Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Silver linings and all that.

Posted by Rosie

I'm sure it can't have escaped the notice of anyone following this blog (or Twitter/Facebook) that along with much of Northern Europe and Southern England we are suffering the beginnings of a drought.  Last summer was dry, the winter was relatively dry and this spring has seen almost no rain here.  The well is below the pump level, the water butts are all dry and nothing much is growing.  Farmers are really worried.  We are worried.  We have unsown grass and sugar beet seeds, insufficient grass for the pigs and veggies that are not growing.

BUT - "Every cloud has a silver lining" (although as a small child looking up at one of those totally monotone grey clouds I did doubt this pearl of wisdom).  Anyway, every cloud ...... so here are the good reasons I have come up with for having another dry summer:

In the garden:
  • I am having a bumper and early strawberry harvest and the other soft fruits are looking good.  About once a week I give the fruit bushes a good soaking and have mulched them well to retain this moisture.  So, plenty of fruit leather, jam, crumbles etc this year.
  • There are far fewer weeds
  • There are far fewer diseases - my spud and tomato crops may not turn out to be the largest but hopefully they will be blight free.
Around the house:
  • Talk about speed drying especially with the wind of the last few days - so much so that I have switched the spin speed on my machine to minimum and still have no problems getting everything dry.
  • No wet dogs lounging round the house making it smell horrible and no muddy paw prints everywhere.
The animals:
  • Now the pigs may be a little fed up at not being able to rootle through lovely wet soil but I am sure if asked, they would prefer a hot, dry summer complete with regular hosepipe showers rather than cool, wet weather for weeks on end.
  • Dry poo is a lot easier to deal with than wet stuff!
Out and about:
  • The path I regularly walk the dogs along is usually chest high in wet grass at this time of year and so virtually impassable.  This year, 10cm of dry grass is not stopping us using this route.
For tourists:
  • What holiday maker wants a week of wet and miserable weather?  With that in mind dear guests, Normandy has warm sunshine to offer at the moment and no immediate risk of rain.
So as I said, every cloud does have a silver lining ....

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