"Once they figure a way to work a dead horse, we'll be next. Likely I'll be the first too. 'Edd,' they'll say, 'dying's no excuse for laying down no more, so get on up and take this spear, you've got first watch tonight.' Well, I shouldn't be so gloomy. Might be I'll die before they work it out."
– Eddison 'Dolorous Edd' TollettWell, my part in the Christmas Clean is drawing fast to a close, Gods be praised. My black dog, Shuck, tends to make an appearance around this time. Two generations of Atheists (though half of us were still part-raised as Taigs) and still we gotta get festive. My cynical nature reckons that the season isn't in full swing until I've called the tree a c**t to its face. I hate Christmas, so the little acts of cynical pseudo-rebellion (like insisting that being Christmas no.1 makes Killing In The Name a Christmas song) keep the black dog from swallowing me whole. I never take it too far though, on account of the fact that the rest of my family seem to like this ever-repurposed holiday, and that it is bizarrely easy to spoil it.
Gardening then. I've had to change my plans for the beds. It turns out that a person can't work a bed of 5'x5' without stepping into it, which defeats the object. Better than having six of those is having ten beds of 3'x5'. Either way it covers the same amount of ground, but this way I get to grow more solanaceae and alliums, fewer beans and apiaceae, plus I can include things that weren't in the six bed rotation such as peas, wheat and gourds. Here's the new plan; it's to be read clockwise in terms of a given bed, which actually means that the whole thing'll rotate anti-clockwise.
More tatties overall, but in a rotation that sees each bed growing legumes once every five years rather than once every six. The beds won't reach all the way to the Eastern fence. Instead, there'll be a strip of land a foot wide, from which I'll grow fruiting bushes and vines up trellis against the fence. This is also where I'll grow borage, as any area of soil that has fruit growing in it has a heavy drain on potassium.
Other than that, the garden's ticking over. Got some manure coming soon. Got the baseplate to the composter coming soon. Once Commercemas is over I can start building for the coming year. I'll get a tool cabinet and a couple of bat boxes built. The beds will be built in January. I'm thinking railway sleepers for the beds, but you've got to be careful in buying them. For beds, the law says I need timber not treated with creosote. The shed likely January or February. Once the shed is in situ I can work on trellis plus further bird houses, bat boxes and other things. BirdCam will follow the shed. The greenhouse tent will go up in March and the first seedlings will go into the garden shortly afterward. With luck I'll be getting in the first of the early Harvest in June.
Lastly then, the post Why Biology? has attracted enough interest (second most viewed post on the blog) that I reckon it's appropriate to go further back. Science for me started when I was a tiny kid. I had a microscope before I could write, but I'd document my methods and findings pictorially. At 4 I used to sit and watch that cartoon variously known as Once Upon A Time... Life, and How My Body Works. Mam got me a chemistry set when I was about 5 and I grew crystals of copper (II) sulphate. The big thing though was Lego. I had Lego throughout my childhood, starting from the day I was able to play with things without trying to eat them or fit them into the orifices of the head. Physics, mechanics, timing, all can be explored with enough Lego.
I don't think I was raised toward Science though, I think it's better to say that I wasn't raised away from it. I had the tools because I asked for them and showed genuine interest. The kids who grow up to consider Science are not those who were told to be curious, but those who weren't told not to be curious. If that makes sense? I dunno. ROLL VT!