Seriously, its hot. Really hot. It hasn't rained at all in weeks and there's none forecast in the foreseeable future. Every day dawns to bright blue skies and blazing sunshine, and its fabulous. It's been years since we had a proper summer in Ireland!
But....my office is suffocating by the afternoon and my little house is like a sauna; I'm starting to regret all the insulation I put in last winter. We can only sit in the back yard after eight as all the concrete absorbs heat and works like an oven.
All that makes it a real pleasure to escape the city and run out to the allotment and the sea breeze and the space and the air. I don't know if I'm cut out to be a city dweller.
The main job at the plot at the moment is trying to keep everything watered. It's a challenge. I have a policy of not watering plants outside unless they're in a pot - once you start watering you have to keep it up. If you don't water then they send down deeper roots and find the water below. However I'm not sure how well this works in a prolonged drought. Still, for now only the polytunnel, recent transplantees and the pots get watered; this still requires 5 or 6 watering cans. All of the water butts are empty right now so we're down to one butt which is fed by mains (and is a bit of a walk away from my plot) and one tap (which is right outside my plot but is usually only a trickle). It means several trips and waiting and so watering can take a while. I've been visiting every two days while the weather is hot, but still plants are looking pretty hot and stressed in the poly....I'm probably the only person in Ireland wishing for some nice cool rain.
Anyway, I'm off on holidays to France tomorrow for a few days, so everything will have to fend for itself. My sister has kindly agreed to visit once and water, so that will hopefully keep everything going.
I dug up the rest of the early spuds today; Land Leaguers and Osprey. Great harvests of both and only a couple with any holes; the rest are perfect.
These are now stored in the shed in hessian bags until we need them.
Harvesting continues meanwhile; loads of courgettes, three small turnips, peas and chard.
In fact we've so many courgettes that I'm trying another Alys Fowler recipe; courgette crisps. Sliced courgettes are marinated for an hour in olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika (I used some chilli flakes also) and then dried in the dehydrator for four hours. The result? I'm not sure yet as they still have an hour to go, but they taste gorgeous already; spicy and salty although slightly chewy.