Spot the Difference ?

It’s true to say I have been away from WordPress for a while – a rest is as good as a change – but this is the first of a couple of pieces, published now some six weeks after it was drafted (so out of synch with the seasons).

Still wonderfully, hectically busy at the allotment. And at home.

Where, earlier in the year there didn’t seem to be enough time to dig the ground, get the seeds in (trays or soil), pricked out, potted on, planted out, netted …

… and definitely not enough space in the greenhouse to keep all of the grow bags, pots, seed trays … You get the picture don’t you?

Now, at the opposite end of the year, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to keep up with the harvesting. And distributing the surplus.

What a wonderful year it has been; the successes, the experiments and the could-do-betters. But it is a full time pastime just dealing with everything that is ripe and ready to be picked. Lettuces bolting, potatoes dying back, apples and pears bending branches to the ground as they swell.

And courgettes? Don’t get me started on these little blighters: camouflaged from sight, silently doubling in size by the hour: yellows and greens. The neighbours have started diving under their tables when we ring their doorbells to ask if they’d like a(nother) couple of courgettes.

And in the greenhouse peppers that refuse to flower, cucumbers that do nothing but and tomatoes having foliage taken off to increase the rate of ripening.

But, weirdly one of the cucumbers has taken it upon itself to banana up. The remainder of the crop are steadfastly green. This one, like the ugly duckling (that was actually a swan) is definitely banana-yellow. But, sorry and all that but still a cucumber. Plantation Owner’s Wife, is at her wit’s end, finding recipes that’ll use up courgettes (we have them in cakes, roast, fried, baked and grated) but reckons the cuke is firm and useable (it’s not like there aren’t plenty more, green-standard, recognisable ones where it came from) so we will see. How different, after all can it be?

Up on the plot when I explain this to Alan, he suggests keeping seed to see what happens to the next generation. I am tempted: would the vine be cluttered with all-yellow cucumbers?



As I once told a schoolboy who refused to eat “Bulgarian food” (literally an undressed salad) in Bulgaria;

“You like water don’t you?”

“That’s a cucumber: it’s only water shaped like a cucumber. Try it.”

He did, He’d never eaten cucumber – or lettuce – at home (hard to imagine I know, but there you go …). Bless ‘im; for try it he did … and enjoyed it. The same argument worked with lettuce (again, the same result) but fell flat when it came to radish: mostly water, but with an unexpected bite!

From downstairs, as I type in my clumsy, two-fingered style wafts the rich smell of baking: plums rival courgettes this year: and cakes use up some of each; marvellous!

…and that has me hungry, see you later?



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