On, on – harvest awaits

muwaga2Many moons ago I used to do a bit of hashing.  I am not referring to a drug habit, but a form of cross country run where the runners, working together, tried to follow a trail, normally laid with spots of flour, with many false leads.  When a runner found the true trail, he or she shouted, ‘On On’ and everyone followed.  What I liked about hashing was that it was a form of cross country running where competition was traded for cooperation, and if there is one thing that the Corona virus has brought it is a greater sense of community and cooperative living.

In a bid to get the sympathy of my reader, I want you to picture me typing this with my chapped Corona hands, the result of constant washing.  However, the discomfort is offset by the welcome sight of rain, and the end of a prolonged dry spell.  I am old enough to have clear memories of the summer of 1976, when we had virtually no rain between April and September and the news was full of pictures of almost dry reservoirs and cracked soil in the fields.  So, like last year, the rain has come just in time. 

Gardening always brings its challenges and only the other day I got an e-mail that finished with ‘Gardening, is it really that good for the nerves?’  Well, I agree that being at the mercy of the weather can create a bit of stress, but, overall, the connection with nature and open space is well proven to be beneficial and more and more people are taking advantage of this.  Certainly, the allotments have never looked better.  

August and September are the main harvest time for potatoes, onions, brassicas such as calabrese and summer cabbages, plus greenhouse crops such as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.  Often there can be an excess which can be stored for winter consumption.     Not everything needs to go in the freezer; you can store carrots, celeriac and beetroot in damp sand or old compost and store potatoes in bags.  In a cool place, such as a garage or shed, they will keep for months.  So, enjoy the summer weather but keep going in the garden and allotment if you want to reap the full benefits of your endeavours.  ON ON!    


Association activity is still in abeyance.  The first speaker event is scheduled for 23 September and is entitled ‘Heritage apple trees through the seasons’ by Andy Howard.  We will make a decision in August, based on the guidelines then, if it can go-ahead.   

For now, stay safe, keep gardening.

Tony Lewis

August – September 2020

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