A’ cur ’s a’ buain: Àm cura / Planting and reaping: Sowing time

A’ cur ’s a’ buain: Àm cura / Planting and reaping: Sowing time

Bidh Teàrlach Quinnell ag obair mar neach-naidheachd aig BBC Alba ann an Inbhir Nis. Ach tha beatha gu math inntinneach aig Teàrlach taobh a-muigh na h-obrach aige cuideachd, ’s e gu math trang a’ cur ’s a’ buain air an lot aige faisg air Inbhir Narainn. Teàrlach Quinnell works as a journalist with BBC Scotland in Inverness. But Teàrlach also has an interesting life outside his work, keeping busy planting and reaping on his plot near Nairn.
Mun àm seo den bhliadhna, dar a tha solas ann a-rithist ‘s mi a’ tilleadh dhachaigh o mo chuid obrach, tha rudeigin a’ dùsgadh annam. Tha fhios agam gu bheil an t-àm dorcha seachad, ‘s gum faod mi coimhead romham. Tha e mar gu bheil cuideigin air mo thoirt à bogsa dùinte, air mo chur ann an talamh, ‘s gun do chinn mi ri bliadhna ùir. About this time each year, when there is daylight again when I come home from work, something awakens within me. I know the dark time is past, and that I may look forward. It’s as though someone has taken me out of a closed box, put me in soil, and that I’ve sprouted for a new year.
‘S ann an uair sin a tha mi a’ coimhead sa chiste mhòir sam bi mi a’ cumail an t-sìl chura a tha mi air a ghlèidheadh no a tha air fhàgail agam, ‘s a’ taghadh na chuireas mi san lios. Bidh ùrlar an t-seòmair suidhe agam air a chòmhdachadh le pacaidean beaga sìl. Bidh coltas bùraich mhòir air cùisean do chàch, ach tha fhios agamsa carson a tha a h-uile pacaid far a bheil i. Sadaidh mi a-mach an sìol a tha ro shean, ‘s nì mi liosta den t-sìol a th’ agam as t-fhiach a chur. Cuiridh mi òrdugh air falbh airson cuid eile a dh’fheumas mi a cheannach. Feumaidh mi a h-uile Earrach plana a dhèanamh. Chan eil ach na h-uimhir de rùm ann san lios, agus cuiridh mi a-mach air pàipear far ann tèid a h-uile seòrsa glasraich, ‘s dè na bhios ann dheth. It’s then I look in the big chest where I keep my garden seed that I’ve saved, or that is left over, and choose what I’ll plant in the garden. The floor of my living room will be covered in little packets of seed. To others, it looks like a big mess, but I know why each packet is where it is. I’ll throw out the seed that’s too old, and make a list of the seed I have that’s worth sowing. I’ll send an order off for some more that I need to buy. I have to make a plan each Spring. There’s only so much room in the garden, and I set out on paper where each vegetable will go, and how much there’ll be of it.
Dar a tha sin air a dhèanamh, chan eil ann ach an sìol a dh’fheumas a bhith air a chur a-staigh a chruinneachadh, poitean a lìonadh le compost, agus bliadhna ùr de bheatha a spreagadh le a bhith a’ cur an t-sìl, ‘s leigeil le taisead a’ chompost agus blàths an taighe-ghlainne a dhùsgadh. Bidh mi a’ coimhead san taigh-ghlainne gach madainn air an rathad gu ruige na cearcan a leigeil a-mach, feuch a bheil dad air cinntinn, ‘s a bheil feum air uisge. Thèid na sìolagan beaga a chumail fo dhìon an taighe-ghlainne gus am bi an t-àm ann an cur a-muigh. When that’s done, I just have to gather the seed that needs to be planted inside, fill pots with compost, and coax a new year of life by planting the seed, and letting the moisture of the compost and the warmth of the greenhouse awaken it. I look in the greenhouse each morning on my way to let the hens out, to see if anything’s come up, and if water is needed. The little seedlings will be kept in the protection of the greenhouse until it’s time to plant them outside.
Feumar seo a dhèanamh gu faiceallach, ga thoirt a-mach gach madainn air là a tha blàth gu leòr, ‘s ga thoirt air ais a-steach gach oidhche, gus am fàs e cleachdte ris an adhar air a’ bhlàr a-muigh far an cuir e seachad an còrr de a shaoghal. Fiù ‘s an uair sin, sa ghnàth-shìde a th’ againn an Alba, dh’fhaodadh reothadh tighinn an dèidh dhut a chur a-mach san lios, an dàrna cuid a’ cur maill air fàs an lusa, no ga mharbhadh glan. Sin agad an t-Earrach ge-tà, agus sin a tha a’ fàgail an Fhoghair cho tlachdmhor. Bidh thu air seòrsa buaidhe a thoirt a-mach – oir, ma chuireas tu gu leòr diofar sheòrsaichean lusa, bidh toradh air choireigin agad ri bhuain, ‘s cha bhi am preas bàn sa Gheamhradh. This has to be done carefully, taking it out each morning that’s warm enough, and taking it back inside each night, until it gets used to the air outside, where it will spend the rest of its life. Even then, in the climate we have in Scotland, a frost might come after you’ve planted it out in the garden, setting the plant’s growth back, or killing it outright. That’s Spring for you though, and that’s what makes the Autumn so enjoyable. You’ve won a sort of victory – because if you plant enough different types of plant, you’ll get some kind of harvest, and the cupboard won’t be bare in the Winter.
‘S toil leam an t-àm seo den bhliadhna. Tha dòchas ann. Tha a h-uile rud sa ghàradh a’ coimhead glan, ùr, òg, sgiobalta an dèidh sgìths a’ Gheamhraidh. Tha obair mhòr ri dhèanamh fhathast ge-tà. Talamh ri thionndadh, ‘s todhair ri tharraing ‘s ri sgaoileadh. Bidh na cuiseagan a’ dùsgadh cuideachd, agus ‘s e seo an t-àm as fheàrr ruaig a chur orra, mus fhaigh iad grèim air maitheas na talmhainn, ga chumail bho na lusan a tha thu ag iarraidh fhàs. ‘S math gum bi mi fhèin a’ dùsgadh car mun aon àm a h-uile bliadhna. I like this time of year. There’s hope in it. Everything in the garden looks clean, new, young and tidy after the tiredness of the Winter. There’s still lots of work to do though. Soil to turn, and manure to shift and spread. The weeds wake up too, and this is the best time to get rid of them, before they get a grip on the goodness of the soil, keeping it from the plants you want to grow. It’s just as well I wake up at about the same time each year.
Dealbh le elPadawan air a chleachdadh fo Chead Cruthachdail Coiticheann. Picture by elPadawan used under a Creative Commons License.

 

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