From My Allotment Diary (Sunday, Aug. 4th, 2013)

August 4, 2013 by BigGee   Comments (2)

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Haven't been caught in a downpour since last year! It got me this evening though.

I went down the lottie at around 6 - ominous clouds about and a Met Office yellow warning of rain around 6 - 7, but I had to water my toms, cucumbers & melons & shut my polytunnel doors for the night. On arriving, I stupidly decided to do a bit of picking - before the rain, I knew it was on the way, but decided to out run it and pushed my luck - mistake!

We're going to the Doctor's in the morning for me to get taught how to inject myself. I'm starting on Liragluctide for my diabetes. So, as we're out and about we've decided to call on my mother, who's got a bit of a chest infection, we thought we'd call to check up and spend a bit of time with her. Anyway, whilst I was down the lottie tonight I thought I'd pick a bit of fresh veg for her (that's what all good boys do for their old mums isn't it?). So after getting a nice white ball-head cabbage, some beans, shallots, a cucumber and some spring onions, for Mam, I decided to push my luck even further, by digging up some salad blue potatoes, for her & us. Having done that I then had this urge to go & cut a Savoy cabbage for Josie (she's a big cabbage eater - as due to her food allergies she can't have anything with too much sulphate or phosphate in, cabbage seems fine). Now having said she's a big cabbage eater, I don't think she'll polish this one off in one meal - even with my help!

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Anyway, whilst in the middle of my race against time before the rain started, my mate Stephen turned up. As is our wont on occasions like this, we decided to have a cuppa & a chat - whilst sitting in my polytunnel - another BIG mistake - because by now the impending thunder clouds were catching up and about to get the 'drop' on me!

I donned a straw hat that was hanging in the polytunnel (a precaution, in case my 'rain run' timing was a bit out). So looking like a regular Cuban Organoponicos gardener, I went to cut my Savoy. That's when the heavens opened!

Now picture this. My cabbages are under a 4 foot high by 16 foot long net tunnel & held down with tent pegs (the netting that is, not the cabbage), what I'm trying to say is - it's a time consuming faff. So when the rain started coming down like a waterfall, I was trapped, crouched half in & half out of one of one of my net tunnels - still fighting with a huge Savoy with a stalk like an oak tree trunk.

As Stephen could do nothing to help, he decided to take off full tare for his car, with an overgrown courgette I had given him sticking out of his hand like a big green truncheon - flashbacks of a scene from the Keystone Cops flooded my head. I gave up racing the rain & decided to take my medicine like a man - without fighting - so I quietly got on with the job whilst getting soaked to the skin. Could be worse, it's hot & humid & a summer drenching with warmish rain is not that bad really. At least that's what I kept on telling myself for consolation!

Here's a photo of me on my arrival home, clinging dearly to my Savoy! (Not the biggest in the tunnel by the way - just the nearest to reach in a downpour)!

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It wasn't just the night of the Savoy in the rain! Some Salad Blue potatoes also made it home. They are an old heritage potato variety, that are believed to have originated in Scotland back in the late 1800s.

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They are instantly recognisable by their striking blue (purplish) skin and flesh (don't dig them up in the twilight they are almost impossible to find in the soil at those times). A real jaw-dropper to show off to friends, this makes it a potato that could be used for special dinner parties to impress your guests! Not being snobs ourselves, we don't go in for that sort of stuff though!

Apart from being a second early 'salad' potato it has good uses for mashing, whilst chipping qualities are also good. When baked it retains it's dark blue coloured flesh. Salad Blue potatoes are also said to have natural antioxidants which are meant to benefit the human body.

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When boiled they do lose a little of their dark blue pigment, however they then turn a beautiful light blue/ turquoise colour.

Finally, they are absolutely gorgeous tasting - a rare thing with flashy show-off varieties (like the not so nice tasting purple podded peas that I've grown this year). I highly recommend Salad Blue to everyone, so give them a try next season - you won't be disappointed - I promise.

Maybe with this thing for blue & purple I'll plant a full plot of purple/ blue veg one of these days, including my own discovery - the Aeron Purple Star runner bean . . . hang on I feel hot . . . I think I'm hallucinating . . . must have caught a chill in the rain . . . . EVERYTHING'S turning blue!

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:) Wow that's some cabbage a giants cabbage enough for a weeks meals there.

The spuds look good perhaps you could save a couple for us to try when we come.

I only just got up and running as got computer stripped down and the TV hard drive recorder trying to check out the hard drive see if can save the stuff on there to comp hard drive Re format the TV hard drive then put files back as it comes up with "Disk Error" and 2 choices Repair or Reformat Repair does not work I disconnected the wrong hard drive then computer would not boot up sorted it now.

dave 1537 days ago

Wasn't it so much easier & less stressful in the days before the technology boom Dave? For the hours of joy these gadgets give us they also give an equal amount of hassle, not to mention the hours of wasted time fiddling and pointless button pressing (or screen touching these days). I fear for the sanity of the coming generations - smart phones won't be much use when the oil reserves run out and everyone's forgotten how to grow food when the famines set in!

BigGee 1536 days ago

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