A few weeks ago I settled down to look through my seed collection and plot the possibilities for this season. It’s a unique kind of excitement that seed packets fill me with. Despite never quite being game enough to try and grow corn – I understand it demand rich soil and plenty of water – this year I’m eager to give it a go, hoping to grow a Hopi blue corn, and a multicoloured ‘Anasazi’ sweet corn. From my motley collection of paper bags and envelopes, I selected some left-over tomato seeds and foraged seeds from wild fennel plants, and set to building a cold-frame.
I found a generally sunny, north-facing wall, and assembled some old bricks into a broad ‘U’-shape, making them wide enough to fit two old windows that Sophie once salvaged from hard rubbish. This structure is intended to work as a miniature greenhouse, catching the warmth of the still-cool sunny days to germinate tomatoes and other joys. As soon as the warm weather arrives, we hope to have strong young seedlings ready to be planted out into the manured ground of the old chicken yard.