Real Men Sow

2017 Reflections. A Quiet One.


Merry Christmas everyone!

With a 4 and a 2 year old in the house, Christmas has been as chaotic but memorable, as you might expect. Presents were exchanged, and a delicious turkey feast devoured. However, one thing was missing this year: for the first time in almost a decade, there was nothing homegrown on the Christmas menu.

Building the new veg patch continues, and I managed a few crops in pots and borders this summer, but I’ve now been veg bed-less for over a year. It has seemed like a very long time, and as the year has progressed, I’ve found myself reflecting on this.

Have I missed growing vegetables? This was the first and possibly toughest question, and to be honest I don’t know the answer. I’ve enjoyed discovering our new area, riding my bike in the hills and spending time with Ailsa and the boys. Pastime wise, It’s been a very different year for sure.

Blogging Slumber
Without the inspiration of a growing space, Real Men Sow has inevitably suffered. This is the first post in nearly 2 and a half months. Looking back, I’ve only posted 28 times in 2017, whereas in times gone by I’ve consistently posted twice a week.

My Twitter and Facebook feeds are very quiet, and I’ve never really put much effort into Instagram. Lack of inspiration aside, maybe there’s a clue there – too many things to concentrate on, too broad an approach.

Read These Other Blogs!
There are also a lot of newer bloggers on my Twitter that I now follow, with greater levels of energy and enthusiasm than I’ve mustered recently. Richard at Sharpen Your Spades, Jack Wallington, Grow Like Grandad and creator of the excellent #myrealview, Life at No. 27, are all great blogs with fun angles and super social media presences. They’re fresh and interesting.

Blog Crossroads
I feel at a crossroads with both growing and blogging. Time is precious these days. It should have been a year of blog celebration – I published a book! – yet I’ve lacked a direction.

However, I think maybe I’m now comfortable with that for the first time. I always dreamed of writing a book, and in some ways I feel that is the end of the story for this little blog that I’ve enjoyed writing for the last 6 or so years. But then, when you’ve put so much into something for that amount of time, it’s hard to just drop it.

As I write, my beautiful wife and wonderful children are asleep on the sofa next to me after a lovely winters walk. They make me feel incredibly content with life, and happy in the moment.

Plodding on into 2018
And I think, maybe, there’s something I should take from that back into blogging. Perhaps veg growing and blogging in 2018 should be about the moment. Just cheerfully plodding on, and perhaps putting fingers to keyboard a couple of times a month when the moment takes me.

I now have beds to grow produce in, a semi functioning greenhouse and a beautiful view, not to mention rhubarb and strawberry patches that will be ready for inaugural harvests. What more could a man want than rhubarb and strawberry patches. I’m a lucky boy. Life is good, let’s see what 2018 brings.

Once my broken finger has fixed itself. Yes, I broke my finger. On Christmas Eve. More on that later.

Happy New Year folks. As always, thanks for reading.

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.


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