Gluts, weeds, mildew, blight… welcome to the real world of vegetable growing!

August 20, 2011

Cornwall’s mild, humid climate is proving excessively challenging for Camel CSA’s expert growers and volunteers right now.

Our large crop of onions had to be raised in a hurry as they faced a sudden threat of downy mildew. The same mildew also attacked our salad onions.

Hundreds of onions were lifted over the space of a few days and laid out to dry in our polytunnel next to the basil, coriander, cucumber and rocket beds.

Much of the back-breaking work was done by our amazing secretary Mike Sadler, who’s since been felled by a nasty bout of shingles. We wish him a hasty recovery.

Onion lifting and storing is much more time-consuming than you might think. Luckily we were ably assisted by our bunch of regular volunteers from Hft (the Home Farm Trust) in Wadebridge, which provides support for people with learning disabilities. 

At the same time our expert grower Mark Norman had to contend with an attack of blight on the tomatoes in our other polytunnel. Within minutes of spotting the first signs, he’d stripped off all the blight-stricken leaves and saved the crop from disaster.

We’re already reaping the benefits of his quick work  in our weekly veg boxes – along with the glut of French beans, cucumbers, basil and podding peas.

Only lots more harvesting and the weeds to tackle from now on, we hope. The weeds are running rife in the carrot, beetroot, squash and pumpkin beds…

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