orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

To book an informative and fun wine tasting whilst holidaying in Italy or arrange for a wild food walk in your area contact me on tuscanytipple at libero dot it or check out my Facebook page

Total Pageviews

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A wash-out!

This post was originally going to be entitled "Eddie's first holiday". You see one of the reasons we often fall a bit behind with work on the land is the distance between our house and our land. We have now been able to acurately measure it, it's 12.5 km, which we usually cycle. So if you have a slightly mixed day weather-wise, you tend to not go, because a) there's no shelter when it comes pelting down, and b) it's not worth the effort cycling over for just half a day to do an hour's work or so.

So because there were so many things which needed done, we came up with this plan. Our last batch of visitors stayed in a couple of tents on our land. After they left we left my tent up there, so we could use it when there was a prospect of 2 or 3 decent days. It would be like a mini-holiday. We did take the car though to bring all the stuff we would be needing for eating there and sleeping there. The forecast was for a fine dry day on Friday with occasional light showers during Saturday (today). We were going to work really hard the first day, and the second day just shelter in the tent from those "light showers". And if the weather forecast proved too pessimistic we could possibly stay a third day.

We'd have a nice dinner with a freshly picked salad and maybe something grilled and snuggle up in out very small tent.

This is what really happened. Friday as we drove towards Arcola, dark clouds started building up. This proved to be a brief shower, which was followed by another later that morning. So we still did get a fair bit of work done.

In the evening I went and gathered a salad. We had brought boiled potatoes, which we mixed with various lettuces, endive, wild rocket, purslane, basil, parsley, chicory etc. With it we had the first of our courgettes roasted with some garlic and rosemary over a fire. All that was washed with a glass or 3 of red wine.

So far so good...

As it got dark and we were sitting lazily by some candlelight, it started raining again. So we decided to call it an early night and thus having an early start. Plenty more to do! Eddie liked the tent and we just heard some occasional sprinkling of rain on the outside. No noise and very peaceful.

Then about 5.30 am... the heavens opened. One thunderstorm after another came rolling... no crashing down the valley. Several lightning strikes felt uncomfortably close. It went on for a full 5 hours, after which it just continued raining. I was on my hand and knees (very low tent, you see) to pray to whichever divinity I had offended, to please stop punishing me!

Here's the tent under the plum tree by the potato bed on terrace 15.

This is our dinner table in the aftermath of the deluge. Note the salad bowl. That was empty the night before!

The main job that did get done, much overdue, was weeding amongst the tomatoes, cutting off their side shoots and tying them up. The kiwis seem to be enjoying all this rain as well as they seem to be growing better than in previous years. Unfortunately the most vigorous one is Stud the male kiwi (incidentally, am I the only one who gives his plants names?: Stud the male kiwi, because he has 2 girlfriends, Stan the plum tree, Olli the olive tree, Adam and Eve the fig trees and the 2 smaller ones, Kain and Abel, Max the pumpkin, Hazel the Hazel shrub, Popeye the big olive tree, etc), who is not going to give us any fruit, but is only there for pollination purposes.

I managed to weed another bed with aubergines, parsley and Swiss chard. Most of the garden looks remarably good despite the lack of sunshine. This is the terrace with sweet corn and curcubita, such as the wonderful looking Arbarello di Sarzana courgette and the butternut squash.


chaiselongue said...

A good try at doing some work on your land, but that thunderstorm sounds really scary! I've camped in storms like that and I know how vulnerable you feel.

I don't think we're going to get a summer this year.... this weekend was forecast to be fine, but we've had rain too, although nothing like you've had.

Ayak said...

You can really never rely on the official forecasts can you? What a downpour..but at least you got some work done.

Eddie looks really at home in the tent!

Jan said...

I don't suppose Eddie liked the storms either! I didn't realise that you were so far from your land... no nipping back to get the forgotten lettuce of an evening!

Heiko said...

CL, luckly we were on one of the lower terraces, so relatively little chance of a direct lightning strike. We were more likely to be buried in a landslide!

Ayak, there's still so much to do and it's STILL raining (Sunday morning. Thanks for the award by the way.

Jan, yes. Or for the sprig of parsley! It's not only the distance, but it's coming down one hill, crossing the valley, and climbing a hill on the other side! 12.5 km on the flat wouldn't be so bad.

Mr. H. said...

Actually, minus all that darned rain, camping in ones own garden sounds like a pretty fun little adventure. Looking good Heiko! We spent the weekend weeding as well.

Heiko said...

It does Mr H! We shall be trying it again. We might even tempt fate and do it tomorrow. Do you give names to your individual plants, or am I just going mad?

Mr. H. said...

Yes I do give names to some of my plants. There is "Stupid" - a pet name for most of our inedible weeds, "Gosh Darned" - any radish that won't grow for us, and "Holy Crap!" - the name of our favorite Litchi tomato.:)

Heiko said...

:D ! I like it!

Mr. H. said...

And of course, there is "Heiko" the grape tomato...remind me to send you some of its seeds this fall.

Have a great day, I'm, off to play in the mud for a bit.

Kate said...

Oh dear! But, Heiko, it looks very much like you have the same tent as me! Bought about 30 years ago.... will withstand anything.... not so nifty to put up with the new sorts but oh la la la la.... it will never blow away! I forget its name... could be Hercules or Tarzan or maybe Joan. The metal poles are a bit scary in lightening, though.
I am so sorry you are not having success with the amaranth.I feel responsible!

Angela said...

Haha, I like all your names, and Mr. H.`s, too! No, actually I have never thought about giving my plants names, although I certainly have my favourites. A black currant bush with incredibly big fruits (Johanna die schwarze Johannisbeere?), and this old apple tree with hardly any bark left and STILL so many wonderful apples (Methusalem?)... Actually there is ONE fir tree which we once got a sa present, after it had been a Christmas tree. It is called after the donators Die Störpsche Tanne.
The thought of inventing names will now never leave me again.
Glad you survived that thunderstorm!

Heiko said...

Yep Kate, sounds like the same tent. It didn't let in and has served me for 30 years! I'll give amaranth another go, I just blame the ridiculous weather this year. This feels more like Ireland or possibly Tasmania than Italy!

Angela, it will be written in my gravestone: "The man who talked to his plants and even gave them names!"

GetSoiled said...

Oh silly Heiko, my long distance garden pal, you have no idea how much I sympathize with your rain, lightning, thunder ordeal! For about six months of the year we get that kind of "The Sky is Blowing Up Above Us" type storms. And you, crazy man...and woman...and doggie, out there for the taking! You all are I*N*S*A*N*E!!!

I assume that getting in the car and driving back home would have been just as treacherous, right?

You know what scares me most about these storms? That there seems to be no safe place...a week ago, here in Orlando, a woman got zapped by lightning INSIDE her HOUSE. Also a firefighter got zapped Inside the Fire Station...and get this: after the storm had passed. It was a freak lightning strike.

We are all gonna die!!!!

I never feared lightning until I moved to Central Florida...I love running, and the icing on the cake has always been running in the rain...one day I felt the hairs on the back of my neck (well, the back of my *head* ...I hope I don't have a hairy back of my neck...never looked really...darn, now I wonder)....anyhow, one time lighting hit right in front of me. That gave me a whole new respect for our Florida storms.

So, please, please, please stay safe!!!! The tomatoes can wait!

By the way, they all do look great all 'em greens...yummy!

And no, I don't name my plants, but perhaps I should..."TSOABWGUNFTY"

Yeah, that is hard to pronounce but it is better than repeating over an over again "The SunOfAB****Who Gave Us No Fruit This Year"...yeah...that'd be the first name that sorta comes to mind right now...or how about "FD" for Fruit Dropper? I think I need to come up with more romantic or clever names, like you guys...I'll work on it.

Glad to see you guys are still alive.