Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day 55: Grow Your Own

A typical Edinburgh tenement
Whenever I read articles about frugal living or perhaps organic food, they usually echo the same dictum.  The best way to eat frugally/organically, is to grow your own.  Even if you live in a third floor flat, you can grow all sorts of herbs and lettuces and tomatoes in a window box.

To which I reply - Rubbish!  The writers of said articles clearly live on a lovely country smallholding with room for half a dozen hens, a llama, and their own cider press.  Myself in my third floor flat?  It is impossible.

I did briefly have dreams of growing my own rocket (the lettuce, not the flying thingy).  Indeed, there were actually window boxes when I arrived here.  The previous owners had planted them up with some scrubby lavendar and a nondescript little bush or two.  They had also established a window box inside the bathroom, and had some pansies growing above the sink in the kitchen.  The pansies scattered soil and plant debris all over the drying dishes.  In the bathroom, whenever one opened the window, the wind blew soil all over the toilet and bath.  Upon investigation, this window box was found to be nailed on to the woodwork.  It took my aunt and a claw hammer to remove it.

The window boxes outside worried me most.  The window ledges are deep, true, but they slope a little, so the boxes were already perched at an angle.  Then these were found not to be nailed on at all, so that there was nothing securing them to the window ledge but their own weight.  I had visions of opening the window and sending them hurtling to the pavement below.  Then there was the possibilility - nay, certainty - of Scottish winter gales, which will howl around my high corner like the legions of hell.  My dreams of rocket were speedily eclipsed by nightmares of being charged with culpable homicide.

So I have binned the window boxes (even bringing them inside was a precarious venture!) and given up on growing my own.  Fortunately, I have kind friends who do live on lovely country smallholdings, albeit sans llama.  One of these friends has been exceptionally kind this week.  Courtesy of Yvette, Florence, Gertie, and Mimi - the "Hayloft Hens" - I have been gifted with four fresh and free range eggs.  These were accompanied by a supply of plums, which I shall stew and either freeze or turn into a crumble.  This is exceptional generosity, and I record my thanks here to Friend Sharon. 

People are lovely.  Basically.

1 comment:

Martha White said...

This made me laugh! I'm very glad you decided not to kill someone by growing rocket.