Monday, October 12, 2015

Horsham Festival, garlic and more

Sorry I have been so slack in updating my blog. There really isn't a good excuse since it is spring and lots of veggies are growing.

On Friday I drove up to Horsham for the weekend spring festival. I haven't been before and it has been years since I have even visited Horsham. I had forgotten how much I like that little city - wide roads, hardly any empty shops, a huge business and shopping centre, and friendly people. What more could you want.

Here is my stall set up at the festival. I had a heap of seeds and plants and a display of gourds at the back. People loved the gourds and those were the seeds that sold out first.

I was a bit disappointed by the lack of crowds and I took home less than half what I expected but it was still a good couple of days away.

I think people were a bit worried by the coming summer so they weren't buying many plants and garden stuff. The other stall holders commented on the low takings also.

It was really sad to see all the miles of failed crops on the drive up there. Everything is so dry for this time of year that most farmers will lose their whole years income. Those who didn't have crop insurance are trying to cut their piddly failed grain crops for hay. It will be very poor hay but they have to do something to get enough money to buy seed for next year.

 My garlic crop is a failure this year. The heat came too early and the plants started maturing before they bulked up their bulbs.

Only the Elephant garlic (pictured) has even put up scapes. At least it is hard to have a failure at that as it is so hardy.

The first bed of garlic was ready to harvest last week - it is Mexican Purple Stripe and at least a month early. See how small the bulbs are, I won't have any to sell and will have to plant them again and hope for a better harvest next year.

The other garlic beds are not looking any better and will be ready in a couple of weeks to start pulling.

The trouble with having a variety of rhubarb that is sweeter and has less oxalic acid than most is that it is very tasty to bugs. It is hard to get this variety (Red Rover - my own selection) to grow as it is always beset with bugs and especially snails. They eat it right to the ground unless I keep the snail bait around it.

As a plus though, my mother thinks it is the best rhubarb she has ever cooked and is always asking for it.

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