Thursday, 31 July 2014

July came and went

Another month passed us by :-( We've had some dramatic weather; hot, hot temperatures and a couple of amazing thunderstorms but not as much rain as a lot of people have had - though the sky often threatened.
We had a few visits to the plot and managed to pick a few veggies and get a few of our sickly seedlings into the ground and we've been pleased that the runner beans, carrots and beets are growing well. Though there aren't many bees around to pollinate the beans.
Funny that this year, when we've hardly grown anything, was the time that BBC Radio Berkshire decided to call (5mins before live broadcast) for a quick (1 minute!) radio interview. I was expecting them to ask about the plight of our lovely site but he actually wanted to talk about what we've been growing. Well, we all know you can't trust the media so I basically made some stuff up! Thank goodness for my fennel, which I've been boring everyone with this year!

Here's a sound file of my bit, if you're interested. Don't get too excited!
I did make the soup and it was delicious. Notice that I didn't claim to have grown the celeriac :-)
Finally I've had a few patty pans and the Zephyr squash have just started to look like they're meant to! The first squash on each plant just looked like a normal pale green courgette - maybe the plants were a bit shocked into producing a fruit a bit too quickly. They don't look like they're going to climb up the trellis, but hopefully there will be a few for me to try. Our Lizzano tomatoes are doing well and are super sweet - we've even managed to take some home, but most have been eaten on the plot.
I've seen the beautiful kingfisher flit across the site a couple of times! The neon blue flash is so eye-catching, but I'm not sure I'll ever be quick enough to snap it!
Cape Gooseberry
We had one late night at the plot to do a spot of bat-detecting - just look at all those insects and the ghostly form of Jamie! There were a lot of bats (most likely pipistrelles) at the top of site, but not so many by our plot, near the canal, which was rather surprising.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Warning - Whinger Alert

Bleah, what a year!
One would think that a month off work would mean that our plots are looking beautiful and we're busy harvesting. Unfortunately that isn't the case as I've been sickly and there are a lot of bare patches where we just haven't had time to sow, plant or grow anything. I hate to admit that as I write this I know there are marigolds, cabbages and leeks drying out in their trays - how awful :-(
Well, we're resigned to not eating much this year! Here are a few pics on the few occasions we have visited.
I'm still hoping to get some mangetout. I was most disappointed, though not surprised, when I saw that the pigeons had visited...
I half-heartedly attached some strips of plastic and there's been a bit of new (un-nibbled) growth, so we'll see...
Apart from the rhubarb and strawbs this is what we've harvested! Lucky I don't have any appetite at the moment. We pulled the Desiree potatoes because the foliage had gone down with something.

I am going to risk saying that my Florence fennel looks good (well, it did a few days ago).

Here's to feeling healthy again quite soon!