Farmer Dan’s Blogpost

As promised I’m writing a garden update.  I don’t think that anyone would accuse gardening of being hip or trendy but I do enjoy wandering about, trance-like, pulling weeds, watering, clipping stray branches or otherwise tending.  Anyhow, here’s what’s been going on.

First up, here’s a 360 of the whole place:

PANO_20140308_155713You’re supposed to be able to scroll around that, like the inside of a big sphere, but I can’t be bothered looking for the plugin.  I made it with my new fancy-pants Google Nexus phone, which we’ve finally managed to procure at work.

As you can see, the ‘grass’ is making a very slow colonization of the dustbowl that resulted after my landlord dumped a pile of builder’s rubble soil on the lawn.  This could be helped along with some grass seed but such things are hard to acquire in Bangkok, where people ar emore enthusiastic about concrete carparks and potted plants on their open spaces.  As it is, I’ve been scattering birdseed, which grows into very convincing grass, but the birds don’t seem to have got the memo and keep eating it.


Regular readers will be stunned to see how rapidly the corn has ascended.  I co opted a small child for this photo to give a sense of scale, but I can assure you that the corn is taller than me.  Still, it’s been two months so there should be a bit of action.  There’s even a few ears developing, which has my youngest quite excited.


The carrots aren’t as impressive, they’re not getting much sun.  We pulled up one of these little plants today and there was only a little root, which was not orange.  I expect we won’t see much until the corn is done and opens up this bit of garden bed, although I did prune the roseapple tree of it’s lower, eye-gouging branches today so perhaps we’ll see some more robust root vegetables soon.


The sunflowers have bloomed.

SunflowersThey’re being made to face the wall as apparently that’s where the reflected light is coming from.

2014-03-08 15.56.31Again, in this shot a young child of indeterminate stature gives scale.

HerbsYou may recall that the last column ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.  Will Dan’s herb plot give bounty?  Or will it, like most things I’ve put in the garden, stubbornly stay beneath the soil and only host weeds and spiders?  As you can see from the photo I’ve got a respectable bed of coriander and some other unidentifiable yet aromatic herbs.

2014-03-08 15.54.21It must be a good time of year as I only put in this bok-choi and broccoli a week or two ago and it’s already going mental.  I put this in as a bit of a punt as I expect the lot to get eaten by caterpillars.


Here’s the Kooper Kids digging up the lawn and playing while mocking their  father’s agricultural follies.

Banana BaneBut they’d better watch it because I’ve got this fucker.  The sword that appeared in last month’s post turned out to be rubbish.  I had the grinding attachment on the drill and many hours with a whetstone but it stubbornly refuses to be anything but a letter opener, and a blunt one at that.  Big blades are often made out of old leaf springs.  Spring steel is tough, flexible (duh!) and is soft enough to take a good edge.  The Banana Splitter was crap stainless that could apparently survive reentry, it is so hard.  And the bottle opener on the debole barely works.

Anyhow, I bought this Hong-Kong arm-pruner off the street from a purveyor of the sharp and pointy (really off the street, from a little pushcart stuffed with blades) and it’s crazy sharp with a mirror-finish, all the better to reflect sunlight into an enemy’s eyes as you circle him (or her) in one-on-one combat.  It’s a little top-heavy, which I don’t really like, and the hilt is too short for my hand, which is a shame as that makes it a little uncomfortable to use for long.  Still, I’m able to cut clean through tree branches twice the width of my thumb if I get a good swing, which is simultaneously handy and terrifying — going to have to be careful brandishing this about.

So that’s it for this episode.  Look out for next update where I’ll be beating off triffids with a halberd or something.  I leave you with a pic of Mrs Rabbit enjoying her hutch.

The rabbit

Behold the Rabbit Penitentiary!

So the Rabbit has a new home.

IMG_3375The hutch features no 90° angles and very few straight lines.  I expect that this will protect the occupant from hounds of tindalos tunnelling in through the corners and is an object lesson of the false economy of purchasing a jigsaw.

IMG_3391Initial reactions were positive.  Note the plumbing to the right of “Starler the Rabbit.”

IMG_3379From this shot you can see that the floor is elevated.  The idea being that the beast doesn’t have to sleep on the cold ground, and the little scamp can wriggle under there when she’s feeling adventurous.  I expect to be combatting some The Great Escape actions from this quarter in the future.


Here we see the rear wall hinged down.  You can see the egress to the main chamber, and you can also see the upper floor, with its own portal.  For this initial effort I decided not to install a fireman’s pole, feeling that the scramble to the upper level will put Oryctolagus cuniculus in a proprietorial frame of mind.  This mezzanine is designed to be a snug and private space for the occupant and features an old t-shirt for comfort and amusement.


Due to the solid-wood construction and massive over-engineering the hutch is immovable by children and a struggle for an adult, hence the handles you may have noticed in fig. 1.  This is semi-intentional as it presents a challenge to passing cats, dogs and pythons.  Depending on future tests by both occupant and visitors, we may install tent pegs at a later date.

IMG_3387As a final shot, here’s the enclosure sealed up.  The latching mechanism is a simple eyelet and hook apparatus.  The intention here is that if something big does start rattling her cage, the door should pop open and give Miss Rabbit a fighting chance at fleeing, assuming that she has already retreated to the mezzanine or main chamber.  We are, of course, yet to test this theory.  Stay tuned for updates.