Sunday, February 07, 2010


UNFLAT SPINACH


"HEAVY SNOWFALL VINDICATES BRADY DESIGN!" reads the Yours Truly Mental Gazette headline this morning, as the publisher himself went out into the snowburied garden to see if his spinach, onions, garlic, chard, carrots, shirona, shungiku etc. were flattened as they had been in all the previous years' heavy snowstorms, which data he had thus far been unable to obtain because Winter has been on Spring vacation since Autumn. (Oh. It snowed heavily during the night.)

In previous years, even though I had used tunnels with strong fabric over sturdy hoops of bamboo and metal and whatever I could get my hands on to protect my produce, the heavy, icecold laugh of Winter had mocked my efforts, sitting on my spinach with tons of snow and bending my hoops at 90 degree angles, rendering them unusable, just to rub it in. Winter can be such a bully.

Anyway, I devised an engineering approach that I'm sure isn't new, though I've never seen it before; it had to involve the fundamental Brady criteria for pretty much all endeavors: simple, cheap and preferably reusable. So I got some sturdy stakes (buttressed on the long axis with wooden stakes at two places to prevent bidirectional collapse) and a roll of netting, and therewith fashioned the constructions you see here, over the strong fabric tunnels of yore.

Worked like a charm, as the photos show. The netting arrangement held up excellently: broke the fall of the snow, distributing it and its weight along the downward stress vector, thereby protecting the tunnels beneath which my onions et al. are still standing, now isolated even more from the night cold by their snow igloos, with the added advantage of being invisible to winterhungry, onionlusting monkeys.

I can't rest on my vegetable laurels here though; as past experience has indicated, even now, way up there in the great ice palace, King Winter and his flaky minions are counterplotting already-- I can feel that chill of something large and cold overhead, hear those icy howls of laughter in the wind...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its absolutely wonderful and I really feel to jup on the ice.But it was so good to protect those healthy veggies from losing thier values.Sir,can yu change the font of your blog plz.The previous one was really good.

Tabor said...

We had kept our fall lettuce under a tent of plastic, but actually it was getting tough and bitter and we took off the plastic and got a 67 degree day and now after four snowfall two of them more than 2 feet, I think our lettuce is done for.

Shirley Dockerill said...

YOGH, snow :-)

Maggie said...

Yes, but are frozen onions usable.

R. Brady said...

Onions are full of natural antifreeze (and these are anyway in an 'igloo'), but they can't tolerate being sat on for days/weeks, even by a king...

Mary Lou said...

at least you won one battle!! baby steps RObert!