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Our ambition is to tour Can You Dig It? to every county in the UK.

Grow-your-own guru

I am now so famous that people I don’t know come to me for advice about their crops. For example, today in the post office the man behind the counter asked me for advice about his pear tree. Apparently there are black spots on the leaves and he’d heard that Epsom salts might help. What did I think? The truth is I’m not really famous in my home town. The reason the man was quizzing me about his tree was because he had been reading the addresses on the bunch of envelopes I had just handed him – I was posting copies of the fabulous Can You Dig It? CD to gardening journalists. From this nosy piece of detective work, he decided that I was some kind of gardening guru and qualified to give advice on fruit crops and the like. The trouble is that I know nothing about fruit trees as he’d soon realise if he saw the mini orchard on my allotment (one of my pear trees produced just one and a half pears this year – I am not some kind of pear whisperer). However, I did not want to disappoint him so I pretended I did know what I was talking about and said that black spots on pear trees were usually something to do with some kind of watering or soil problem (a good bet) AND that I had heard of people using Epsom salts (a LIE). I also advised him that pruning his pear tree properly was very important for its general health and wellbeing – this was actually true and very sensible advice. He said he would do exactly as I said, which was worrying. He probably dashed out when his shift finished to stock up on Epsom salts, which will poison his 20 foot high pear tree to death and it will all be my fault.

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