Monday, March 08, 2004


I worked on finishing up a cap I have been making out of my handspun angora from my grey doe. It is currently filled with those blue walmart bags while it is drying by the woodstove. It seems a bit large to me, even though I swatched the gauge before I started.

I started flats of broccoli at the end of last week, and today I started peppers, and lavender and mesculan lettuce. The remainder of my afternoon disappeared into my seed basket, shuffling through old packs of this and that. Most of them are saved from years goneby, in little brown paper envelopes with dates scribbled on them. Some are from my garden, some from family and friends... I was reminded of a poem that a friend had given me. It is a useful poem written by Lawrence D. Hills ...

You have in your drawer since Christmas Day,
All the seed packets you daren't throw away.
Seed Catalogues cometh as year it doth end.
But look in ye drawer before money you spend,
Throw out ye Parsnip, 'tis no good next year.
And Scorzonera if there's any there,
For these have a life that is gone with ye wynde.
Unlike all seeds of ye cabbagy kinde,
Broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage and kale,
Live long like a farmer who knoweth good ale.
Three years for certain maybe five or four.
To sow in their seasons they stay in ye drawer.
Kohl-Rabi lasts with them and so does Pei-Tsai.
The winter "cos-lettuce' to sow in July.
But short is the life of ye Turnips and Swedes,
Sow next year only, enough for your needs.
Mustard and Cress for when salads come round.
Sows for three seasons so buy half a pound.
Radish lasts four years, both round ones and long.
Sow thinly and often, they're never too strong.
Last year's left lettuce sows three summers more.
And beetroot and spinach beet easily four.
But ordinary Spinach both prickly and round,
Hath one summer left before gaps in the ground.
Leeks sow three Aprils and one soon will pass.
And this is as long as a carrot will last.
Onion seed keeps till three years have flown by,
But sets are so easy and dodge onion-fly.
Store Marrows and Cucumbers, best when they're old.
Full seven summers' sowings a packet can hold.
Six hath ye Celery that needs a frost to taste.
So hath Celeriac before it goes to waste.
Broad Beans, French ones, Runners, sown in May.
Each hath a sowing left before you throw away.
And store Peas, tall Peas, fast ones and slow,
Parsley and Salsify have one more spring to sow.
Then fillen ye form that your seedsmen doth send.
For novelties plentie, there's money to spend.
Good seed and good horses are worth the expense,
So pay them your dollars as I paid my cents.

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