composting daleks down the drive to tuck them out the way by the garage.
Yesterday, most of the snow thawed, then overnight the temperatures rose and I woke this morning to a snow-free world with the sun shining. Fab! That meant that the 30 mile trip to Ryton Organic Gardens for the potato day and seed swap was most definitely ON!
There are three great things about Ryton - the seed swap, the gardens themselves and the potato marquee.
I love the seed swap, and filled a shoebox to take with seeds collated into labeled envelopes. I've been quite restrained in my swaps, and have just bought home a heritage variety of each of leeks, lettuce, peas, beans and tomatoes. They hadn't any parsnip seed (the one thing that I really am short of), but bought a pack in the shop before I left.
The gardens are fabulous - signs tell you about each section/garden and what it contains and why. January is not the best time to visit, of course, if you want to see much in way of growing action, but the structure and layout is superb.
There was a display of different types of composters, and a bevy of composting experts to explain the difference and get you on the right composting track. One garden demonstrates the staggering difference in yield of a potato crop depending on whether the ground has been treated with compost, manure or leaf mould. If ever I think, 'I can't be bothered dressing this bed, the soil's pretty good anyway', I shall think of the Ryton garden and do it anyway!
And of course, the main reason for going was for the potato marquee to buy my seed potatoes for this year. I'd done my homework and had a bag ready for each of my choices (and how many I wanted of each) which made going round the alphabetically ordered potato bins then paying for what I'd got very efficient indeed (if I say so myself).
All I have to do now is scavenge some more egg boxes and they can all merrily chit away for a month or so - before you know it, Spring will be upon us and it'll be time to get them in the ground! Hurrah!