May note from the VPA

Well, has much changed since the last newsletter? Not a lot! A slight improvement on the lockdown, but I do find it strange why only one family member can make a visit! Let’s hope everyone is still keeping well and safe and staying alert!
Nothing to do with the VPA – I’m Secretary to the Thames Ridge Scout District Executive Committee which covers Didcot and Abingdon. As a result of the lockdown we were unable to have the meeting planned for the 21st May, so in his wisdom the Chair decided to hold the meeting via ‘Zoom’. Now I’m sure that many of you are totally conversant with this system and are using it regularly to contact family and friends. Unfortunately, my expertise relating to technology only goes as far as email. So, you can imagine, I’m not looking forward to this ‘Zoom’ thing. Will keep you posted on the outcome.
Back to gardening. The weather wasn’t very kind in May, with a couple of nights of a minus 2 degree frost in Didcot. Fortunately I had fleeced my early potatoes and earthed up the main crop, so escaped damage. I did, however, have a good bit of damage to my borlotti beans which were doing really well, (I must admit I did plant them out a bit early), so I’ve just
planted some beans directly into the ground and hoping for the best. I love borlotti beans because I shell and freeze them and in the winter I add them to my vegetable casserole which gives it a bit of body.
On the allotment we all complained about the wet winter and now we’re complaining about the lack of rain. I’m sure my arms have stretched 2” carrying watering cans, we’re not allowed hosepipes on our plots. It will be nice to see some rain as it really does make the plants grow better than when watered with tap water that’s full of chemicals.
DID YOU KNOW? An ingenious and handy way to preserve garden herbs such as basil, tarragon and chives is to freeze them, as soon after picking them as possible, in ice cubes. When they have frozen solid, transfer the cubes into bags and put them back in the freezer. Larger-leafed herbs like mint and parsley can be frozen in bags as they are.
Happy Gardening and Keep Safe