Onion News

Just call me Tom

Just like Tom and Barbara in "The Good Life" I've become self sufficient....almost. Admittedly it's a trifle tricky to become totally self-sufficient with four window boxes, but below you will see my very own onions as they grow from tiny seeds into huge juicy full flavour things for me to eat.

Marvel as the little green shoots climb from what appears to barren soil to emerge all green and stuff into the sunshine.

Gasp as the green shoots take on biblical proportions in a bid to provide the energy needed for growth by a process of photosynthesis.

Prepare to be amazed by the utter failure that this project is certain to become.

Week 16 : 6th August 2002

So on week 16, almost four months after starting this project, my tomato plants have borne fruit. I don't reckon they'll be ready for a good long while yet, but the chilli's that I've plucked have been real fiery little buggers. Fantastic! Pictures can be found here.

Week 15 : 1st August 2002
Week 14 : 25th July 2002

A little bit busy for these weeks so I didn't manage to get round to putting together these crappy pages.

Week 13 : 18th July 2002

Adopt an irritating Geordie voice.
It's week thirteen in the Big Brother vegetable patch and it's eviction day. The nominations have been made and this week the two unlucky nominees are the peppers and the garlic. The polls have now closed and the overwhelming majority of votes came in for the pepper. It's not really done much for the past few weeks so the peppers have been pulled from the plant and the remaining foliage and roots will soon be yoiked out of the ground and tossed into the rubbish bin. Pictures of the remaining contestants in the vegetable patch can be found here.

Week 12 : 11th July 2002

So I finally got my self together and took some pictures of my errr vegetable patch. It's worth noting the difference in size between the onions that were in with the coriander, and the onions that weren't. There's also a picture of an onion that I violently wrenched from it's peaceful life in the ground. Other than that there isn't a great deal happening.

Week 11 : 4th July 2002
Week 10 : 27th June 2002

What with jollys to London, swotting for upcoming interviews and losing my silver screen virginity I just didn't have time to update on these weeks. Nothing to do with me being a lazy layabout..oh no. I did however have time to yoink the coriander out of the pots as it was inhibiting the growth of some of my onions.

Week 9 : 20th June 2002

I've finally eaten some of my produce. Emma and I made a curry on Monday...well OK, Emma made a curry on Monday and I chopped some coriander. The coriander, in my humble opinion, made a great contribution to the curry and errr it tasted miles better than the rubbish crappy coriander that you buy from Sainsburys, probably.

My house has become infested with little tiny black flies. The flying bastards seem to be living in the pepper/chill trough on the hallway windowsill. I must admit though they are a welcome distraction when chatting to somebody on the phone. I've been considering ways of killing them. Emma has suggested insect spray but I rather suspect this would invalidate my EEC approved organic vegetable farmer status. Tricky.

Also the tomato plant has been thoroughly pruned, and evicted from the Big Brother household. It lives on the balcony permanently now.

Click here for all the latest pics. Fascinating!

Stop Press : The flies that I mentioned earlier have begun to seriously piss me off. I was on the phone and the little white, black and green [ yes there are more colours now ] bastards were trying to fly into my nose, mouth and ears. I also noticed a buch of larvae on the underside of the leaves and in the soil. The peppers and chillis have now been evicted to the balcony where I hope the ladybirds will have a feast.

Week 8 : 13th June 2002

Nothing major has been happening this week. The pics can be found here. The major development is that the stupid tomato plant is almost at the top of the cane and it hasn't even produced any flowers yet, let alone fruits. Various people have been telling me that I should be chopping bits off it to encourage it to flower....but I'm not entirely sure which bits to chop. I suppose I should try and learn some of this stuff really.

The garlic and onions are coming along nicely and the coriander is waiting to be harvested. I'll have to make a curry or something later this week and eat some of the stuff that I've put so much time and energy into.

Week 7 : 6th June 2002

Hurrah and huzzah - my self-suffiency gig has finally [ and quite literally pop-pickers ] borne fruit. The first picture on the foties page is a stunning example of two sweet peppers with another one on the way. Similarly my chillis are beginning to spring forth.

I am however a trifle concerned about my tomatoes. I noticed that the ones at the Big Brother house have sprouted fruit but mine haven't :( I'll have to go and have a mooch at my grandads.

I had to repot my garlic this week as well. The little tike had only been in that pot for two or three weeks. Yet when I looked at the bottom of the plant pot all the roots were popping out. In the process of repotting it I really should have taken a picture as the garlic bulb is really quite large and there were loads of roots coming out of it. Ahhh, happiness.

Anyway, as usual go to the pics page for a better description.

Eagle eyed observers will notice that my tomatos are now being held up by the canes I recently had to invest in. So my monetary outlay thus far has been:

Canes           : 1.99 for a bag of 10.
Plant Ties      : 1.99 for 30m of which I've used about 30cm.
Trowel          : 0.99 Woolworths special
Plant food      : 2.99 for two bottles.  Homebase.
Onion seeds     : 0.99 maybe.
Coriander seeds : 0.99 maybe.
Growing troughs : 12.00
Compost * 2     : 7.98
Watering can    : 0.00 Gift from Emma's mum and sister.
Red plants      : 0.00 Gift from Emma's mum and sister.

Total           : 29.92

Do you know how many onions, peppers, garlic and chillis I could buy for 30 quid? Masses of the bastards.....I could be eating onion soup with a green pepper side salad until Christmas!

Week 6 : 30th May 2002

A brief tour this week as I fear my enthusiasm in this project is beginning to wane. The pictures can be found here.

Executive summary:
My garlic has sprouted.
One of my onions has been stolen by either a bird, or more probably the phantom night dwelling bulb thief of Olde London Towne.
My tomato plants are competing with my curtains in being the most useful in blocking out light from my living room.

On a slightly more amusing note I had to wander out onto the balcony today to rearrange my troughs a little. For those of you that have never been to my house I must make you aware that the balcony is probably not the safest balcony in the world and in all honesty it is with great trepidation that I step foot on it. Anyway, I had visions of the balcony becoming disconnected from the house and myself and my onion friends plunging to our deaths on the car park below. For those of you already grinning that was NOT the amusing bit. The bit that made me chuckle was when the imaginary newspaper reporter came around to ask questions and take pictures....

Today in a leafy Manchester suburb an amateur gardener
plunged to his death from a height of forty feet
whilst tending his juvenile onions.
  His girlfriend Emma Kelly told us "He loved those
onions lots.  He even took pictures every week and posted
them on his website.  They were a major part of his life"

Doesn't it just make me sound like such a geek. I really do have to get a job one of these days!

Week 5 : 23rd May 2002

Weekly update cancelled due to lethargy and apathy.

Week 4 : 16th May 2002

Another busy week on the gardening front. My new additions [ tomato, chilli and pepper ] have been repotted into their new home and are frantically growing like a school-boys trousers watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". My onions, as predicted, have unfolded and are now about four inches tall...come on. Similarly the Coriander posse are sprouting more leaves and I confidently predict that Emma and I will be sick to death of Coriander flavoured cooking by mid-August.

There is yet another addition to my army of cellulose based warriors that was inspired by my green fingered grandad. I took a manky old garlic clove and stuck it into a plant pot full of compost. Dunno if it'll grow or anything but hope springs eternal.

Week 3 : 9th May 2002

Success!!!! If you follow this link you will see that my efforts have borne fruit. My seeds have germinated and little green shoots have sprung forth just like the good book [ Growing Herbs For Dummies ] prophecised. Tis indeed a miracle. There's a little more description on the pictures page and you will also notice that my onion and coriander have been joined by some chillis, tomoatos and peppers. Lovely.

Week 2 : 2nd May 2002

One week further on we have a couple of new pictures. The first is a far off overview piccie, and the second is a close up.

The more eagle eyed amongst you will notice two things. Firstly it can be seen that a watering can has been added to my arsenal of weapons. Secondly, and probably more importantly you will notice that absolutely nothing has changed. The miserable sodding bastard plants point blank refuse to grow. Much more of this and I'll be replacing yonder growing troughs with gnomes or something.

Week 1 : 25th April 2002

This is the first picture. The seeds have been in for about a week now - you will notice that there is nothing, not even a hint of green shoots. Not a sausage. This plant growing thing is going to call for lots of patience.

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