Monday, 1 July 2013

Progress report

Well, we're past the longest day and into July so I suppose it's all downhill from here. Not a chance, this is where it all starts to take off. After the appalling spring we had I'm amazed at how quickly everything has caught up and many crops are where they should be at this time of year.

That top tomato is looking ready to eat but I'll give it another day or two. The earliest I've ever had tomatoes is the first week in June but for the last three or four years it's been July so no change there.

A lot of the 'heritage' tomatoes I grow have these heavily ribbed fruit which is probably why you don't see them in supermarkets.
tomato: vintage wine
People have become conditioned to see tomatoes as shiny red billiard balls but, like everything else in nature, diversity is what really counts. I know I have a habit of ranting a bit sometimes but I feel that my generation was the last in this country to have any real connection with food and the land. Growing up in the country and having a grandad who kept hens and grew his own food (and tobacco) probably helped. Sorry, wandering off topic again.

The blackcurrants are ripening nicely (on track again) and it looks like a truly bumper crop this year. Last year I was trying to deal with a severe aphid infestation at this time and the crop was mediocre.

We've been harvesting potatoes and carrots for a while and have now started on the overwintered onions. This year I've grown them all in containers rather than the veg plot. They are smaller due to being closer spaced but still useful.

The main crop of seed-sown and set onions have plenty of top growth and will be swelling  now that the days are shortening. I keep trying get to get a twelve month supply of onions but usually only manage nine or ten months because the little beggars have the annoying habit of sprouting when it gets to March!

After a slow start it looks like we'll actually get a broad bean harvest.

Due to the windy conditions up here I usually only grow a dwarf variety (Sutton) but I've also got a tall longpod variety this year and guess what? We had strong winds at the weekend and they were battered and bent this morning. Lesson learned!

In case you think it's all gardening and nothing else up here at Solway Towers we had a day out today.

This is a view across Bassenthwaite Lake from the road over Whinlatter pass. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Bassenthwaite is the only lake in the Lake District....all the others are meres, waters or tarns. There, you learn something every they tell me.

No comments:

Post a Comment