Earlier this year I posted about how our humble bit of food production at the end of the garden was progressing. As the lettuce (the last of our summer crops) gets turned to mush by the already severe frost tonight, its time for an update.
Pretty much as I reported in the earlier post due to its seasonality. The Apple tree has had a very poor crop. This has upset the homegroup who were looking forward to the cider. I’ve bought two small apple trees one of these is in.
Potatoes. As I said about half the tubers rotted before the shoots came above ground. Those that cropped were very good. The variety is a new German one called Milva. What I like about them apart from the colour and the taste was that they do not produce any minute ones that you miss and become “guardsman”. I cropped this magnificent specimen below.
The mangetout produced a reasonable crop, but poor by previous standards. The lettuce loved the weather and we were still eating some this week. One of the big surprises is I’ve managed to produce some reasonable carrots for the first time ever. The weather was so bad even the carrot fly couldn’t eat them! We have a few Parsnips but these have also cropped poorly this year. Courgette crops were disappointing although the plants were healthy. Squash was a near miss. The plant was quite large and produced some small ones (that rotted), but if the weather had been better we would have got some. The French and Runner bean crops were disappointing. Tomatoes did well in the end (still got a few ripening), very late, but this was due to me. The biggest failure was cucumbers which we had very few, made a financial loss on those. I don’t know what the problem was. They don’t need sun normally.
At the end of the season I planted Winter Spinach direct into the soil which has fed the slugs and started winter lettuce inside. These lettuce are all planted out bar one or two stragglers, each under its own cloche made from plastic bottles cut in two and are doing well. In fact we have already eaten some leaves.
The weather has been crazy this year. I’ve never seen such rain in Scotland and whilst I’m loath to attribute individual events to climate change, what’s happened in the UK this year is becoming a pattern. One of the big lies put about by climate sceptics is we can adapt to the changing climate. This year has convinced me otherwise. Most crops need not too much wind/rain/sun but just the right amount. A changing climate is not going to allow this. Add in rising oil prices, given agricultures dependency on oil and we have got a problem looming.