Posts tagged ‘wildlife’

Silent Spring

I’ve just started reading Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, which is one of those seminal books I can’t quite believe I haven’t read yet. I feel I’m going to enjoy it. My sleep cycle is too messed up to permit any sensible comment on it, but I was struck by this sentence (p28 of the Penguin Classics edition):

Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that which is inferior or detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision to demand that which is good?


April 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm 3 comments

Sheep and strawberries, cats and peppers

When my parents moved to the country when I was about five, to live the good life at least at weekends, I was extremely excited about the prospect of the strawberry patch.

I was extremely fussy about vegetables, but summer fruit – strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, nectarines, peaches etc – were top of my list of favourite foods and reasons for being alive.* We went on holiday that first summer and I was assured that on our return the strawberries would be ready to eat.** My excitement mounted all the way home, and when we arrived we found that the sheep that were meant to live in the field behind our house had broken through the fence and happily munched their way through the entire crop.

I was absolutely devastated, and this is probably a not insignificant contributor to the fact that I became a dedicated frustrated urbanite throughout my teenage years, until I left home and realised the town wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and may also have been why my dad’s vegetable growing remained rather small-scale for many years.

This morning, I discovered nefarious goings-on afoot in my garden. Some creature (probably a cat) had dug up one of my pepper plants overnight and left it on the patio. I popped it back in the grow-bag and gave it a good water, but it might not make it. What cheek!

And a pepper as well. They’ve been causing trouble from the start. I had a germination rate of about 0.00005% and of that only one surviving seedling remains, and it’s still very much a seedling, not a plant. I managed to acquire three plants on Freecycle which are now happily, slowly growing in a sunny spot in my garden. And now, of all the plants the ruddy creature could have destroyed, it went for the least replaceable. Mr Sod, his law (again).

I suspect a villainous feline. I might post confirmed cat-hater Scientist Boyfriend on sentry duty with a water pistol.

But I realise it’s just par for the course. After all, if all I wanted was a steady supply of peppers, I could just buy them in T*sco…

*I only really liked one type of vegetable, carrots, but ate various others under duress and adored fruit. My brother ate a bigger variety of vegetables, but no fruit except apples. I can’t wait to have children…

** It strikes me now that that must have been late August, as I had my birthday while we were away that year, and I’m harvesting strawberries now. Perhaps I should allow Scientist Boyfriend to convince me to move west instead of north…

June 23, 2008 at 11:27 am 3 comments

Honey bees in my garden!

Sod suburbia, the comfrey stays.* Went outside earlier and it was playing host to some honey bees. 😀 Yay! Far more use than that spindly-looking ferny thing it’s smothering.

*At least insofar as it does not impinge on the welfare of my peas.

June 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

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August 2020
The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."