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Handling time. The day is the last of March, which, for gardeners in this village, is the middle of the busiest time of the year. The early seeds have been in the ground long ago; the beans are up two inches; the first sowing of peas shows well in the rows; others were put in last week. Shallots are sending up their green spikes; there are a few potatoes already planted; and now every effort must be made, and advantage 12 be taken of every opportunity, to get the remainder of the ground ready and the main crops planted at the earliest possible time; for in this soil, as Bettesworth says, "you can't be much too for'ard.
Late last night he and his old wife planted their potatoes in a few rods of ground he has at the end of my garden. It was seven o'clock, and dark, by the time they had finished; then they went home and had supper—or, at least, the wife had, whose work had not been arduous until the evening. She scolded her husband. No, nor I don't sleep, neither. If I got anythink on my mind, I can't sleep. I seems to want to be up and at it. It slopes down to the lane, this ground. Presently the man from the cottage just across the lane came out for his day's work.
Then the Vicar's gardener passed. He laughed.
Bettesworth laughed back. When I be ready it got to go in. But Noah, who has lived in London, "sits up till eleven or twelve at night readin' the paper.
- The Bettesworth Book: Talks with a Surrey Peasant - George Sturt - Google книги!
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He can't git into the habit of gettin' up early. Gardening talk is now the staple conversation in the village, and the public-house is the club-room where the discussions take place, the times being Saturday night and Sunday. But Saturday night and Sunday—well, you can't bide indoors solitary, lookin' at the fire. If you do, you never learns nothin'.
The Bettesworth Book
But to go and have a glass and a pipe where there's others—that sims to enlighten your mind. The men compare notes, and give and take sage advice. Another answers, "Well, then, if I was you, I should dig that ground up now—rake off the stones" carrots being "a very tender herbage". After that, let it bide an' settle for about another fortnight, and then as soon as you gets a shower shove 'em in as fast as you mind. Carrots is a thing you wants to sow as shallow as ever you can. Somebody informs the company that he had "quarter of a acre o' carrots last year, and he made five pound of 'em.
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- The Bettesworth Book: Talks With A Surrey Peasant;
- George Sturt (1863-1927).
This was it, as Bettesworth at last remembers. Up here, though, we no call to wait. I likes to git taters in. You see, where they lays about they spears so, and then the spears gits knocked off—you can't help it; or, if 15 not, still, where you sees a tater speared so, that must weaken that tater?
The Bettesworth book; talks with a Surrey peasant, by George Bourne [pseud.] | Open Folklore
About two foot two one way and fifteen inches t'other—that's the distance I gen'ly plants taters. Ten't no good leavin' 'em wider 'tween the rows. But old Steve Blackman, up there by the Forest, I knowed he once plant some three foot both ways. And law, what a crop he did git! And he trenched in a lot o' fuzz—old fuzz-bushes as high as you be—and so on. Everything went in. And such a crop o' taters as he had—no, no dressin'. Only this old fuzz-stuff. Regents , they was. Oh, that was a splendid tater, too!
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But you never hears of 'em now. They sims to be reg'lar gone out. I got some o' these here Dunbars , down here. I should like to see half a bushel o' they in this bit o' ground o' yourn. Splendid croppin' tater they be.
I ast Tom Durrant if he could spare you half a bushel.