Recent posts on Real Men Sow have featured a theme of end-of-season reflection. I’ve looked at the good and bad of 2018, whether my massive squash plants were actually a hindrance and even pondering the reason for growing my own vegetables.
There’s something else that has also got me reflecting too. I’ve not had to think that hard to work this one out, but it has been a very welcome reminder: soil is king, and it’s health and fertility is vital for good crops.
The squashes went mad because the soil has been amazingly fertile. The other crops that did fight their way through the mess have also been brilliant. The mangetout, beets, sweetcorn and carrots that were in that bed were the best I’ve ever grown.
I’m not very good at song lyrics. I don’t tend to hear them properly. I think I know a line, but in fact I’m normally singing it incorrectly. What’s more, I sing it over and over for the rest of the day. ‘One line Jono’, my wife calls me.
I had one of those incorrect lines going around my head as I pulled my squash plants up recently.
With school still out for the summer, Lewis and I took ourselves foraging for blackberries on our bikes. This is Lewis’ first six weeks off as a school kiddie, and on a lazy Monday afternoon, this felt like a lovely school holiday kind of thing to do. I’m definitely going to make this a staple of summer school holidays to come.
We did go foraging for blackberries last year after Lewis declared he wanted to make a blackberry and chocolate cake, but given massive amounts of chocolate in the recipe I used, I wanted to steer him towards something at least a little bit more wholesome this time around.