At last, it is raining. I may regret saying that if there is no more good weather this summer, but today, I am glad it is finally wet. I have been lugging-and have you noticed, water is always lugged-cans of water to keep potted plants and allotment produce alive if not thriving. I have watched the potato foliage wither and die and thought the crop would be a failure.
Yesterday, with rain forecast but not yet here, I dug the Pentland Javelin early potatoes and was pleased with the yield and relative lack of scab and slug damage. The latter is not unexpected in this dry season, but the tubers had made a good size. In the picture there is one of 3 bags-2 for keeping and the less good ones for immediate usage. I had the brainwave of saving the 10 and 15kg paper flour sacks we buy direct from the miller for this years potato crop . You can see one in the background of the picture.
I also collected the Japanese Autumn seed sown onions that have been ripening and the shallots. The onions are a lovely big crop but the shallots are much smaller-the ones in the picture I cheated with and these are some of the largest. I didn’t water them at all and they show it. The garlic is disappointing-same reason as the shallots I guess, but I did look up how to make a garlic plait this morning and once the cloves were cleaned up a bit and plaited, leaf rust and all, they looked quite good.
The fruit has been fabulous-several other blogs I read have commented on the bumper crops this year and I have made a dozen jars of strawberry jam, 3 of blackcurrant and the red currant will be completed tomorrow. I need to finish labelling them and then they will go into storage in the cool dark of the garage. I am always reminded of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five when I stack the jam. There is a description of a larder stacked with jam and butter and biscuits and I could clearly imagine it when I was a child.
The other bit of good news is that finally, on their 4th attempt, Mr and Mrs Blackbird have reared at least one youngster, seen here through the patio window this morning, waiting for dad to arrive with food. It still has the little “ear” tufts and no tail feathers.