It may be an old cliché but sometimes it is truly the simplest things in life that give most pleasure. Jethro has achieved one of his lifelong ambitions – to grow good cauliflowers in the garden at home.
They look good and taste good, and we have had so many that despite eating lots, and giving some away, for the first time we have tried freezing them. Lots of blanching took place yesterday and we will see in the winter if it paid off.
The success of these cauliflowers has actually given him more satisfaction than the two thousand tonnes of arable crops that he has grown at the same time. It was also a lot less stressful.
Jethro recommends black matting for weed prevention, and netting to keep the pigeons off. Nature and one application of an insecticide for caterpillars in July did the rest. We try to be as organic as possible in the vegetable garden but find the Brassicas always have to have one treatment to prevent annihilation from cabbage whites.
Since 6th August, when we set up the new rain gauge, we have had five and a half inches of rain and everything has had a good soaking and there will be no residues left on the vegetables. The dry spell is over.
On the farm and in the veg garden we now have grass and weeds almost up to our knees. What a difference the summer rain makes! As our annual rainfall is only in the region of 23 inches it is remarkable to get almost 20% of the annual total in what is normally the driest month.
There is no telling what the autumn and winter will be like, but we are no longer short of grass for forage and Jethro has bought in hay, at a good price, to compensate for what we could not make. Like all past winters it will get over and I have to say at my stage of life the years seem to pass quicker and quicker I can hardly believe we are heading towards the last night of the Proms again….
I have a question: why do summers seem to pass so fast and winters go so slowly?