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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The lid is on the fake tan, X Factor is back on telly and a Christmas menu has appeared in the local pub.
So it is we say goodbye to summer – meaning this will be the last column from Gerogine Wroe (until it all starts up again next year).
It’s been a funny old growing season; from hosepipe bans to biblical deluges. Our polytunnel blew away (twice) and it transpired our Matt the Fence, who built our magnificent shed, also has an outhouse in the Tate.
The harvest, in all honesty, has been far from bumper – in fact it’s been the reverse of bumper. Half a bag of spuds, 12 French beans, 28 raspberries, approximately 14 strawberries . . . although, admittedly, enough courgettes to lag a loft.
Things I have learnt from a summer on the allotment:
1. Never approach the town council and ask them if it’s possible to concrete-over your plot and put out a few pots.
2. Co-Allotmenteers will always favour Angry Birds, sleep and Game of Thrones to vegetable gardening.
3. There is nothing you can do to stop the advance of weeds. Like angry Mongol hordes covering the terrain, they are indefatigable.
4. Squashing slugs brings me more pleasure than a chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey.
I have also developed a huge, and previously undiscovered, respect for farmers. As I battle my 20 barren rods, they cultivate thousands of acres of even-rowed, weed-free vegetables.
Finally, good news on the giant vegetable-growing front. Last week I reported that Dave, our giant marrow (named after Dave Cole, the giant-vegetable-growing legend who donated the seedling) had pegged it after succumbing to a revolting fungus.
Yesterday, while Dave had dissolved into an ectoplasm of yellow slop, I spied, behind a dock leaf, thistle and clump of nettles, none other than “Son of Dave” – a proud green beast of a thing, measuring at least two feet.
This is good news because I’ve just had a text from Dave Cole telling me he has plans to display my giant marrow at his allotment show.
I’ll let you know, next year, how I get on.