Summer heat

This summer weather has been fantastic for tourism. Blue skies, hot sun, beaches well used and lots of swimming. Not to mention some truly fantastic sunsets…

The flip side however is that for farmers and growers trying to grow crops and/or raise livestock, this extended hot spell has been very difficult. I don’t remember a time when the heat continued for so long, nor an extended period without rain. We have had next to no rain for at least 2 months, and very little over 3 months. 

This has made growing crops like salad very challenging, and required many sessions of evening watering using a very unsophisticated system. Normally we plant out, water, then water again 3 days later…and that’s it for the whole growing life of the crop.

This year it’s been plant out, then water every 2-3 days or so for at least 2 weeks, and then give every leafy plant (yes, every one) some water at least once a week, but usually twice. 

As you can imagine this is a big demand on our time and requires several late sessions, but there’s not really much choice if we want to keep the crops alive! 

So there we go, two tales of summer heat – one from the tourist and one from the grower. Any compromise possible to keep everyone happy? Perhaps half an inch of rain overnight followed by some sun…?!

Jonathan Smith

I started Scilly Organics in 2003, and it was the first certified organic farm on the Islands. We continue to supply the highest quality fruit and vegetables, available fresh on our stall and at certain eateries on Scilly.