Strange lights shine across the fields during the night and the distant rumble of engines and blades hums away into the early hours. Fields which the previous day swayed in the breeze suddenly have neat crew cuts with perfectly straight rows of straw creating giant geometric patterns.
Here on the veg patch harvest is well under way too. We've already had a bumper crop of tomatoes, a basket full every day for the last few weeks, as well as cucumbers dripping from the three plants in the polytunnel.
But now the outside crops are coming good too. I've picked my first runner beans and French beans. The first and second sowings of broad beans need picking as the beans inside those fleshy pods have now swelled enough to cause the pods to hang downwards.
|Runner Bean Scarlet Emperor|
|French bean Cobra|
Then, of course, there are the courgettes.
Yes, they're coming again in an inexorable march. The more you pick the more they come. I've even discovered my first accidental marrow already.
And finally the potatoes have done well this year, growing and swelling quickly. This is fortunate, for I've had to take the tops off all of them as blight has been both early and widespread this year. Sunshine and rain both in abundance does have its downside. I'm just hoping that most of the varieties have had enough time to swell and that the blight hasn't got down into too many of the tubers.
So in the middle of last week I roamed the veg patch gathering in some of the harvest. Here's a pictorial sequence, a bit like a children's book. In go the beans...in go the courgettes...in go the potatoes...until the basket was full.