The garden is in full swing giving up its gifts after the spring preparations and planting. In the past few weeks I have harvested garlic, shallots and onions. While I see this as a continuation of what has been done in this patch for decades, I take some smug satisfaction from the fact that all three of these vegetables are crops with which I seem to have far more success than the Old the Man did in his day. He tells me that they never managed to get good hard onions which would store well and the garlic he tried only produced small bulbs of poor quality.
If this were a proper gardening bliog and I a proper gardener, this is where I would offer advice and some insight into my secrets for producing great crops. Perhaps it is the spacing, the type of compost I use, or the thoroughness of my hoeing techniques. Maybe I make sure I harvest them only after three successive days of temperatures above 20 degrees and humidity below 50 per cent or maybe it’s how I dry them in a clean pine shed laid on galvanized steel netting three and a half inches off the floor.
But no – like most of my gardening exploits it is down to Google, hunch, and plain dumb luck. But it is always refreshing to hear TOM giving me praise on what I do and describing my efforts as superior to his. I don’t tire of receiving such accolades: giving praise face to face to his off-spring is a habit which has taken him many decades to develop. I will accept it with modesty and try to avoid the vanity and swell-headedness that it was assumed would inevitably follow any paternal approbation.