Thursday, 15 July 2010

St Swithin's Day

It's something I'd never heard of before moving to the UK, but today is St Swithin's Day. Historically, the weather on St Swithin's Day will dictate what the weather will do for the following 40 days:

‘St. Swithin’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mair.’

It seems there is some scientific basis to this tale: often in mid-July a weather front will sweep in and settle over the island for the following six weeks. You may remember that I was begging for rain on Monday because we've had a month of hot, dry weather. I got it yesterday. Today? It's windy and showery with long sunny spells. I've had a phone call from my village to say that it's been bucketing it down. If we get that for 40 days, colour me delighted! I've dug out all of the crops that would be affected by a wet soil already, and have a lot of plants in the ground that will be happy with low-mid-20C temps and showery weather.

My mad sowing jake has paid off hopefully, we might even see bean seedlings next week. I went down to the land last night and sowed a pile of pak choi, turnip and swede seeds and the last of the soya bean seeds as well, for autumn and winter eating. I harvested thinned baby carrots, the last of the peas, some turnips and a couple of courgettes. There are lots more coming on.

With this rain, I'd better brace myself for a courgette glut.

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