Monday, 5 September 2016


Noire (Black) Crimee (Crimea) tomatoes
    In the department of the Creuse the authorities have now declared a drought and that people must restrict their use of fresh water. Not surprising really. My neighbour says that it has been over seventy six days since it rained in any significant amount. The garden and fields reflect this. The picture opposite is an exception. These tomatoes I have been looking after, protecting them from the chickens and regularly watering. They are rewarding me with a good crop of nice sized fruits, deep almost black in colour, hence their name, Black Crimea. The Crimea was were they were found and I think I am right is saying it was not that long ago. Anyway elsewhere in the outside garden I have also been nurturing some haricot buerre and they are showing small yellow beans. I have managed to keep the chickens off these too unlike my poor sweet peppers that have been devastated by the chickens. I have a couple of Giant squash (variety Giant Squash!!) and they are giant! Autumn cauliflower and winter cabbage are hanging in there but really do not look happy as do most of the winter leeks. I continue to harvest round and straight courgettes and it looks like this year there is not going to be an excess. My early sown rows of carrots are being harvested and look very good. I cannot remember ever having so many long fat carrots! 
  In the poly tunnel the jalapeno peppers are cropping well and the report is that they are hot, hot, hot! Chrystal Apple cucumber continue to crop but are coming to an end as are most of the tomatoes. There is a good bed of beetroot growing away and I am hopeful that there will be fresh beetroot later in the autumn. 
  On the animal front the ram lambs have been separated from their mothers as we are now coming into the time of year when the ewes come into season. We do not want lambs this year and are making every effort to make sure they do not happen! Our two chicks have now joined the flock and are roosting with them along with mother hen. They are some eight weeks old and are growing fast. The hens are still laying  outside the coop and only about half of them are laying. A cull is really needed and replacements sought. The poor ducks are molting and look like a moth eaten carpet. Lots of feathers in their enclosure.
   With September upon me it is time to start thinking about next season and what needs to be done in preparation. Only seems like yesterday that I was planning for this season.


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