Sunday 28 September 2008

The summer we never had

The last couple of days we have had stunning weather. Absolutely marvellous, and it's made us so happy. We've been taking all our meals outside, yomping around the fields, picking apples, searching for fungi (sadly rather unsuccessfully) and generally having a wonderful time. Particularly if your idea of a wonderful time is catching up with the mowing and washing!

There was time to pick a late crop of blackberries. We've now identified at least three distinct strains of blackberries, there are many varieties and sub species known to botanists of course, a large early fruited variety, a rather small fruited, sparse drupe with delicious flavour and now these late fruit. A couple of weeks ago these fruit were green and hard and if we hadn't had this late burst of sunshine would have come to nothing at all but in the warmth of an Indian summer have produced some delicious fruit for pies and crumbles, all before the devil's spit arrives with the first frosts.

There have been some other interesting developments with the late sun. The oca has flowered, the first time I have ever seen flowers on a vegetable oca (there are several flowering varieties of oxalis available to the gardener). My other varieties, the pink and crimson coloured tubers, have never flowered but these are the flowers on the white sort I purchased from RealSeeds last year.

And these are possibly a first for pictures of ulluco in France, ulloco flowers on two of the varieties that we're growing this year. I haven't tried to pollinate or save seed from these, and now the plants are past their flowering period and hopefully settling down to producing a good crop of tubers for harvesting in November or even later if the weather stays good.

No comments: