Forget the Nuclear Winter: It’s a Nuclear Spring!

I was planning to write a nice considered blog about planting potatoes and broad beans – both jobs that I would normally do in mid- or late March – but it has been such a late season. The trouble with late seasons is that eventually they have to make up for lost time. And that’s what happening now. I’ve never been so busy out on the farm and in the garden, which is why my attempts to revive poor Alan Cadbury’s subscription statistics aren’t going that well (please help if you’ve been putting it off – we need all the pledges we can get!). I was talking to a fellow gardener yesterday, and he used that memorable and very descriptive phrase: a nuclear spring.

It’s like everything is going mad: the lawn is growing at a crazy rate. I refuse to cut it twice a week on principle (why use the fuel), but as a result even my powerful (17 hp) mower is having trouble coping. Two weeks ago, there wasn’t an asparagus spear in sight, but now my two beds resemble crowds of tiny commuters rushing to catch a train. And as for the broccoli… Again, two weeks ago we were having to ration what we ate, but now we’ve been stuffing ourselves with both purple and white, and even so, 90% of the new shoots are going to flower – and be wasted. Normally we would eat the lot. Even the chickens have gone mad, with all three hens laying an egg a day. And the swallows are building nests in the front porch of the house and in the barn, flying in and out with beakfuls of mud and straw. And there are dozens of newts frolicking in the pond.

I know what’s coming next: we’ll be praying for rain…

White and purple broccoli

Purple (foreground) and white broccoli in over-abundance.

Spring produce

A routine harvest

Asparagus spears

Asparagus – in profusion

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