Sunday, 3 June 2012

Anyone for Beans?



DSCF0468 tinyJust before Christmas I managed to plant a couple of rows of broad beans and against the odds I’ve just harvested them. 

The “against the odds” refers to the past winter which was the coldest around here for 60 or so years.  We dropped to –18C and were well below freezing with snow lying on the ground for over a week which I covered in the previous post. 

The beans were severely frosted. The exceptionally cold winter was  then followed by a record breaking warm March which brought out all the insects too early and then a record breaking wet April that was also 5C below average temperature too.  This resulted in a very low pollination of the fruit trees and of the beans.  Most of the plants only had 2 or 3 pods on them.  I still managed to harvest these:-

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I’m hoping that the early spring sown row will yield a few more but even they look as though they’ve been having problems.

The sunset on the 25th was spectacular with the towering clouds being coloured glowing pink and orange.  Again the camera rarely captures what the eye sees.

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A Busy Year

As ever I’m not managing to post as often as I’d like to so yet another catch-up post!

Last year was rather different for me, I had company for most of the year.  In March 2011, one of my son’s came to stay for a short time before I drove him to Aix-en-Provence where he was studying for a few months.  Due to accommodation difficulties he returned earlier than we thought and stayed here to write his thesis.

My sister then sold her house in the UK and at the end of October she moved in with me too along with all her worldly possessions and her Jack Russell terrier!  We then set about house hunting for her and were lucky to find a house that's close (but not too close Smile), soon after Christmas.

My son returned to the UK just before Christmas and thankfully he was able to find a job in the UK, while my sister’s house purchase finally went through in early May.  She has quite a bit of work to do on the house but is hoping to move in very soon.

So those are my excuses for not posting.  Actually I should admit to watching too much TV/DVD’s as well; it’s amazing just how much time can be wasted that way.

But I am still here and still working on making the farm a viable concern although in the current economic climate I’m not sure it is possible.  The price paid to farmers for grain has nearly halved over the last few years while the cost of diesel, (for the tractor) has doubled and the price of seed stock has gone up by around 50%.  Small farms are sadly being driven out of existence.

Anyway that’s enough doom and gloom, time to try and record a bit more of the work going on here.