Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dig for Victory: Spring into Action with Spades Not Ships

Secundus being invited to a party calls for Action Stations. Not only do I need to find an affordable gift (often located in our Out-of-Bounds-to-All-Children Present Drawer) and make the birthday child a card, whilst, nine times out of ten, never having met the child or knowing what he/she likes, I also need to find a way of making Prima feel less left out. 

Prima had asked if we could go to Bean and Bud for a cupcake but, given that it is 31 Days of Nothing, I decided to find ways to pass the two hours after school without any money changing hands. I didn't mention the monetary aspect to Prima, but announced that we would be planting some seeds after school so we could grow flowers in the garden. This appeared to be sufficiently appealing. 

I had already planned the floral aspect of our Dig for Victory project, referring to the Annual Cut Flowers and Cut Flowers for Scent modules in Holly Farrell's Planting Plans for Your Kitchen Garden I love the idea of being able to look out of the window and see flowers, rather than the only colour being the clothes drying on the washing line. Prima and I were also looking forward to being able to decorate our home with flowers from the garden. 

Using a windowsill seed propagator for the first time (I'm taking this Victory business seriously), and resting on an old tray, Prima filled each compartment with seed compost. I have always used multi-purpose compost before, but I thought I would try to start as I mean to go on. We carefully read the seed packets to make sure it was the right time of year to begin sowing, and followed Thompson and Morgan's instructions instead of generally chucking them in the raised bed and hoping for the best, as I have in previous years. Prima did all the tasks while I told her what depth of soil to place the seed in and so on. As we live in the North, I am always aware of our colder climes, so tend to err on the late side when sowing - perhaps you are ahead of us. We also drew a plan of our propagator and noted down what was sown in each section.

Flower Seeds sown in Dig for Victory Phase 1: (All seeds kindly provided by Thompson and Morgan)
Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy and Cosmos Double Click Rose Bonbon - these two pretty bright blooms are Prima's favourite. 
St John's Wort - this is to attract bees - I like to play my little part in saving the world, y'know 
Imperial War Museum / Denby Eat Your Words Table Mats, £12 for 4
Veg Seeds sown in Dig for Victory Phase 1:
Onion. Red Baron - a first for me. I probably wouldn't bother growing white onions as they are so cheap, but I love red onions in so many recipes and they cost more per gram. 
Courgette. All Green Bush and Gold Rush F1. I have had success with growing courgettes before and they are a brilliant addition to all our Hidden Vegetable sauces. 
Mixed Salad. I love being able to pick a few salad leaves every tea-time to eat with summer meals. 

Sitting down for pasta later on, Prima and I talked about our garden project. Our new Denby placemats (above and left) from the Imperial War Museum collection are particularly apt, featuring as they do, iconic war-time posters encouraging the British public to cultivate all available land and grow their own food instead of relying on imports. Seeing Prima make the connection between using spades instead of using ships and the relevance this still has today was almost as satisfying as knowing there are a whole nursery of seeds sleeping on our windowsill ready for Spring. 

Cash spent today: None.

Random Awesome thing (from 1000 Awesome Things): #936 Perfect parallel-parking on the first try

Today I am grateful for: the strength of my body.

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