Hostage to the weather again!

tomato blightThe weather has been absolutely perfect locally for blight and unfortunately the Go Local Food tomatoes have been badly affected just as they were starting to ripen.

Of course the worry now is that the potatoes that Go Local Food still has in the ground will also be affected unless we can cut back the haulms sooner rather than later.

And with the rain we have had over the past week every time Ian has gone to bail his hay it has been too wet to do so. He is desperately trying to get this done between other jobs that urgently need doing.

The local forecasts have changed almost by the hour over the last few weeks so there is no prediction of when the hay will be fit to bale or whether the muggy weather that causes blight will clear or whether the recent run of chilly nights are just a blip that will warm up and allow crops to ripen. It seems that we just have to take each day as it comes.

One of our Go Local Food members has a neighbour at Heddon on the Wall who runs a local weather station. Anyone who wants really local weather observations will find this is a really good source.

The Met Office has an area that allows observers such as Dr Robin to enter their own local information. There are also entries from many other sources and all these combine to help to make weather forecasting more accurate as well as giving vital information on how our climate is working and changing. This information is necessary for farmers and growers who need to plan their crops – good husbandry works hand in hand with the local weather. But sometimes, as at present, we do not have the accuracy that we would like.

Ask our grower about the effect of the weather on what he can produce on the Go Local Food fields at Ovington and you will realise that all the good husbandry we practice can still be overcome if the weather fails to co-operate.