Thursday, September 22, 2005

A leisurely browse and a new discovery

Wednesday 21st was a typical misty moisty Autumnal morning, so I decided to whiz up the lottie early just for a look, as it was physio day today. By 9am the mist was burning off and the sun was warm on my back. So out came the camera to make the most of it.

The first thing I saw was the church tower through the trees in the distance, I don’t remember noticing that before. Maybe a tree has been felled so that we have a clear tunnel view of it. It serves as a lovely reminder that although it seems that I am miles away from anywhere, only a mile away is the heart of the village.

It was surprising to see that more tomatoes have ripened and as I am typing this I can smell all 5lb of them simmering with lots of other goodies that I have grown, in a pepper pesto sauce. That will probably be the last batch this year, as I can’t imagine the rest ripening even with the aid of a banana.

The soil looked so soft and light where I used the Mantis Tiller, so I am going to prepare another grass path as rain is forecast big time for Friday. It is a great feeling to have conquered such a big plot in this my second season, and to be in a position to make proper sections with grass paths. Already now, I am thinking that maybe I should use the ‘garden’ that I am developing right at the end for raising more flowers, plants, veggies, or fruit. It is great to be able to enjoy it all now that the season is winding down, even the caterpillar population seems to be dwindling, and the brassicas tent is looking healthy.

A couple who have had half a plot are moving soon, and they have told me that I can help myself to the flag irises, and some strawberries (if there are any remaining, as they have invited everyone to help themselves), and also to some asparagus plants. I have let them have a free run of my lottie and to help themselves to any crops that they want to pick. They had expected to have moved a lot sooner than now, so did not grow much. It is so nice to be able to exchange or give away home grown food, people do appreciate it. I wish I had some fruit trees, I would love to pick and store apples in particular. I think it must have been a bad year, as there are not the usual boxes of windfall apples outside houses around the village.

I bought some hooks from the builders yard on the outskirts of the village, and late this afternoon, we screwed them into the roof beams in the garage to hang up the sacks of potatoes, after I had spent a pleasant hour or two, going through them again, and re-checking that they were in good condition for storage. I am really happy with the varieties I grew this year, particularly as we had drought conditions.

I grew Orla and Colleen early potatoes, Milva, Valor and Robinta (red) early main crop, and Cara as my late main crop. All but Cara were blight resistant, but I did not have any signs of blight in any of them. Non of the early had any damage of any description, some of the Valor got nibbled by rabbits and deer, and some of the Robinta and Cara had holes in them but are still edible. The sizes of the early potatoes were fairly uniform, but the Robinta ranged from tiny to large, and the Cara were predominantly medium to large, in fact I have got two sacks full of really large ones for baked jacket potatoes. Grown without any help from me, apart from keeping them weed free, I am amazed at the yields per little seed plant.

I thought that you might like to see another of my funny plants - I stopped to pick lettuce, tomatoes, and a cucumber for lunch and came across this cucumber! I hadn't noticed it under all the leaves. When tiny it had obviously started poking through the fence but still managed to swell!

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