Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Wednesday, 15th August, 2007
OUR GARDEN is now getting so productive that it looks as if we'll be more than self-sufficient in home-grown veg and, courtesy of my mum, fruit, until October, so I’ve just phoned Organics to You, our local supplier, to cancel our weekly delivery until then.
This afternoon Barbara and I took the nets off the Brussels sprouts and broccoli and the rabbit-proof chicken-wire barriers from around the wigwams of beans. Our crops look as if they should be able to stand up for themselves now but I had to rescue two large white butterflies that had got stuck in folds in the netting, so I hope we don’t have caterpillars nibbling our crops to pieces.
It will be easier to harvest and weed without the encumbrance of the netting.
Barbara took as many French climbing beans and scarlet runners as she could reach while I delved amongst the courgettes and cut the larger ones to stop them racing away and growing into green marrows.
So here’s the menu, all from the garden and most picked just an hour or so before we ate;
Herb dip (chives, mint and lovage) with cucumber and carrots cut into dip-sticks
Kestrel potatoes, climbing French beans, courgettes and cod
(OK, so the cod wasn’t from the garden)
I had so much difficulty installing the new water butt on the patio that at one stage I actually got as far as ringing the plumber, though he wasn’t in at the time, so I’m delighted at how efficient it has proved to be. It was brim full last night, or full to within 10 mm of the brim to be precise, thanks to checking with a spirit level before I cut into the drain-pipe. I filled buckets from it and used them to top up the pond, which has got rather low recently. By the time the butt was about half empty, I got fed up of trailing back and forth.
When I looked in again today the butt was brim full again.
We've got a butt by the shed, the extension roof and one actually in the greenhouse but this is the one which will re-fill quickly thanks to the large area of roof supplying it.
I started my new career as professional web designer today. No, don’t laugh; the ‘not really designed’ look of my websites seems to take me an awful lot of designing. As part of a grant that our geology group has been awarded we have been allocated a set budget to re-launch our website. As I’ve been doing bits and pieces on the site for the last 3 or 4 years, they asked me to do the work.
I've been keeping this online diary since 1998 and it now runs to over 2,000 pages but this will be the first time I've ever been paid a fee for web work. It will look good on my CV.
Some years ago we sent out digital versions of our lists of geological sites to the planning departments, which I designed fancy covers for (right), but someone else had actually burnt the CD-ROMs and I discovered later, to my horror, that when I tried to access one on my computer it repeatedly crashed my machine. The CDs didn't have a virus on them, I checked for that, but with my set-up there was some problem. I never had any complaints (or a single 'thank you' letter for that matter) so hopefully, if they were ever used, they were compatible with other computers.
The internet is going to be a better place to keep the information on our
geological sites up to date and accessible.