Friday, January 27, 2017

Rubik's Cube-like Riddling

After the interlude caused by demolition and burning of the mad old shed, and turning over the 5th bed, it was back to the riddling-out of stones and glass this afternoon. I've now got a 3 riddle system, which might seem a little OTT, but it works well.
  • First comes the big riddle, which gets out the bigger bits of rubble, and glass shards bigger than a credit card. It also gets out perennial weed roots. 
  • Then the intermediate riddle. This is a wire grid with smaller mesh than the big riddle, just the right size to lay over the top of my builder's barrow. This gets everything but gravel - that is stones, say, the size of a pea or bean, - and glass as big as thumbnails. 
  • Finally, the hand riddle, which lets through only stones small enough to call grit, and, so it appears, no harmful glass at all. 
I'm using the Rubik's cube analogy because the process entails a lot of moving around the plot with two barrows and a shovel, having places to put heaps of earth at various stages in the process, avoiding too much walking on the beds, and getting beds ready for planting, even if it's just vetch or phacelia. I'm concentrating first on the area around the old greenhouse, which merges with the old midden, which are, of course, the most glass infested. The priority is to make it safe for the dogs.

Letting the pooches off the lead in the park is great 90% of the time, they love to play with other dogs, and other dogs and their owners love that too. But then there are the 10% of dog walkers who are socially challenged, keep their mutts on a lead, and don't get it that running around barking at each other is all part of a dog's healthy life. The bastards. The anthropology of dogs and their owners in an East End Glasgow park, now there's a research paper for someone.

When the allotment is as glass free as possible, I can walk them there on the lead, and let them run around the plot. (Keeping them off planted beds, well that's a bridge I'll cross when I get to it.)  I will be riddling all of the beds this summer, but think that only the old greenhouse/midden area (mostly the 5th bed and environs) has dangerous quantities of glass.

So that's me busy until Spring, perhaps for most of 2017. If it comes to it, I'll grow nothing but green manure this year, not even neeps and tatties. We'll see.