits in the hall. How about more than 700? And that's the exciting bit. Won't know until a mere four days before show day!

Lots more information at the show website, including a link to download the online programme.

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