At last all our seed potatoes are installed in the ground, supplied with their ration of fertiliser and buried under as much soil as we could pick out from between the rocks. Richard Décharte confirmed our suspicions that we were actually digging up a cobbled yard in front of the hangar (metal barn). Back when this was a real farm, a big load of rocks was actually imported and laid down so that the cows would have something solid to walk on. The soil, when we find some, is extremely fertile, and all the seeds I have sowed so far have germinated, the latest being coriander and parsnips. I am watering them every evening - we had a sprinkling of rain last Saturday, but only one decent rainy day in the whole of April.
The potatoes are a bit of an experiment - seeing what varieties like our growing conditions. The order of play is:
Rows 1 & 2 - Red Duke of York
Row 3 - Sunrise (new variety)
Row 4 - Salad Blue
Row 5 - Jaerla (new variety)
Row 6 - Taster row of Sunrise, Salad Blue and Jaerla
Row 7 - Charlotte (we know this grows well)
Row 8 - King Edward
Row 9 - International Kidney
Rows 10 & 11 - Remarka
Row 12 - Pink Fir Apple
Rows 13 & 14 - Stemster
Row 15 - Sarpo Mira
Row 16 - Forty Fold & Yetholm Gypsy (Heritage varieties)
Row 17 - Linzer Delikatess
We still have to find room for leeks, beans, tomatoes, beet, chard, red cabbage, broccoli, kale ... The only thing that keeps me going is the possibility of finding a prehistoric stone tool among the rocks.
It's raining! It's RAINING!