A Good Day to Collect Seaweed

Overcast with outbreaks of rain through the morning, with some heavier bursts. From early afternoon the rain will mostly clear northeastwards, though remaining dull, damp and misty for most…

We were enveloped in cloud this morning; couldn’t see across the street to the Downs beyond. With cloud clinging to the hillside, it seemed a good day to collect seaweed.

The promenade and beach were quiet, apart from a few solitary souls out walking. Following the falling tide, as it retreated scattering seaweed across the shingle, we managed to collect six bags; but each time we collect there seems to be more detritus and ghost tackle snagged in the seaweed.

Added to the potato beds, it will be left to rot over winter in preparation for the coming year; but not today. In the grey light it was enough to pile the bags at the bottom of the allotment, check on the plants in the greenhouse, and add a layer of shredded paper to the worm bins to provide insulation, and bedding over winter. For some reason the bins have not been working properly, so we inoculated the waste with compost, full of worms, from the tea bin, and now the bins are smelling a lot sweeter, and there’s a great deal of worm activity on the surface and hopefully below too. Then the rain set in and we retreated to the shed.

…another fairly grey and damp day out there for many people…



Winter Work

It will be rather cloudy across southern England with outbreaks of rain, this turning heavy and persistent in places during the afternoon. Elsewhere there will be some sunshine, but also blustery showers…

Yesterday was miserable; a grey sullen day. A day to keep moving, working. Laying more wood chip on paths, sorting out beds ready to plant out garlic. And in between, stopping to have a cup of tea and a natter in the tea hut.

Such a difference today, mild in the sun. We’re preparing the potato beds; layers of seaweed; grass cuttings; crop remnants, topped off with a layer of composted wood chip from the paths. This will be left over winter, in preparation for planting potatoes in the spring.


Warm, in the Sun

A cloudless sky, warm too, at least in the sun, but that was deceptive; leaf litter crackled underfoot, and in places the ground frost didn’t thaw. A day to keep moving, working.

With the leaves all but gone we can start work on our hedges; see where we need to concentrate our attention, filling gaps, weaving, and pruning to encourage growth at the base. As the leaves have fallen, we’ve also discovered a Song Thrush’s nest in the oldest section, so at least one part of the hedge is beginning to be colonised.

The nest will be left over the winter months, we’re both intrigued to see what remains of it come next Spring.



Another Stormy Day

Another deep Atlantic low is expected to arrive in the western channel on Monday morning.

A stormy day, turbulent sea, and just the two of us wandering across wave scoured shingle, with little evidence of the detritus we found yesterday. Swept out to sea again, it’ll be deposited elsewhere with the incoming tide.
There’s plenty of seaweed scattered across the shingle, from strand line to low water, and mostly Toothed Wrack (Fucus serratus) and Fucus ceranoides, seaweeds of the upper, middle and lower shores. Hold fasts no longer holding fast, holding onto nothing; stranded, like the solitary shoe we encounter.

A metal detectorist appears, but he stays above the strand line sweeping the shingle.
He’s still listening, still searching, when we leave, carrying bags of seaweed. Passing by we say hello, wonder if he’s found anything.
‘No, just bits of foil, aluminium gives a good signal. It gives a good signal, does aluminium’.
‘Good luck’. But he’s wrapped his headphones round his ears again, returned to his searching.

We’ve collected enough seaweed to cover one of the potato beds.