Another Wet Week

So far it’s been another grey clouds week with hardly a bit of blue to be spotted in the sky. It doesn’t stop the weeds from growing but it doesn’t help me in getting rid of them.

Even when the weather isn’t utterly miserable, I’ve been really pushed with work. Not least the joys of a hosting service (not the one this site is on) deciding to upgrade. For ‘upgrade’ read ‘break my web site’.

Talking of things that break, my computer is acting up and showing signs of immanent breakdown. Finally bit the bullet and a new super machine is on order. Considering I have built computers in the past for customers and bought components for a computer manufacturer, it’s amazing how ignorant I am. Things have moved on so far in just a couple of years that I hardly know where to start. Even the cases are prettier!

The important thing on the new one is that I’ve got a dual hard drive arrangement so if one fails the other has all the data safe. Unless they both fail or the computer blows up. So not throwing away the back up external drive just yet.

It’s also got a new operating system. Something called windows x I believe. From what I read Vista is not the best for me. I did notice the head of Microsoft decided it was time to leave the company. Wonder if they’re related?

It shouldn’t take long to move everything from the old system to the new one, which is why Val is thinking of going on holiday until it’s done. She can’t stand watching me cry.

Enough of this techy rubbish, back to the real world. We did manage to get down to harvesting a load more broad beans. I love them, not just cooked but young ones raw go well in a salad. Even the older ones are nice in a cold salad after a quick blanch.

The peas are coming in well now, those that we manage to get home rather than eat as we pick. Few little bugs in with them, but if they’re not good enough for the bugs, they’re not good enough for us.

I watched Jimmy Doherty’s television programme on farming the other night. He was around East Anglia and showed how they grow and harvest peas on an industrial scale. Mammoth machines like combine harvesters that trundle across the field spitting out haulm and pods behind them then filling a lorry with shelled peas. That then just has an hour or so to get to the freezing plant.

The sheer scale is incredible to someone like me who finds picking a row enough of a task. Although they’re great fresh, peas do freeze well so our miniature plant swung into action. My job is blanching and cooling and Val’s job is to bag and freeze. I’ve got it down to a ballet of efficient time and motion now. Cooling in two large pans with the third boiling away on the stove.

Kept watering in the greenhouses every couple of days. Tying in the tomatoes and stripping off the side shoots. Stopped a couple of tomatoes already. Stopping is where you pinch out the growing tip when the plant is as tall as you want. There’s quite a few fruits on now, some are swelling nicely and I even got two small ripe tomatoes off the Gardener’s Delight. My first tomatoes of this season.

Also got a couple of nice cucumbers of the Carmen in the greenhouse. I can see why show growers like Carmen. They are perfect EU straight specimens although I still prefer the flavour of Burpless Tasty Green.

Some good news in that Paul Wyman set up a petition about this herbicide in manure problem. I’m proud to have been the first to sign (yes my proper name is Michael John, but it’s a long story) and have been joined by 258 others as I write. Let’s make it 10,000.


Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
One comment on “Another Wet Week
  1. Maggie Hale says:

    My Techie Webbie husband says avoid Vista at all costs too, so good decision by you. Reading your blog makes me think we are living parallel lives. We have been picking and blanching madly too. Doing it as a team makes things so much easier. I do usually get to do the easy bit though like you – ie blanching and cooling. He does the podding and bagging! Here in Cheltenham we have a huge waiting list for allotments and they are now building on the sites and getting away with it!

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