The beauty of compost, pony muck and barter

By Martin Kirby

Mother's Garden April 26

Back to the Monday morning mad rush of school run and a very necessary few hours in the office, but the garden is calling us. The season has smiled, finally, after several grim, damp days, with the joyful medley of flowers, lushness and sun. We were out on the land most of the weekend, tending plants and hives, and trying to rig up a watering system for the potatoes, sown on to a strip in the olive grove behind the farmhouse that we left fallow for two years and then enriched with seasoned pony muck last autumn. There are pipes going in all directions and I've rolled out a redundant and pleasing to the eye wine barrel as a back-up water deposit, but the system isn't working - yet. You can never have enough compost, so we have made another bin out of old pallets from the dump. It's market day tomorrow and Maggie has been negotiating for us to collect green waste when the stall holders pack up, which we will mix with grass cuttings from friends with a ride-on mower. We have a brush cutter for the tractor, but there is no way to keep the greenery for compost save raking which, though tempting, would crease us. Besides, there are too many others tasks. So we have spoken to our neighbour and are supplying some natural honey comb to combat his hay fever in sensible exchange for several sacks of grass clippings. Ah, the age-old bounty of barter.


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