So it turns out that tomatoes are the highest maintenance diva of the allotment. Having culled the rotten-bottom fruits last week and removed most of the foliage, we have a new problem – cracking.
According to the God of Monty (Don), this is another symptom of irregular water levels. Given that I am myself quite stroppy if not given two litres of Malvern spring water a day, I can only reflect that one reaps what one sows (literally).
It’s not really a problem of course. The fruit splits? So what. They are turning nicely red and are great on toast with olive oil and sea salt.
Compared to the indoor Eton vines, the outdoor Grange Hill tomatoes have actually now got some fruit on them. I doubt they will have sufficient time to ripen before the days properly shorten; their life always a struggle because I didn’t give them big enough pots as seedlings in which to grow properly. Can’t help but see this as an analogy for all beings that have a difficult start in life.
Also daily regular pickings now of pattypan, more courgette, more greens (the third lot of spinach have gone MENTAL), more beans. Borlottis are in pod, but the colour of runners rather than mottled pink.
Sunflowers are doing brilliantly. I hadn’t fully realised that the seeds I bought would become cutting flowers, so each stem carries 5 or 6 blooms. Perfect for the allotment as I get to enjoy them there but also in a jar at home, along with the dahlias.
Is it still summer? There are blackberries now, and fat corns (it remains to be seen if they are fertilized or not). The summer raspberries which I had written off are now covered in green fruit, making me think that I was too quick to judge and they are actually autumns. Today, picking in yellow mac and jeans, the air damp with rain, made me long for autumn fruits, pies, puddings, sloes, walks, fires. But we must not wish our life away. Feels like spring was only yesterday.