Another hot, dry start to the summer, another discussion about climate change. At the end of term I sat through several showings of documentaries on climate change which alarmed and depressed me in equal measure. Alarming because the stats suggest we are going to global hell in a fossil-fuelled hand cart. Depressing to hear climate change deniers like Nigel Lawson and American news channels, led from the front by The Donald, for whom denying climate change suits their personal goals. Nor was my dark mood alleviated by the attitude of the year 9 geographers who were more interested in trying to wind me up than discovering how to save the planet.
However, back at home Mrs B is leading our efforts to preserve Planet Earth for our descendants as we use our Bags for Life, watch our home-produced solar power being stored in our battery and even revert to soap-on-a-rope to reduce our consumption of single use plastics. We can save the plantet….
Elsewhere, in the garden I have to cope with the change in crop behaviours as veg and flowers adapt (or not) to the latest hot dry spell. And this summer – like last year – it feels as if a lot of the vegetables are out of kilter. In the raised beds, only the early croppers did well such as garlic, onions, shallots and new potatoes, which thrived in the early summer warmth.
In contrast, the beans had all gone over by the time we returned from hols at the end of July, leaving us with knobbly Runners and Frenchies rather than the sweet tender pods we would normally harvest. Perhaps I made an error in trying to reduce the wastage of previous years by planting just a wigwam or two, instead of serried ranks of them. So when the purple beans got half way up the poles before stopping in their tracks, flowering and dying, I had no back up.
I have belatedly effected second plantings of lettuce and beans, but they have had a hard time of it with the slugs (and probably the dry weather). Today I planted them out, giving them the same choices that Mrs B always tells me they have: to live or to die. I suspect the latter will be the inevitable path for them.
Of course, it might not be climate change or global warming that is the problem at all. It might just be that I have simply not adhered to my father’s age old advice. He always told me that I planted my runner beans too early. So maybe it was just another case of “too early for runner beans”.