AT THIS time of year I become somewhat obsessed with our allotment, as regular readers of this column will know.
And this year’s chronically pathetic weather isn’t helping.
In the past month we have had Saharan highs, almost Arctic lows, winds, torrential rains and day after day of total cloud cover.
This is simply not good enough.
I wait all winter long for the chance to grow a few seeds, pick a few lettuces, feast on strawberries and commune with nature. Surely a bit of co-operation from the weather gods is not too much to ask.
My friends are, I suspect, getting pretty tired of hearing about my allotmenting woes. They may even be secretly glad that my crops are under threat, then come September they won’t keep finding bags of giant courgettes on their doorsteps, for which they have to be grateful.
Although, I have to say that at this point in time the courgettes seem to be one of the few crops that are thriving. The apple trees we planted in the winter have barely grown and the list of seeds that never germinated is too long to mention here.
Weeds, of course, have no problem with the weather and the snails are creeping about merrily in the damp conditions. I spent my jubilee weekend attempting to control both.
The only way I console myself is by considering what life must be like for subsistence farmers the world over, who depend upon their crops for survival. At least I can go to the supermarket if the weevils get my runner beans or slugs turn the lettuces into lace collars.
It is a sobering thought indeed and makes me appreciate just how fortunate we truly are.
And it’s one of the reasons why I think all schools should teach children how to grow their own food.