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The First Step To Growing Our Own Veg


My good lady and I decided we’d try something a bit different this year. We decided we’d like to grow our own veg. Last year we started watching the BBC cornerstone show ‘Gardeners World‘ (which is something you start doing at my age I believe) and the sections we found most interesting were presenter Joe Swift on his allotment growing vegetables. I know from friends who’ve grown their own veg in the past that everything tastes better than what you can buy in the supermarket. Even the lowly carrot can be a flavour explosion even if it doesn’t look as straight and neon-orange as one shipped into your local Sainsbury from Venezuela. We thought we’d have some of that.

So a couple of weekends ago we acquired some planks of wood and built a 2m x 1m frame that we’d fill with soil and grow things like carrots, leeks and onions among other things. We also decided we’d convert our rather pathetic water feature into a 1m x 1m plot and grow some more veg. And to top that we’d grow some potatoes in bags and expand our strawberry growing project that was such a success last year. We ordered a tonne of quality top soil and this weekend had the small task of shifting that soil and filling up our newly built veg plots.

My camera has this cool time lapse feature so I thought I’d put it to good use and condense an afternoon’s hard graft into a couple of minutes for your viewing pleasure below:

The thing I love about time lapse videos is that it looks like we know what we’re doing – but I can assure you we made it up as we went along! We were also lucky to have our neighbour’s daughter over to help with finishing the job – it’s not surprising that a 6 year old would want to get their hands dirty! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, the next step is to figure out exactly what we want to grow and when we should start the planting. I’ll keep you posted!

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

27 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Wow, it’s not like anything amazing going on but stil video looks so cool. Good luck with you gardening!

    Personally I am bad match for plants. Colleagues had once tried to make me watch after some at work but I said that “I have negative phytoaura and those WILL die”. πŸ™‚


    • Heh heh, yeah, I think next time I try a time lapse video I’ll use it on something more interesting!

      My wife’s a bit like that so she’ll do the planting and I’ll keep them alive. At least that’s the plan!


    • Ah, I bought a Canon Ixus 80 a while back to replace my ancient compact digital camera and it has the time lapse functionality built in. It’s amazing how high quality and cheap modern compact digital cameras are – I’d not bought one for some time and have been really impressed with what the Ixus can do. Doesn’t quite compare to the 350D for landscapes though!


  2. Ahhh… that explains it, good video, well done you.
    How is the Mac programming going?

    How about ‘John’s Macground Switcher’, got a ring to it I thinks



    • Thanks! πŸ™‚

      It’s going well actually, I’m plouging my way through a book on Mac development and getting to grips with the latest version of XCode. Since I’m using Leopard now I’ve got the latest version which is pretty slick. JMS 1.0 is the next piece of software I’ll be shipping. πŸ™‚


  3. John, that is fantastic! Very impressed. And is that “Duelling Banjos” I hear once again?

    Looking forward to even more condensed time-lapse movies of your carrots, leeks and onions growing πŸ™‚



    • Ha ha, thanks Ian! It’s “Peach Cobbler” which I really should set as my ringtone, always makes me laugh!

      Yeah, I’ll give it a go, but I suspect it’s a bit trickier than it looks on a BBC documentary!


  4. Thanks John. Loved the timelapse. If your young neighbor gets too much, please send her over hear. We have a lot of work that needs doing in our gardgen.

    And yes, I’d love to see more timelapse too!


  5. Should have had that movie ready a month ago…might have been in time for the “Best Foreign Short”.


  6. Now get that raised bed fortified against slugs!! I’ve heard used coffee grounds can help, copper tape can do the trick – but some slugs are more cunning and get around it….!


    • Good point, will do! I heard some shocking statistic like there are on average 100 slugs per square foot of ground (sounded way too high to me but I’ve heard they are the scourge of gardeners)!


  7. LOL! I really enjoyed that timelapse.

    You have embodied the same “that looks easy” feeling you get from watching shows like BBC’s Gardeners’ World. Watching someone else work can be very therapeutic πŸ˜‰

    I liked the way the kid moves twice as fast on camera as everyone else. They’re always so full of beans and don’t seem to be able to walk when they can run instead.

    It’ll be interesting to see what surfaces!

    Fantastic job on JBS BTW. I just invested in a 22″ portrait monitor to go with my 24″ landscape one. Of course now I’ve got problems picking wallpaper with JBS when it all comes from the same folder. Any chance of a folder-per-monitor setting at some point? πŸ™‚


    • Ha ha, you’re right, she does move around at twice the speed of us! She was constantly giving us advice and tips at a great rate of knots too! A friend of mine says that kids suck all the energy out of you and into them – I’d have to agree!

      You’ll be glad to know that folder (or photo set) per monitor is on the list for the next version! πŸ™‚


  8. Hmm, not sure about that! πŸ˜‰ I noticed that the lighting changed a couple of times. You could have been down the pub for a swift one for all we know.


    • Ha ha, that’s all the sun we get in Yorkshire. About 5 minutes of sun and that’s your lot (which equates to a couple of seconds in the time lapse)!


    • So far it’s looking like carrots, onions, leeks, some sort of leafy salad things and a few other to-be-decided vegetables. We’re growing potatoes and strawberries separately to make sure all bases are covered!


  9. Hi John,

    You need to get a good bit of manure in there as well! Top soil on its own probably doesnt have enough nutrients for top quality veg. Im sure you know a local farmer who can get you a few bucketfuls!
    good luck.



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