"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Solace of Landscape and Soil

Broad Beans, I learn, are some of the oldest recorded vegetables, cultivated since biblical times. Apparently by the Middle Ages, stealing the crop was punished by the death penalty!

Yesterday the temperature went up to 9 degrees on the allotment and my spirits soared as layers of clothes were peeled off to stay cool! And all this after weeks of temperatures hovering around freezing and when I often found it hard to summon up any enthusiasm to do anything!

Part of our spiritual healing comes from our commune with, our intimate contact with, the earth, the soil. In Alastair McIntosh's wonderful book, Soil and Soul, he writes: "If humankind is to have any hope of changing the world...we need, first, to make community with the soil, to learn how to revere the Earth." Belden Lane writes of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes in a book of that title. Peter Owen Jones in his new book Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim, writes: "God, I loved the desert. It allowed me to see to what was broken - with all my hate, with all my love, my unknowing, my unbeing - and gave me the time to begin to mend."

Back to the allotment. And doesn't it look a mess!? The heavy snow brought down some of the netting protecting the brassicas from the pigeons, and before I could get up there the pesky birds had made a good job of stripping all the fresh young growth off the sprouting broccoli. The plants are now struggling to recover - although I think they will. Other plotters pulled up their pigeon stripped brassicas last year and put them on the compost heap. I persevered with mine and eventually had a tolerable crip. Let's hope this year is the same. At least the Bright Lights Swiss Chard is recovering after looking dead when the snow melted.

So back to those broad beans. Soon I shall be sowing them, alongside Cauliflowers, Globe Artichoke and Tomatoes under cover for transplanting out later. 
Let Shelley have the last word:
I love snow, and all the forms
Of the radiant frost;
I love waves, and winds, and storms,
Everything almost
Which is Nature's, and may be
Untainted by man's misery. (Percy Shelley 1792-1822)


stphen said...

well very nice post, its seems to be difficult to get rid of this snow sometimes. exclusive information.

Eleanor said...

Thanks for your comment - not sure if you agree with the sentiments of my post, with the spiritual solace of landscape and soil? Eleanor

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