Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Chase Organics

I did get this seed catalogue through today, though. It's from Chase Organics. I used to get all my seeds, etc. from Chase, back in the late 70s/early 80s when I had my first allotment down by the Unigate Dairy on the Wootton Bassett Road. That was when I worked in Swindon Pulse, and discovered all things that came to be known as "green".

Since then I find that Chase has become very commercial, probably out of necessity, and sells all sorts of rubbish, like Hinged Welly Keepers (for you to hang your wellies on when you come in, only £9.95), and traditional trugs for only £49.95. Who buys this stuff? It's easy to guess. Not the likes of me, that's for sure.

The cover of the catalogue looks as if they've had the same (amateur) artist since the late 70s. Does anyone wear dungarees any more?

When I opened it, I turned straight to the page on Weed Control, having a slight problem with weeds on the Cat Allotment. Only one page out of 108 was devoted to it, and there I was offered a flame gun for £185.95. Nothing I could spray on, of course, even though Lawrence D. Hills, the original organic gardener recommended some substance in the 1970s. No doubt that's fallen foul of health & safety or else ever more fanatical organic gardeners. Ah, well, I could always control my weeds with a root barrier (£16.25), a lawn edge (£13.85 for 10 metres - I'd need about ten), a weed wand (for targeted spot weeding, £26.75 - requires gas canisters), and the ubiquitous black polythene (£99.95 for a 90 metre roll, which is what I would probably need). I refuse to use polythene on the grounds that it doesn't kill weeds, it merely suppresses them, and they spring up the instant you take it off, and it is hideous).

Apart from a few fancy little instruments that would be neither use nor ornament on my couch-riddled plot, that's it. If you want to be organic, you have to suffer. Dig, dig, and dig until your back breaks!

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