A Month late and a Turnip (Crop) Short.

Image result for turnip seeds image

I was absolutely – one hundred per cent – certain. Certain that the planting ‘structions on the packet said plant in July (and it’s nearly August already!).

…but, having been so fool-certain, I come to plant the little blighters and find the recommended planting time is June.

What’s a po’ boy gonna do?

We take up the last row of peas (and associated weeds); the ground where they grew is bone dry when I dig it over to clear weed roots. We are well into harvesting potatoes now (as we need them) and the allotment is looking somewhat bountiful. The brassicas we planted are not as good as last year: broccoli rushed past and gone to seed while we were in Scotland, cauliflowers small but reasonable; cabbages stolid and still going. Maybe the soil was wrong in this spot?

The runner beans planted deliberately late are starting to crop. I reckon they have at least six weeks to come on and supply us with beans (I love eating the smaller ones straight from the plants!)

Butterflies are everywhere, mixing with bumble bees on the flowers in the “wildflower bed” but also pollinating blackberries as they must have done the apples and pears.

But: the turnips? The swedes?

I turn over some the soil – which until recently held the broad beans – with the fork, disturbing zillions of tiny black ants. That have made their nest and tunnels in the recently dug soil: who knew? I always believed they made their wonderful labyrinthine nests under rocks, corrugated metal or more solid features. They scurry about rapidly, trying to carry pupae and eggs to safety.

I continue: rake out the lumps and weed roots, make the drills, put water into the bottom of each, wait for the ground to soak it up … and plant the seeds.

What is the worst that can happen? They don’t grow and we have no swedes/turnips of course. Well we haven’t got any now – so what’s the diff?

Meanwhile another “celebrity chef-crusade” TV programme has me puzzled and confused. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s latest TV series Wake Up and Taste the Waste held less than no attraction for me. Until I watched the second episode, becoming more involved by the moment (good TV at least will do this to you).

Despite all the razzamatazz it turns out that, apparently franchise coffee cups (Costa, Café Nero and Starbucks) are not recyclable! Front-of-house assumptions are wrong.

Turns out they cannot be recycled because of the production methods which make them – sensibly enough – waterproof. The insides of the cups are lined with poly-ethylene, which sticks to the paper/card part of the cup and confounds recycling processes. To make it worse, in order to bond the poly-ethylene efficiently the cup itself must be made from virgin (not recycled) paper. Meanwhile everything about the promotion of these brands suggests, at least subliminally, that he companies are super advocates of eco-concern, champions of the environment.

So, I wondered, looking at a bigger picture. What, with these being multi-national companies, are the cups recyclable in other places – meaning mostly in The U.S.A. I guess. How hot are they across the pond on the recycling front*? Domestic collections?

It is possible that there is a technique common in the States that separates the poly ethylene from the card: if that’s the case why aren’t we using it over here? A question for the politicians perhaps.


*Anybody reading this based in the U.S.? Let me know please.





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