“Catching you on the Raw.” It’s a funny little phrase we have in our family for describing something minor which happens when you are already feeling low and spirals into something which feels much worse than it really it. Or when lots of little things add up and you get the same effect.
Today things have been mostly catching me on the raw.
I know I am lucky that we have a decent income and don’t depend on our tinyholding to feed us. I’d like to source most of our veg from the tinyholding but we don’t have to and on some level I know we need to build up slowly to get where I want to go. But as I sit and watch a million and one prolific and abundant vegetable plots emerging throughout blogland at this time of year I will admit to feeling tired, jealous and a little down.
I decided I would write a post about the days it goes badly – with all the glorious bad pictures, because otherwise blogland can look unattainably perfect. Once I’ve put this all out there I can pick myself up, plant some more seeds and move on.
Thing the first… bread making
We make all our bread in a bread maker. Maybe one day I’ll get back to handmade bread but for our current lifestyle (read: busy chasing a baby down every 5 seconds – how can he crawl so fast!!!!) a bread maker is perfect. We can time it so that it is fresh and ready to eat when we get up and we still avoid eating any bread which has more than 5 ingredients in it (unless we add something weird like sun dried tomatoes or raisins!)
But sometimes the bread maker doesn’t work and this is the “bread” you get.
The kneading part of the programme failed and when that happens in a bread maker you lose the whole loaf – you can’t rescue it as you might with hand kneading. Mostly our bread maker is reliable. But sometimes it isn’t. Annoyingly I’ll have to make another loaf to check if it was a one off or a wider problem and risk wasting more ingredients. It also mean another guilt ridden trip to the expensive mini-tescos. Gah!
Thing the second… Slugs
I know I’ve been mentioning my hatred of them on this blog for sometime. But this morning when I went to feed the pigs it was just a disaster. The brassica patch (the largest part of the veg patch this year) has been decimated. Maybe some of the seedlings will pull through but I just wanted to cry.
All over the place everyone’s vegetable gardens look amazing. Mine looks bare, with plants that are struggling to get established or half eaten. The peas and potatoes are doing fine but everything else looks terrible and just today I have been struggling to maintain optimism about it. I’ve been growing veg on and off for a while, so I can’t claim to be a beginner but it just looks like I don’t know what I’m doing. This morning all I could see was all the time, energy and money (on seeds) which was totally wasted. I’m not even keeping a tally of what the slugs have eaten now it is too depressing and measured in whole packets of seed gone to waste, I can literally cost out how much money they have eaten.
Thing the third… holes in socks.
I’ve a big post planned on darning socks. I had a pile of 12 pairs to mend a couple of days ago and managed two pairs in the last two days getting the pile down to 10. As of this morning it is back up to 11. Darning feels never ending at the moment.
I’d be able to take more joy in the simple work if a) there wasn’t so damn many of them! and b) the bread and the slugs. But when I get through the whole pile I will feel amazing. So I guess I have a date with a darning mushroom again tonight.
I know I need to get back out there and sow some more stuff. I know the only thing I can do is push through this, keep going, plant more, put down more slug traps, go out in the evening and pick them off one by one. I know gardening is a slow process and what happens this year will be different to next. I know I just need to have faith. I’m just glad that I’m not having to rely on it to feed us.
I’m not looking for advice, I just wanted to write out the frustration . If this blog is going to be worth anything to me I need to write the bad days along with the good days.
I’ve got a 101 solutions to try next year. But sympathy is much appreciated.
I did eat my first peas today. A little early but sometimes you need a pick me up!