Spring is in sight and there have been a few days when there has been enough sun to warm one or two corners of the garden. One of these is a triangle at the far end, this is the first year that this small plot has not been home to rubble and junk, I had a well thought out planting plan with rows of autumn planted garlic and later tomatoes against the walls. My aging hound has become fond of this corner and the plants which have survived the fall of a tree face a new threat in the form of Nemo’s backside. I am irritable and he is irritating, indulging in a 62.5 year old tantrum just costs me another plant, forcing myself to be calm and leaving him in peace results in less damage. I still want to jump up and down and scream. As a 16 year old I was in San Francisco in 1970, doing nothing enjoyable or useful (I watching young men similar to me unloading beer and trying to stop them drinking any), maybe I absorbed a small amount of hippie culture, albeit with very bad grace.
For no better reason than it was published about the same time my house was built, my guide handbook is “Vegetable Culture for Amateurs” by J.W. May. This suggests that onions should be sown in February or March. Thus I have just planted six short rows of sets, three of Centurion and three of Stuttgarter. There is no economic incentive to grow onions as they are less than £1/kg in the shops, but there is a modest sense of achievement in growing a very small proportion of one’s food. However, at the beginning of the 20th century onions cost four shillings a bushel in a good year and between six and eight in a bad one. Some very rough sums suggest that real price of onions has not changed much in century, but I guess that a bag of onions accounted for a higher proportion of the housekeeping budget than it does now.