Sunday, August 28, 2005

July Photos

These tiny little cucumber plants that I got by swopping a tray of my Romanescue seedlings, are now, in August, really big, and I have had so many cucumbers off them. The cucumbers are nothing special to look at, they are knobby and a bit spikey, and curve like horseshoes, but they taste so good. The excess crop I am using as I would a courgette and making lots of ratatouille for winter. How can they grow without hardly any water? It's amazing how nature works. All I do is weed them. Brilliant isn't it. What a good barter!
We only had the odd day of rain in July, but enough to finally to get the onions growing. But I made a bit of a blunder with the broad beans. They looked really good, and old Geoff said that they were ready to harvest. So I picked the biggest ones off the whole crop and proudly went home with a carrier bag full. I was really proud,my first proper crop of the season. I spent the afternoon shelling them, and was all set to freeze enough to see us through the winter. BUT 'learning curve' struck a cruel blow. Each pod was big and shiny and fat, inside was a white and velvety lining - and little broad beans. I had picked them too early. In hindsight I should have popped open one or two pods to check first shouldn't I? But I ate all the little ones, and there were more pods developing, so I still got a good crop. I also learnt that you do not pick the whole lot at one go, but pick a few a day. - But that lesson I did not learn until after I have picked all the gooseberries, and realised that if I had left them they would have grown twice as large. Still there is always next year...
L-R Kelvedon Peas, Asparagas Peas, Mange Tout. Drought conditions so not very successful. But I am a beginner, and was pleased that I did get a few bags of Mange Tout. I think that if I had piped water up the allotment the peas would have been fine. It was still wonderful to pick and eat and freeze what crops of these I did have though.
Salvia Turkistanica cuttings. I am quite proud of these. Despite not being watered they have thrived. The allotment is in a 4 and a half acre field, it is all open and very windy, even in summer it is windy, but things get full sun all day long so seem happy enough.
Romanescue and Parsnips Tender and True. Is is just me, tell me that it is not. I can't explain how proud and happy I feel when those tiny seeds that I planted a couple of months ago, thrive and look healthy. They take a lot of nurturing and despite not being watered they look good don't they? I spend hours on my hands and knees weeding out the thistles and all sorts of weeds that I do not know the names of. Tell me that you get the same buzz year after year.
Orla. Colleen and Robinta Drought resistant potatoes. They escaped the severe frost, so earthing them up like the book said was worth the effort. I bought organically grown seed potatoes, and although you don't get many, they certainly thrive. They should be even better next year as they will get planted on a plot that I have manured with pig muck. I am so looking forward to next year already - although not wishing my life away! It is great to try new varieties of things and plan what to grow and how many.

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