Tuesday, 26 June 2012

slugs and other pests

seem to have the slug problem a bit more under control at last.  The secret is threefold - relentless slugging for a week at dusk (often in the rain) netting about 1000 of the little buggers, wood ash round the newly planted out seedlings and then organic slug pellets.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

back to the old day-job

I'm filling in for the vicar who's on holiday - 4 churches as a half time job! I've done 2 servuices last Sunday and 2 this Sunday and another priest and a reader are doing their bit.  All services require a little Welsh to be included as I'm able and that's fine, though I'm a bit crap at it but I try, but there's a strange lack of numinous to the whole affair, not just because I'm taking the services but that's been my experience 'from the pew' too.  I've yet to discover what 'the gospel' is for the deep Welsh countryside and I'm looking to local people to help me learn what it might be.  There's no criticism there at all from me, but I find it all banal so far. 

Maybe I've simply 'lost it'?  The world around me is simply so extraordinary in its variety of nature that I'm overwhelmed by it and find church simply underwhelming perhaps.  On the way to the second church today (Evensong straight after lunch for 4 people) I saw a small black and white woodpecker, a buzzard immediately outside the church door as we finished the service and clouds of goldfinches both on the way there and on the way home.  The immensity of the natural world and its variety is present all the time - the roadside banks overflow with foxgloves and all sorts of flowering plants some of which I can name and eat and others I've still to learn about.  But the services are harder to 'read'.  Small numbers don't worry me - the 4 plus me today in the afternoon was fine; the 16 this morning, including 6 from a home for adults with severe learning difficulties, were delightful too and I found the human interaction wonderful.  I suppose I'm wondering if 'there's anyone out there' anymore?

Friday, 8 June 2012

small triumph big challenge

small triumph:
the heavy rain is showing how good the ditch is that I dug some weeks back - the water is racing along it instead of making the field above the hens into a swimming pool.  Did more deepening of it today in the rain - just like a kid on the beach :))
big challenge:
I've never seen so many slugs in one small area.  Picked about 300 a couple of nights ago in only 10 minutes!  Losing seedlings fast - all spinach, courgettes, runner beans, welsh onions, parsnips :( despite organic anti-slug stuff and now relentless night-time slugging.  There must be zillions more to collect and put in brine, so I just hope collecting some will leave me a few veggies.  Replanted seeds in the tiny greenhouse to bring on and plant out later so we've something to eat.