Grow your own veg!-Carol Klein

Do you think The Good Life could be remade, with me or Dave playing Tom Good (maybe not!)? If you have seen something on TV or heard something on the radio recently that you want to talk about, tell us here.
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Grow your own veg!-Carol Klein

Post: # 46269Post Monty
Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:14 pm

Grow your own veg! Or at least I would if you told me how to.

I wait these programmes earnestly, as I do a good book. Like Monty Don, Carol has used Gardener's world to project herself into horticultural fame. I waited weeks for Monty Don's programme after reading the article printed about it months before. I wanted to see how the experienced grower tackled such a situation and to learn some real insights into the basics of growing food, rather than picking scraps from Gardener's world.

However, the result was meagre and pretty useless with regards to gardening. I mean sure the whole message and motive is great but was masked by the idea that you might learn something (about veg) yourself.

So with a title like 'grow your own veg!' (complete with it's own radical exclamation point) I expected some real tuition in seeing how food grows, because there is only so much one can gather from reading. I watched last fridays chapter entitled; roots.

Yes! The Holy Grail! Surely this episode would show me the stages in growing real carrots which don't bolt, and parsnips that germinate. Alas, it was another fudge. I learnt that you have to sow seeds industrially with grit and monstrous seed trays. Then somehow the seedlings magically appeared outside. But they were sown there in the first place...so what happened to the ones in the greenhouse? She explained how her crop had failed because of her magnolia, and 5 minutes (1/6) of the programme was devoted to her cursing her plants and complaining about how badly she had performed.

Needless to say, I was not impressed. There was an interlude of some swedish totti's quest to grow salad in containers at her flat. Firstly, salad is not a root. Secondly she got very wet and complained that her beans had been miserable. It ended with her tucking into a plate of dry leaves, muttering 'yumm....hmmm.' Delicious.

So back to Carol, who's other bed of roots has performed superbly. They are all perfect with no bugs and no disease-even without covering it would seem. I mean I really was beginning to decompose on the sofa. She then roasted one of her parnips, and boiled her perfect beetroot which 'looks like betroot really should' well what else is it going to look like? She eats them both with her husband using her hands. No chance of beetroot dripping all over her then. Oh well. It's also an october evening....I mean who goes out into the garden with a whole spongey, wet, boiled beetroot? Well they were 'hmmm, delicious. There's nothing better.' The husband chuckled. Well he does sleep with her.

Absolute nightmare. Didn't learn anything. Got depressed. Then jealous. I now want to go to Sweden.
Weeds make me mad.

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Post: # 46272Post Shirley
Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:50 pm

What a brilliant... and sadly spot on... review of this programme.
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Post: # 46274Post Muddypause
Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:18 am

Well I didn't think it was all bad. Anyone with varigated orange hair like that at her age should be regarded as a national treasure, I think.

But it did amuse me to see her struggling, hiden in the undergrowth, pulling up a huge parsnip, which she finally revealed to the camera - perfectly clean.

I think it must be aimed at absolute beginners, who only need to know when to plant the parsnips, how far apart and how deep. Too much information all at once, and you end up learning nothing. Three pieces of new information at a time; that's the rule, isn't it? That's all most peiople can deal with. And modern television presentations can't seem to address very much in any depth anyway - actual information is not a high priority. Low angle, scenic shots of amorphous greenery, that's the thing.

And it was all a bit mumsy, too.

But Sweden does seem to have some appeal.
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Post: # 46281Post zombiecazz
Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:20 am

I'm a complete learner and even I was bored. There was no more information given than what you already get on the back of your seed packet. No real insight or even a practical guide to what all the stuff on the back of your seed packet really means.
Also I felt that you didn't get a reall good look at what she or any of the other growers were actually doing.
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Post: # 46282Post Sassinak
Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:31 am

I admire her enthusiasm because it did seem genuine and not just for the cameras.

I was absolutely enthralled by this weeks programme - so much so that I fell asleep !!!
I gather that I didn't miss too much then :lol:

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Post: # 46283Post red
Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:43 am

i find her enthusiasm wearing

all the wooping and giggling over parsnips....
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Post: # 46288Post 9ball
Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:41 pm

It's the perfect fitness freak wonderkids family that she was 'helping' that particularly annoyed me and the girlfriend. I think they got me peeved last week with their dog performing about 20 tricks in a row to get a biscuit, whilst my 2 sat in front of the fire farting. I reckon the groundforce team came in and shoved a load of stuff from Tescos into her veg plot just before filming.
Damn people doing everything better than me grumble grumle

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Post: # 46290Post Shirley
Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:53 pm

9ball - your post made me laugh out loud. My dog will just sit there farting too rather than performing tricks :lol:

I thought the first programme was great - the enthusiasm made me want to go out and plant something there and then... but the second one really grated on me. I think the fitness family mum wants to be the next Charlie Dimmock btw!! :mrgreen:
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Post: # 46297Post Millymollymandy
Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:36 pm

Well I zzzzzz'd off halfway through too and can't be bothered to watch the rest of it, which we had recorded.

I like Carol Klein but now realise that a whole programme of her can be a bit OTT.

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Post: # 46305Post Martin
Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:11 pm

wish they'd reshow the "Victorian Kitchen Gardener" series that was shown some 20 years ago - that really was fascinating! :cooldude:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

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Post: # 46316Post Sassinak
Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:46 pm

There was a set of three wasn't there?

Victorian Kitchen Garden
Victorian Flower Garden
Victorian Kitchen

They were very good. I had the books to go with them but I think they were lost in the fire - must keep an eye out for replacements

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Post: # 46317Post Martin
Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:48 pm

that's it! - excellent it was - I remember them going into the details of hotbeds and things! :cheers:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

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Post: # 46323Post Sassinak
Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:54 am

It was the first time I saw a Cardoon growing - I've wanted one ever since !!

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Post: # 47507Post Fizzy Izzy
Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:08 pm

Millymollymandy wrote:I like Carol Klein but now realise that a whole programme of her can be a bit OTT.
She scared my boyfriend...! I found the programme vaguely interesting but not informative... Probably won't watch again!
Smile :)

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Post: # 47531Post quercusrobur
Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:38 pm

Fizzy Izzy wrote: She scared my boyfriend...! I found the programme vaguely interesting but not informative... Probably won't watch again!
My partner who is just getting into veg growing, and has recently taken on a job as a school gardener without knowing that much about veg growing was keen to watch this show as she thought it would be oriented at her level, however I watched it with her and apart from the highly attractive but ultimately disempowering (but probably to be expected) images of the 'perfect veg garden' I was horrified at some of the advice given, eg, 'Jerusalem artichokes are the perfect crop to follow potatoes', yeah sure if you want to grow nothing but Jerusalem artichokes in that bed ever again. J A's beong in a permanent bed rather than being included in a crop rotation scheme, as anyone who's actually grown them would be able to tell you...

Much better was The Alloment series made by ITV West and avaulable on DVD http://www.allotment.info/ which was far more realistic, showing allotmenteering 'warts and all', failures as well as successes... I'd highly recomend it, sorry if its come up before but I'm new here...
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