Germination for the nation


As the country's attention now turns to water charges, something that's been in situ for decades across the water, our own minds might turn to butts. Not the ones behind you, but the butts for water, rain water collection, harvesting, call it what you will, free water!!! Water, the thing we takes for granted, the thing we have so much of, the thing we have the luxury of wishing it would go away. We are an Island cast out into the Atlantic, somehow people ended up here, like seeds caught on a windy breeze, so we're here, and it rains,though the fact never ceases to amaze us, get a water butt and start saving your rain, you never know when you might need it, on a rainy day for example. 

Rainwater will be the butt of many a joke for months to come, so I'll stop now. I'd like a big butt but my little yardling will only allow for a svelte, skinny supermodel variety so that's the one I'll squeeze in, a size zero. Gardeners, geurilla or otherwise will know the benefits and logic of watering plants and seedlings with rainwater, it has a lower PH than tap water, usually 5.5 to 6 which is ideal for germination of most seeds. Tap water has been treated with chemicals, fluoride to take away the lust of the Irish and chlorine in case we decide, willy nilly to go for a swim in the sink. If the state of our rain is more acidic than we'd like to imagine, it's still better than the public baths of our taps. Still we have to drink it, let's not even go there.

Ladeeees always washed their hair in rainwater in days of yore before madly expensive, life changing shampoos existed. It leaves your locks smooth and shiny. It leaves your salad leaves smooth and shiny and less prone to mould and pests. 

I've been immersing myself up to my neck in the garden centre, busy with packets of seeds and looking for good value ways to stock up. I have a micro garden so I'm starting to grow micro greens, the tiny shoots of radishes, broccoli and cresses. They're tragically hip on restaurant menus whose food looks like somebody was cooking with the window open and a stiff breeze blew in and messed everything up, but just, exactly, in the, right way. Micro greens can be grown indoors, and in Ireland it's preferable that they are. You only need a window and a little space to lay a shelf or a few trays. 

I've got my radishes at the ready and will be posting the micro-process in the next few days. People who garden harp on annoyingly about the therapeutic effects of growing things, either edible or adorable. It's annoying bacause it's true, it is therapeutic, some kind of magic happens when you get your hands into a bag of muck, compost from a shop or some fabulous well rotted horse manure and bring it up to your face to marvel in the fresh air smell. Lucky SOBs who have land and such have the blessing of living on a planet that's always out in the open. Those with acerage have a gift that so many millions in the world would give their remaining legs to even walk on. If you don't have land, you probably know more than those who do, just how valuable that open space is. Alas, you too can find your guru in a packet of tiny seeds from the garden centre. You can get some trays, some seeds and stick a bucket outside to gather some rainwater till you get your butt in gear. Meanwhile, here's what the innovators are up to


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