First there was Erin’s enormous package of Italian vegetable seeds, which completely non-coincidentally (is that a word?), arrived just a few days after I met my Italian bass-playing gardening partner Eliseo. It’s the Italian connection that I’m noting here.
Then my friend Damian gave me a pair of fab wellie boots. He’d bought them for himself last summer when he decided to attend a festival at the last minute. Damian’s not exactly what you might picture as a typical festival-goer and was ill equipped for the event, and last summer being the rainy washout that it was, there wasn’t a great deal of shopping choice when rushing around at the eleventh hour trying to find a pair of wellies that would fit him. Eventually he plumped for this pair of ladies’ boots, dark maroon with purple, lilac and yellow flowers.
He only wore them for that festival and a few weeks ago he gave them to me. I'm in need of new wellies so was thrilled, but to my horror they are too big. They fit Mr Eliseo like a glove though, and as you see, he’s man enough to wear ladies’ floral wellington boots with panache!
Olga Lamas is a very talented Peruvian artist and a lovely woman. She knows that I love to grow food. Last week she very generously presented me with some beautifully hand-made envelopes, each containing Peruvian vegetable seeds.
Olga, with her Peruvian corn seeds
There is Maiz Morado (edible purple corn), Cancha Serrana (mountain corn) which looks like regular corn but has much larger kernels, and Cancha del Cuzco (cuzco corn) whose kernels are, rather excitingly, almost the size of broad beans! I had no sweetcorn seeds and was looking to buy some, but now I have three interesting varieties to grow, about which I am really very excited.
'Sunburst' cherry tree, as seen in the catalogue. I hope mine will look like this in due course!
Rob and Sara (7 months pregnant with my godson) have bought me a cherry tree for my birthday. It’s a sweet eating cherry, Sunburst, and will be beautiful on the bank. Because I am so impatient I eagerly await delivery, but I can’t plant it until the work at the top of the bank is finished anyway (hopefully 2nd week of April), so patience is once again my lesson in this instance. And a lesson is always a gift. Two gifts in one then.
True to her recent blog comment, Alyson has given Naomi a selection of vegetable seeds for me. I will get them when Naomi and I meet later on this week. I have absolutely no idea what they are so it's a lucky dip mystery to look forward to.
And at the end of the week I will hook up with Mira and Les who are donating four varieties of seed potato to my allotment. Mira, an old, old friend and Les, a professional gardener, are growing ten varieties of potato on their Barnet allotment this year! I am well impressed.
I have no seed potatoes of my own (with the problems and lack of communication from my previous ‘helpers', by the time I’d kicked them off my land everywhere was sold out) so this is indeed a blessing. I’ve asked Les for earlies in an attempt to avoid the dreaded blight, although they will be going in late, but I really don’t worry too much about this. Eliseo and I are only just now digging over and preparing what will be the first potato bed (there’s a lot of camouflaged undug patches and a lot of heavy duty weed roots in compacted soil), and I’m just hoping we will be ready to plant potatoes on March 24th, a suitable ‘root’ day according to the biodynamic calendar.
I’m thrilled and delighted. I love gifts and these gifts for the goddess are all absolutely perfect, and perfectly timed too.
And that’s why I know (and say) that things always happen in the perfect way.
Love the Land