Oh dear – not very good news from up the allotment today.
We had a really bad hailstone storm yesterday evening, and when I went to my plot today it was very evident. Apart from the ground being awash from the rains that followed, leaves were shredded, tomatoes were battered, and flowers were flattened.
I let the girls out to run free, and gathered some more blackberries. I have been harvesting them every other day, and manage to pick between a pound and a pound and a half each time – so more jam making tonight.
My priority was to right, the fallen over tomato plants and canes, remove the shredded leaves and damaged tomatoes, and to salvage what I could of the crop.
If I had had half a dozen plants it would have been a total disaster – but with more than 70, it was an upset, but damage limitation means that I will still have enough if they ripen.
It took me well over two hours to sort it all out – resulting in a huge bag of tomatoes for the compost heap, a pile of ripe, but damaged ones for the chickens, and a few pounds of different shades of colour and ripeness for us. I saved ones that I could cut the damaged part off – so long as it was only half the tomato. I also saved half ripened ones and some of the green ones that had been knocked off to the ground.
I did some hand weeding whilst I was in there – all the above jobs were mainly on my hands and knees. Whilst tidying up the plot the heavens opened again, torrential downpours and I got soaked. I gave up after almost three hours, - I didn’t even have to call the girls, as they had hotfooted it back inside their run and were tucking in happily to some apple cores, tomatoes, and grapes, so I just had to lock them in.
By the time I got back to my car, another hailstone storm was upon us complete with thunder and lightening – so I gave up for the day.
Hence the lack of photographs – it was just too dangerous to be up there in that weather. I was drenched to the skin – so dived in the shower as soon as I got in. Pat came home from golf having not had a drop of rain – and he was on a golf course only 8 miles from the village – but they could see the black clouds and thunder and lightening hovering over here!
After this second storm today - who knows what I will find tomorrow. It hasn't stopped raining since, otherwise I would have ventured up there to see.
I have already cooked two large oven trays of tomatoes, baked with garlic cloves and a little olive oil and now pureed and cooling ready to vacuum pack for the freezer. These will be uses as bases for all sorts of sauces, including the most obvious – for pastas.
I usually make a nice spicy one for fish and poultry which I will do when I get more ripe tomatoes later on – fingers crossed.
So that’s about it for today – apart from showing you the damage that the hailstones did yesterday to the cover on the banties run. I was going to replace it when I got back – but the storm prevented me. Just as well really, as that cover would have been ripped as well.
On no - Pat has gone to play bowls and anothe hailstone deluge has just begun.
How will my plants and veggies survive this?