Summer always seems to slip away during August. The long summer evenings are suddenly missed by the end of the month as the Sun is setting by 8 pm and suddenly we realise that autumn is here. Autumn, by the way came from the French language, and our old English word for the season was the ‘fall’ because it signified ‘the fall of the leaf’ as opposed to ‘the springing of the leaf’ earlier in the year. Who knew that the Americans had the correct word all the time!
As I write, the cereal harvest is progressing well, now that we are in a settled spell of weather, although yields will be lower this year due to the cold spring and darker than average summer.
The potato crop is dying back earlier than normal this year but this might be the effect of drought, because the potato tops have died fastest on the sandiest land. As the top of each plant dies it allows the nutrients from the leaves to return back down into the tubers and this helps to swell each tuber but I have been told that this process also helps add flavour to them.