March 2012 Allotment Diary

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“Living in harmony with nature and all creatures is the biggest puja (worship of God). Only then can we experience the truth of the Rishi’s words, “isavasyamidam sarvam” (everything is pervaded by God”.”

Amma’s Message, Matruvani October 2004

Om Namah Shivaya

Climatic Differences

We were down in Gloucestershire at the weekend, and noticed some differences in how far advanced in growth some plants were compared to Sheffield where we live. We have seen this before in the spring, with trees coming into leaf earlier down south. This time it seemed that the snowdrops in Gloucestershire were in a more advanced state than the ones around us. Just being 100 miles further south can make a little bit of a difference. It made us think of Amma’s teaching that if you take 1 step towards God, God will take 100 steps toward you. If we just try even a little to follow Amma’s teachings, then maybe we will grow a little faster, just like the snowdrops in Gloucestershire!

Coping with Winter

 When we were down there we saw a pond with goldfish. They seemed to be spending a lot of time at the bottom of the pond, not doing very much. We couldn’t really blame them, we wouldn’t want to do much sitting in a cold pond either! It seems to be a strategy to deal with the cold. We remember something vaguely from school saying that when a pond is frozen, the water at the bottom is a few degrees warmer.

Allotment Diary

We have finished cleaning the greenhouse. Amma says that it is important to keep out surroundings clean. We are a little ashamed to admit that we haven’t thoroughly cleaned the greenhouse in 10 years! This means that it was looking scruffier than it needed to (it is a very old and ramshackle structure, much older than the 10 years we have had it). But also this kind of neglect in a greenhouse encourages fungal infection. The warm humid environment of a greenhouse is ideal for fungi to grow in, fungi which can also start to infect your plants. So all the surfaces, particularly the wooden framework, have been cleaned with vinegar. A greenhouse temporarily smelling of vinegar is a small price to pay for a clean, fungi-free place for plants to grow. We have just seeded up our greenhouse plants, that is, tomatoes, sweet peppers, aubergines and cucumbers. Here they are in their pots: One has been temporarily uncovered for the photo, the other still has a plastic “mini-greenhouse”on it. We put these on to warm up the soil.  We haven’t seeded up new chilli plants as we have over wintered last years plants indoors as an experiment. We cut off all side branches as it advised in the article where we got the idea from, and have kept the soil a little damp. It seems to have worked. Below is a photo of one of them.

They already have flowers buds on them. Some of our leaf vegetables that we leave in the ground for the winter have a few new leaves. The spinach has just started sprouting, but the kale is doing even better. We have already had a small harvest of fresh kale leaves. We seeded up our broad beans not long ago in the greenhouse. They have spent some time frozen solid recently with all the frosty weather, and we are not sure how they will recover. Their close relatives called field beans, which we have outside in some beds as a soil improver (but which apparently have inedible beans) seem to be OK, so we are hoping the broad beans will share their hardiness.

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