I also think that women often won't define themselves by what they do if they haven't formally studied it, got the certificate etc, hence 'I'm not really a chef, gardener, whatever, it's just what I do.'
The thing is we've had 30 mls of rain today and yesterday was drizzle and cold and I've been inside and in town shopping and the world of gardening suddenly seems so remote and I've been wearing other hats. Never mind. Gardening lives on in deep recesses of the mind.
1. Always check both sides of the cabbage leaf. You can hold the outer leaves up against the light and see the bodies silhouetted through of those in hiding underneath.
3. I suspect it would have been a very good idea to flick the bigger bodies off.
A few good frosts last week and I flew into action and dug the yams. They have had 6 months in the ground, albeit without a lot of attention but it didn't seem like a particularly good return. Many of them are quite small and some were sort of flattened in the way that vegetables grown in hard dry soil can be. The crate weighed in at around 28kg with this load, say the crate is about 3 kg, and the original seed was 1kg of seconds. It's like one of those maths questions, the train is travelling at 40 kms per hour, the car is travelling at 30 and so on. The answer to this question however is not 25kg yield. The answer is don't use little tiny yams for seed. Unlike potatoes I suspect you need to plant what you want to get.
The next thing was garlic. Let me talk you through the photo. White dust on the ground is lime because I also planted broad beans which need lime so everybody got some. The board is for standing on while I plant. It firms the soil down evenly and is a handy measure for row width. There is a little wooden handle on the left that drills the 4 inch hole. The garlic cloves in the bucket have been soaked 24 hours in cow manure tea and already have root buds at the base. Now apparently garlic likes to put out roots before the worst of winter, a few months dormancy in the cold, even though there may be green stalks through and then away in the Spring. The best information by far is at www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com and I have their handy print out in my diary. What they don't tell you is that if the garlic gets too much water late in the season, all the outer cloves replicate and you get a large looking bulb that is full of tiny cloves. I'm hoping to avoid this this year and escape a trifecta.