Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Potato Days: community-supported success story

So many potatoes... but we were lucky because we had many helpers on our two Potato Days. Here are three photos and big thanks to everyone who helped. It makes 'Llangybi Organics' feel like a real community. On the Roll of Honour are Rosemary and Matthew (and Zippy, the dog), Joan, Mayumi and Carwyn (who found Zippy a little overwhelming), Christine, Gwenlli and Gethin. Gethin, Gwenlli's son, worked enthusiastically with me having transformed, he said, into a crane. He certainly piled in the tatws.
The two kids, Gethin and Carwyn (below, centre) enjoyed themselves. We had a competition for the funniest potato. I think mine was the best. It was, I was told, like a bottom! Being incurably romantic and not rude, I thought it looked like a heart but then I'm very old fashioned.
And more thanks are due to those who took our call for help seriously. As a result of you putting the word around, we now have a good number of new customers as well as some 'old' ones who've come back again. Word of mouth is always best, we find. Thank you for mouthing the right words.

A reminder: We've almost run out of boxes. Please do return them as soon as you can. You've been very good about returning the strong plastic veg bags. Keep it up. And please don't forget to tick the list when collecting, either for yourself or for one of the groups. It all makes Val's life easier in keeping track of things.

News: Despite the dreadful weather in August, most crops have flourished reasonably well. Jill has made her customary heroic efforts and has managed to produce some fine outdoor crops like the beautiful Romaneso cauliflowers you'll have had in your bags. The peppers have done very well even though the sun didn't shine much. The potato crop was good, despite blight. We have had quite serious problems with diseases brought on by the relentless damp. Disease is always a problem in the autumn but not so much in summer. Almost incredibly, my son Mark, down in Oxford, tells me that the soil on his allotment is parched. He's having to water because there hasn't been rain for months. Hard to believe when living in Llangybi.

Another aspect of the 'summer' weather was the wind: we've had several near gales which have seriously damaged tall crops like beans and brussels sprouts. Many of my plants were blown down, first one way and then the other, so that some have simply snapped off and many others are stunted. Such a shame when they all looked so healthy before the mighty winds. Then came the cabbage white butterfly caterpillars... but you'll have heard enough!