Win some, lose some

My tomatoes have most definitely got blight. I pretty much knew there was no saving them, and to be honest I pretty much knew that they’d catch blight to start with due to the excess rain, so I was prepared for this outcome. I do have 3 cherry tomato plants growing in pots at home (which are so far fine, but slow to ripen) so I won’t be completely without the taste of homegrown tomatoes altogether this summer. It’s just a bit galling when you’ve gone to a lot of effort and then lost an entire crop. All I can say is, I’m philosophical about the fact that it happens sometimes in nature, and it’s not the end of the world. I’m lucky to have had the last 2 years with really good tomato crops, to the point of wondering what to do with them all. So one year a certain crop will do amazingly well, and then another year it’s hopeless, but something else will do well to compensate. I now just accept that such is life.

In this case, the extra rain has given us a good potato harvest, and some big whoppers too. We dug them up before the blight had a chance to infect the crop, and hopefully (fingers crossed) these will keep fine over winter. As mentioned previously my sweetcorn is fattening up nicely, and the climbing beans have put on a late spurt and are fruiting profusely. The dwarf beans meanwhile have become slug fodder, and will be dug back in as a green manure. Hey ho.

Finally, talking of winners, I just want to mention the small fact that one of my fellow lady allotmenteers has just won the prize for best allotment in Ely. This is the first time it’s ever been won by a woman. She has a full plot (taken on the same time as me – 2008) that she works on her own, without the use of chemicals or mechanical aids (rotovators), not even a shed! And she doesn’t grow everything in traditional rows, there are blocks of plants with rose and fruit bushes in between, and huge sunflowers and runner beans that grow down the edge of her plot. It is immaculate, apparently even her piles of weeds were noted as being neat and tidy! This is a hotly contested prize among the men who do everything very traditionally and have been growing since they were in short trousers. I’m so pleased to say ‘the times, they are a changing!’

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