18th July 2012 – Allotment Plot 326 – Heavy rain showers were falling. Ella Montt stood in the doorway of the cramped shed waiting for the rain to ease. The ground was wet and would be muddy if any digging was about to occur. When the rain eased off slightly, EM moved from the shelter to survey the Plot. Wild plants were reaching full seed capacity in the quest to continue their reproduction process. At this stage the immanence of plant reproduction would not be easily thwarted. (Seeds will fall and reseed). The Allotment Plot desired on some levels to achieve a wild plant free zone to aid vegetable productivity. However, the diversity of wild plants on the plot encourages a wide diversity of insects and other wild life that contribute to the health of the vegetable plants and the vibrancy of the soil. The Plot needed more attention to keep the wild plant life in check and some areas might look shabby and neglected, but meanwhile this neglect was reinforcing the biodiversity of the plot. At some point in time the neglect areas might be modified, but the sustainable environment for biodiversity should be maintained; no introduction of herbicides would be necessary.
The Spring planted Broad Beans plants had grown tall. The well-established Bean pods were mainly on the lower half of the plants. The Broad Bean plant is an ancient food crop cultivated by Mediterranean Countries for at least 8000 years. It produces its own nitrogen in the soil and so does not need feeding.
Ella Montt accessed the Onions and the Garlic. There did not seem to be many Onions even though quite a number had been planted last Autumn. There was much more Garlic; its foliage was drying off. It became apparent that the moment to harvest the Garlic and Onions had arrived so the fork was fetched from the shed. The ground was wet so the Garlic was easy to dig. The amount of Garlic dug from the soil seemed a good harvest, (but a memory of how last years Garlic had rotted later on after its harvesting still lingered). Unlike this years Garlic, the Onions were not in such a good state. Some Onions harvested were healthy and firm, but others were soggy or had already rotted and disappeared in to the soil.
Potatoes were also dug from the soil. The Potatoes were somewhat on the small size presumably as a result of the inconsistent weather, which had been at various times consistently dry or consistently wet. The variants of temperatures were not assistants in aiding some vegetable plants to really flourish, unlike the wild plants that survived without hindrance. Vegetable Seeds were planted, (perhaps optimistically), the growing season on the Plot is not over yet and for some seeds it is just beginning.
Seeds planted: French Bean (Dwarf) Royalty; Runner Beans Enorma; French Beans (Climbing) Markant, Blauhide and Barlotta Lingua di Fuoco; a mix of saved Squash seeds from plants grown in 2011; Leaf Beat Rainbow Chard and Beetroot Detroit 2.
Harvest: Potato Red Duke of York = 3lb 4oz = 1.47kg; Broad Beans Hangdown Green = 2lb 12oz = 1.24kg; Leaf Beet Perpetual Spinach = 7oz = 200g; Leaf Beat Swiss Chard = 7oz = 200g; Onions Radar = 2lb 1oz = 940g = 12 bulbs; Garlic Elephant = 2lb = 930g = 3 bulbs, Thermidrome 3lb 2.5oz = 1.44kg = 20 blubs and Vallelado = 2lb 11oz = 1.22kg = 25 bulbs.
On 19th July 2012 at Allotment Plot at MERL, for the time of year the night temperatures were often low for this land position on planet Earth, but eventually it rapidly became a warm, humid day. The Mulberry’s were starting to form on the Mulberry Tree close to the Allotment Plot. William Morris had been sleeping emerged in the bark of the tree, but suddenly he yawned, rolled over, rubbed his head, blinked his eyelids and sat up.
Parts of the Planet were affected by severe drought and other parts were experiencing flooding. Both extreme conditions were contributing to a downward spiral in crops that the humans could harvest.
At Allotment Plot at MERL, Garlic, Onions and more Peas were harvested. The Garlic foliage was placed in the Brick Composter to decompose. Rocket Esmee seeds that had been grown on the Plot were scattered on to open soil.
Harvest: Peas Ezeta’s Krombek Blauwschokker 1lb 1oz = 740g; Onion Radar 1lb 9oz = 705g = 11 bulb; Chives 1oz = 20g; Garlic Elephant 11oz = 320g = 2 bulbs, Thermidrome = 13oz = 300g and Vallelado = 7oz = 200g.
24th July 2012 – Allotment Plot 326 – It was a very hot sunny day. The soil had dried out again and the temperature had risen. A small forest of four Oak Trees seedlings was growing in a pot. The seedlings had been collected from Plot 326 and now need a planting destination so that they can grow as Trees for the next 1000 years. The Acorn is a much neglected food source of protein and carbohydrate and can be used as a substitute for coffee. The Fruit trees on the Plot had produced virtually no fruit. There was a promise of potential Raspberry’s sometime in the not too distant future as the plants were starting to flower. A few more Onions were dug from the soil. A large Dragonfly circled in the air feeding on insect life that was un-discernable.
Harvest: Potato Charlotte = 2lb 12oz = 1.24kg; Onions Radar = 1lb 8.5oz = 700g; Broad Beans Hangdown Green = 3lb 10oz = 1.65kg.
27th July 2012 – Allotment Plot at MERL – The green colours of the plants were fading, a yellow tinge seeping through the vibrant green. The Pea plants were drying off. EB was examining the Potatoes. She advised that digging should commence sometime soon. It was next consecutive day without rain in a line of days without rain. The soil had dried again, because of lack of moisture and hot daytime temperatures. Across the sea’s water mass the land to the west was in severe drought, the sweet corn and soybean were scorched and harvests in some places were failing. A loss of human lively hood is occurring and farmed animals will be slaughtered because the feed the humans supply them with is unavailable. Humans on one land mass supply humans on another landmass with corn and beans so the problem is not a rural local problem confined to one land mass, it is a global problem. Meanwhile on other land masses flooding continued in unexpected places and was drowning plants and other living things. The ice on Greenland had decided to melt to illustrate the extremity of the Planet situation, in days previously a large iceberg had broken off a glacier. Satellites recorded imagery of the ice melting on the land mass, but there was no immediate solution. Human media showed the remarkable images of the newly green land. Then most of the humans forgot about Greenland, because other things such as human achievements in contesting sports distracted them. Whilst the other humans were distracted some humans took the opportunity to make plans to mine Greenland for precious gems, minerals and metals. It was another preventable ecological disaster waiting in the wings to be directed by humans, but it was understood that most humans would not notice until the disaster until it was too late. WM stood in the shade of the Mulberry Tree. The first fruit were ripening on the tree.
The Peas were coming to the end of their lifespan. The Runner Beans were starting to flower. The soil was dry. Ella Montt fetched the watering can from the shed and applied water to the Plot. Some Climbing Bean plants had emerged from the soil, but it was almost to late now for others to follow. The window of this particular Plot’s activity was closing, two more months and it would be over.
Harvest: Peas Ezeta’s Krombek Blauwschokker 14oz = 400g.
31st July 2012 – At Allotment Plot 326, black Beetles, a Common Lizard, and other wild life were living in harmony with the rhizome activity of plant life. The Common Lizard was discovered sitting on damp cardboard when another piece of cardboard was repositioned. The reptile did not move away quickly, Ella Montt went to retrieve a digital image-recording device, but as she returned the creature went to hide before image focus was achieved. The reptilian tail could be seen poking out form under a piece of wood and was then left undisturbed.
Some areas of the Plot’s soil were damp and workable while other patches were dry and it was hard to gain leverage with the fork. Black Beetles appeared in different places. More potatoes were dug and Broad Beans harvested. Some wild plants were removed from around the Plot and deposited in a composting pile. Many more wild plants remained unhindered. Beans and Squash seeds that had been planted recently were germinating, but Ella Montt’s crystal ball was cloudy and it was hard to see if the seedling plants would live long enough to produce harvestable vegetable matter in the next few months before frost would come. More seeds were planted in an attempt to grow edible greens. Others vegetable seeds that had been planted a few weeks before were emerging with potential.
Seeds Planted: Runner Beans Enorma; French Bean (Climbing) Markant, Blauhide and Barlotta Lingua di Fuoco; Carrot Nantes II; Calabrese Green Sprouting; Broccoli Raab; Cabbage Wintergreen; Oriental Red Mustard, Mizuna and Tokyo Bekana.
Harvest: Leaf Beet Perpetual Spinach and Rainbow Chard 7oz = 250g; Broad Beans Hangdown Green = 4lb 13oz = 2.175kg; Potato Red Duke of York 1lb 9.5oz = 730g and Charlotte 4lb 4oz = 1.94kg; Red Onions Red Baron = 4oz = 100g = 2 bulbs; Onion Radar = 12oz = 340g = 6 bulbs.