It’s been a sad time for us as we lost our Willow cat to cancer. The tumour must have been developing for some time but she showed no signs until the last couple of days. Being as she was in pain which the vet said would get worse and they couldn’t control, we said farewell. She went in my arms and is at rest under a tree.
Last Potatoes Harvested
The last potatoes are lifted now and they surprised me. Normally I grow Sarpo Mira as a ‘banker’. A banker is a variety you can bank on, a variety that will produce a good crop when others fail. This was the 2008 bank collapse!
Sarpo Mira is a real thug. It grows so vigorously that weeds just get shaded out. That’s a useful property when weed pressure is high or starting a new patch. It’s blight resistance is the biggest plus point. One year my Miras were about the only potatoes unaffected by blight on the entire allotment site.
Not this year. The Mira were quite badly affected by the blight. I was expecting a wheelbarrow full or more but ended up with about a quarter of that. Much of what was harvested was blighted and the yield was very sub par to start with. Yes, the bank crashed.
The thing is that Sarpo Mira are blight resistant, not blight immune. Like flu, blight changes year to year and this year the Mira’s immunity took a pasting. Strangely, I’d planted another of the Sarpo family, Kifli and that seems to have done very well, thank you!
From about a third of the area given over to Mira, Kifli yielded about double the harvest. The Kifli were in a raised bed and the foliage died down whilst we were incapacitated with the Covid. So the blight didn’t have anything to attack.
Gigantes Runner Beans
Because of the humidity we’ve ‘enjoyed’ this year, some of the gigantes pods were growing mould rather than drying out as I hoped. Anyway, Stuart had commented on storing the beans in the freezer rather than drying them so I cleared every pod, green as well as brown. This yielded just under a kilo of beans. Bagged into 250 grams and frozen.
Our total yield has been about 1.5 kg from 7 plants, which isn’t too shabby.
Cherry Trees Chopped
I had two cooking cherries planted by the old pigsty. They’ve given me just two cherries over the last decade and they overshadowed the redcurrant bushes. They were supposed to be on a dwarfing rootstock but I don’t think they were.
We had a Stella on Colt before we moved and it produced well without getting too large. Cherries can become very big trees – hence the need for a dwarfing rootstock. It’s a shame, cherries are a favourite of mine but they really don’t like the conditions here. Even the Cariad cherry in the polytunnel was a fail.
Their wood will be keeping us warm when its dried out, so not a total loss.