Some days you really feel the hard work has paid off, today I really felt this when I was out in the garden with a basket getting in the vegetables for lunch, everything we had for lunch today came from the garden, it also makes me think how lucky I am to have friends who come and help out, and friends who pay for people to help me in the garden, you know who you are, thank you, the extra help has made such a difference to the garden so far.
We have started to pick the Tomatoes, I have Adele ( a much missed friend) here helping out, we picked all the ripe fruit, cut the stork ends off and put them into a roasting dish, then added leaves of the purple Basil, another crop that has really picked up since the rain, cut up Garlic added salt and pepper, put the lid on, it is now baking in the oven, we will freeze these in small bags for the winter. A great mornings work so far.
Very interesting thing happened the other day, I tried to give a friend a Cauliflower, she said no thank you it is too big, too big, it is not like she lives on her own with 12 cats, she has a husband and two grown sons to feed, it could have been eaten over two nights, I have not stopped thing about it, maybe it is because the cauliflowers at the front door are not selling well, I put four out yesterday and only two have sold, they were to the same man, I saw him walking off with them looking happy, I also felt happy to see him with them.
Well we got the rain and the wind on the weekend, we had just over 20mm of rain over two days, much needed, and the wind was strong but not as strong as some people, we did put in large post at the end of the rows to run string down to tie the Tomatoes in place so they did not fall over. It was a bit of a worry that the weight of the plants could not be held by the stakes, it was all fine.
It is starting to look very dry up in the Vegetable Garden again, I wanted to water at the end of the day but they say we are going to get rain in the night, I hope so, we planted more seed today which needs some good rain to get it started, we planted two different Chicory today, not sure how different they really are so we planted them next to each other so we could see, they are C. Rosa di Treviso and C. Rosa di Treviso 2, both lots of seed are from Franchi Seed, you do get a lot of seed in the pack which I like a lot. We also planted more Salad Leaves for the winter.
I have started to get the areas that have finished cropping replanted, today it was Helichrysum, it is another mixed colour lot, maybe with this planting we will get some other colours. We also got another row of Lettuce ‘Craquerelle du Midi’ in, sown on the 23/06/14, it is a new Lettuce for us, the seed is from Kyle in the U.S, thank you Kyle, next to these is Beetroot that Thomas planted on the 30/07/14, it is up already, the rain last night will be a help with the growth.
I picked all the Helichrysum today, we sowed the seed on the 12/03/14, and picked them today, maybe a little too late, there are a few rules on when to pick them, one of these is when they have not had water near them for a few days and it is hot and dry, if the flowers are moist they will rot when you hang them, also they should not be too open, this is the hard part because they are at different stages even now, maybe F1 Hybrids would be better to grown, something to look into. They are going to add some sun shine to the house, I did sow a mix but they all came out yellow, not the end of the world.
It is good to be back at work after the break, the first job on my return was to clean up the Tomatoes, not sure why I was in such a hurry to do it, maybe after seeing all that fruit at the fruit stands, I cleaned them up just before I went away and two weeks later they had put on a lot of unwanted growth, I want to keep the lower half without leaves so the fruit will get the sun on them and with luck the blight will be kept at bay with the growth away from the soil.
Sometimes you do not understand what a great trip you had till you get home and talk about it to friends, I feel this way about my trip to the U.S, it could not have been a better trip for me, most of that is down to my hosts, John and MF (thank you so much), they got me out to see a lot and the chance to meet some very interesting people in the vegetable word, I have come back with a new set of eyes and a lot of plans. Not only will I miss Lee, Ed, Ivy and the boys but the beach and farm stands also. Thank you all, and thank you Thomas for all you did here.