November and the coldest, wettest and windiest summer on record, is behind us. Very early on I said that Autumn was on its way as all the elderberry fruit ripened early and the bean plants in my garden stopped growing. all the flowers germinated but the small bean failed to grow.
spring onions and carrots would not swell or grow. the cold nights were to blame as it took half the day to warm up. The hearty rain was not much help either and the soil became water logged. The odd pumpkin that was sheltered from the worst of the weather did well, the rest made small fruit compared to other years and with all the rain, mildew took hold and the plants withered. Leeks have not done too well either failing to swell even with all the water their trouble is the lack of heat. Chard seems to be the only plant that has relished the cool damp conditions. The Autumn raspberry crop was heavy but the lack of sunshine did nothing to help swell and ripen them. A few fine dry warm days in August let the corn growers father a grand harvest. Rye was packed out on the last bank holiday of this year and the shops and pubs did well. Now we look forward to bonfire night another time when the town becomes full of people. Please remember to give generously as a lot of hard work is done by the girls and boys to put it on. The Society has few big supporters, it is all the little shops in Rye itself that make it such an event. The money collected is not held by the bonfire Society but all given away to good causes. Outside of Sussex few have heard of the celebrations held in East Sussex it is strange as few bonfires are held like Rye. Go into Kent and they are nonexistent. Rye did not host a raft race this year as all the members are getting old and they could not not find a tide to suit them. This is going to be the trouble with Rye Bonfire as all the hard workers are putting on the years. We all like to think that we will go on forever but age tells, and there are no young ones to follow. All the young ones turn out on the night, so why not join us and make it your bonfire. Other years, heavy rain in the middle of September turned the land into mud. Without the last week seeing no rain, we were lucky as the water logged land was untouchable. The last days of September saw the garden come to an end. Only leeks, parsnip and chard remained for the winter. That was until the strawberries decided to flower and produce fruit again. Very late but so was one of my broodie hens that hatched her young. They, with a little loving care, have done well. What does the month of November hold, weather wise. I have no idea but I bet, its a wet old winter again for us with little cold weather to call cold. Let us wait and see shall we, for there is nothing we can do about it. Another thing we cannot change is the way the world is evolving, even the town I call home has seen so much change – read what Rye was like when I was a younger man and you will understand how nothing stays the same forever.
First Published in “Rye’s Own” November 2015
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