Sunday 12th August 2007 - Weather: humid and overcast
Reality strikes. Back home from our 2 week holiday in lovely France. We stayed in a fab house called La Blanchette in a village called Chenac near Royan, down along the west coast in the Charente Maritime region. Glorious weather, amazing shellfish, great peeps, clean long beaches, just a fab place. It was our third time in that region and we could never tire of returning as there are always new things to discover, but we are going to have a change next year....I think the med is calling.
Anyhow, two weeks is a long time on an allotment at this time of year and I was quite worried about what sort of state it would be in upon our return, so today I took back-up, and we all went together. What a relief! Yes, the weeds are everywhere and yes, everything has grown like mad, but the tomatoes are still blight free and weighed down with fruit, the runner beans had started cropping, but only just which means they are still in full swing, and generally things looked great!
Picked a selection of goodies which will keep us, the family and friends in veg for a while now. Rather than splatter them through todays ramblings, here for your pleasure, a gallery. Doo dee doo doo doo dee dooooo.....
Not a bad pickings. I know the sweetcorn are small, but they suffered in the long dry early spring, and they hated being planted out - I normally start them off in loo rolls so prevent root disturbance, but I forgot to save any this year, and I was short of room, so they struggled. However, there are 4 more varieties still on the plot and 3 are only just showing signs of flowering so they will be a few weeks away yet. The toms are blight free so far and the plants are weighed down with fruits. The ones in the photos are tumbling and I think, orange berry. Runner beans looking great, along with the flat hunter style french bean, called Goldfield I think. Picked over 5Ib in weight of the darn things! I will freeze some, and give lots away as there are still a fair few to come. I picked some slim frenchies, but I think I will leave them all from now on to provide us with dried beans for winter soups. The turnips normally fail me thanks to the flea beetle, but I sowed these a bit later, and I dusted them twice with derris and it has done the trick. A whole row of lovely 'nips currently ranging from golf ball to tennis ball size. Pleased with the mange tout also. I have only grown it once before, and it was the purple variety and funnily enough, nobody was keen. It looks like this row won't create a glut, but it will keep me in mangey touts for a few weeks. The spuds are kestrel and they are the diggings from a row and a half. They had awful blight and I nursed them and kept them clean, only cutting the tops back before we went away. From all that my darling dug, 2 had signs of blight, the rest are fab with only 1 or 2 suffering from slug damage. I still have an awful lot of spuds to dug, which will carry on this week.
The old man took a mass of photos, so when I have reduced them, I shall post some to show how the old plot is looking during mid August,