Thursday, December 2, 2010

Not Waving...

O.K we've been this way before. I'm luring you in because the next photo is frightening.  Admire the artichokes, smell the roses and brace yourself for the rest of the garden...
having solved the...
of the rhubarb...not waving but drowning.

Not Waving but Drowning (Stevie Smith)

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

The garden is on a slope and water merrily drains to the bottom. I moved the rhubarb down there to enjoy the moisture and despite reasonable encouragement it has never done well (over a couple of years). We had 12 mm of rain last week in a sudden downpour and this is the water level 5 days later. It was at surface level for several days. Our Swiss maestro had the sense to dig the hole and expose the problem and he suggests running a few field drains (basically a ditch with rocks in the bottom to draw off the moisture). I favour moving the rhubarb up a block or two this Autumn.  It would run across the slope and catch some of that water as it races down the hill on its clay slide, just below the surface.

  Having figured that lettuce like some shelter from the direct sun I have pocketed them in spare spaces. So far amongst the broccolli this is a good working arrangement. This is the Rueben from Otepoti and their broccolli 'Multicropper'; hoping it will live up to its name.
 You'll be pleased to know that I won a seed saving book in the Otepoti book draw. I had sent in seeds to qualify. Less happy are the seeds I am supposed to be growing out to save. One is a type of pepper and it will have to be 3rd time lucky with the last of the seed.  I can see me growing it indoors through the winter at this rate.

Farmer Rose out at Kyeburn put this box of mushrooms in the back of the car this week.  That is not a side plate but a dinner size by way of comparison. No worms in these champions and I freeze them rough sliced  like this to make that.  I shall now attempt a link.  Success, it's a cream of mushroom and bacon soup and absolutely delicious and I don't even like mushroom soup. Thanks Chef.
 Posted by Picasa


  1. I remember studying that Stevie Smith poem in stage 1 English but like so many things in life sometimes you need a bit of life experience behind you to know what it really means. Dad loved that poem, and learned it off by heart.

  2. I only ever heard Dad quote it; so that's where it was from. When I first saw it in print I certainly read it with new insight.

  3. I feel a little bit sad to think that it resonated so much with him he learned it by heart. Thinking about this makes me really miss him.

  4. I agree with you Jen.

    On another note - those mushrooms look amazing miri and how's that I have learned that you can freeze them. Didnt know that before.

  5. By the way, in case anyone should ever wonder if I ever learnt a poem by heart, I have, and it is this one;

    I know a little bunny
    And his nose is very runny
    And if you think that's funny
    Well it'snot

  6. I agree with you too Jen, we miss him but don't be sad on Dad's account.Anyone who reads Thomas Hardy 1. has a resiliant mind 2. Is able to appropriately withdraw from pain 3. loves literature and language and perhaps your poem fits into the latter category (but not the first) as does Ken's notable of-by heart masterpeice, 'There was a man now please take note, there was a man who had a goat...'

  7. Your posts always make me smile Miriam. Those mushrooms are fabulous. I try to grow my lettuces under shade cloth from November onwards, actually quite a lot fares well under shade cloth, I think our sun is intense enough here that many plants don't need so much direct sun, it certainly makes a difference to watering too.