hot, hot, hot...

The irrigation is running at full bore and the pickers, all but naked by noon, seem to be

enjoying it while developing some great tans. For the less hardy, sorting an order in the

cold room suddenly seems like an attractive option. Sunshine and hot, still, humid air by

day, plus warm nights, provide the ideal combination for many crops and, after weeks of

miserable cold weather, most are catching up fast.

The first of our own courgettes will be in the fruit and veg box and I guarantee that you

will notice the difference in flavour compared with the imported ones. The spring-sown

carrots are almost there and though they are still a bit on the small side, they make an

appearance in the mini, medium and large this week, then all the boxes from next week.

The variety is Junior, which develops a fantastic flavour on our soils and over the years, has

earned us a national reputation for our carrots. I am not a fan of baby vegetables; good as

they are now, I think you will find that the carrots improve over the next few weeks as they

mature. Junior breaks very easily and must be harvested by hand. They will be in your

boxes as bunched carrots through to September.

My office is so hot that I am writing this in the evening sun, beside one of our reservoirs.

The ground is heaving with a biblical exodus of baby toads as they emerge from the water

and make their way towards the strawberry field. How they know where to go is a mystery

but that is the general direction and it is always the same, only more of them, each year.

We used to have a real slug problem, often loosing a third of the early strawberries. Now

we loose hardly any and I am sure that this migration is the reason; what sluggish mollusc

would stand a chance confronted with an onslaught of hundreds of thousands of hungry,

hopping toads looking for their first meal on dry land.

Guy Watson

Riverford Summer Pudding Bag