I present: (SFX:drumroll, please):  Argus  ——>

So, now we know me: good looking but a bit gullible. Anyway, on with the show.


had read good guff about the hippy outfit at Findhorn, fifty-pound cabbages and other great stuff. Impressed by what I’d imbibed I took The Spouse along to visit when we were in Scotland in the early nineties. Alas, the hippies were gone. True, someone was still living in the house made of old whiskey barrels so it wasn’t entirely a wasted trip. And I was shown the site of the fifty pound cabbage—apparently very much a ‘oncer’. (It turned out that that ‘oncer’ had been born and raised in what’d been a composting heap for generations.)(They never did it again …)


Yes, there was indeed an almost magical quality in the air itself. Perhaps I’d been standing too close to the old barrel house—but Scotland can do that to you.


I’m still a sucker for a good optimism. Hence my constant delving into and reading up on stuff withs an oddly familiar ring to it—

“…works wonders on exhausted soil, reintroducing long-lost minerals and resulting in vegetables so big they would struggle for space on the average supermarket shelf…”

—triggered by first reading up on New Zealand’s very own guru, one Wally Richards from whom I’ve purchased in the past. A kind of homegrown homely type who makes you think of benevolent uncles, pipes and slippers. He’s also widely syndicated with gardening good advice and flogs a line of helpful stuff.


Used by ol’ Wally (and a young couple in Scotland) that our modern soils have been sucked lifeless by many generations of takers. Time to put back, they say.

So now I’m running around in small circles unable to choose which of many bright paths to follow.

How did I get to here? By reading about ‘terra preta’ and the Amazon, that’s how.

I’m very much into ‘the ancients’ and their long lost knowledges. I blame ol’ Percy Fawcett whose book ‘Exploration Fawcett’ is still irresistible (a word of advice: don’t go there).


I’m tracking down a good source of inexpensive ‘rock dust’. Gotta be volcanic rock, they say, by which I think they mean non-sedimentary.

I also like the ‘sea solids’, so if my garden survives ministrations based on these I should be in line for (at least~!) sixty-pound cabbages. (Or a good growling from a sometimes exasperated Spouse …)


and my gullibility. I was told at school that after the Romans delendoed old Carthage they enthusiastically sowed the fields with salt “so that nothing will ever grow here again”.

With this thought in mind I sowed my own gravel driveway with salt last winter. And last summer I had a truly bumper crop of weeds.dragons17

So perhaps it may be true what they say about ‘sea solids’ … and now I find that if I gallop down to Gemstone Beach and score a couple of buckets of fresh seawater, I can dilute it to one part in a hundred and use it as a superlative fertiliser. Brrr.

It’s not easy being a Crank, you know.

First requirement:


you have to be an indefatigable optimist


3 gerbils



Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/between-a-rock-and-a-bumper-crop-1-1298490



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