Week 23/24

This has been a very frustrating week but one I expected. Last Saturday I had eye surgery and was unable to do anything for 7 days except relax and take it easy. Sounds great, but not when you are someone who cannot sit still for more than 5 minutes, especially when the allotment is in full production, and we have a rising heatwave.

Thankfully, I was able to spend a little time in the greenhouse at home and on one of the raised beds where I did not have to bend down. This allowed me to lift the garlic and the first shallots and lay them out to dry in the growing heatwave. I was a little disappointed with the shallots as they were a little on the small side.

Throughout the week, I was able to harvest tomatoes and cucumbers from the greenhouse, which given the temperatures, was ideal for salads every evening. The first of the Longhorn Chillies were ready for picking as well and the first was used on a pizza and the second two went into a tomato and pepper soup with some basil. The fresh chillies made a pleasant change from Gochujang.

Finally, a week after the operation, I ventured up to the allotment. I am still unable to do any ‘manual work’ on the plot but needed to see what had happened and do some much needed watering. Fortunately, the only casualty of the week long drought, was a bolted cauliflower, the rest of the crop looked good but some needed harvesting before it was too late.

The peas needed harvesting as they were about to die back, and I managed to pod 1kg for freezing. To this I added a cauliflower, two cabbages (Mozart & Golden Acre), a few Rainbow Chard and Kale leaves. A further inspection showed that some of the dwarf French beans and runner beans would be ready very soon.

Sunday morning, and a quick visit to the plot. Today is the first of the Amber heat alerts so early is coolest. Priority was to water the containers and raised bed, the rest seems to be doing very well at the moment. Unfortunately, I am unable to do anymore heavy work for a couple of weeks.

The final job of the day was to pick some runner beans, Scarlett Emperor, and French beans, Cannellino, The is the first pickings from these plants and there is an awful lot more to come yet.

The next three weeks are going to be as difficult because instead of my usual 3-day week, I am working full-time covering for staff holidays. We also have my replacement starting this coming week, so have their training to oversee. Hopefully, will be able to water mornings and evening, but weeding will have to wait for the weekend. Can’t complain though, as this is normality for many people!.

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