Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Garvagh's Pretend Shops

Three weeks ago I was driving southwards through the village of Garvagh.  Just after I had entered the village I noticed three or four workmen in front of a vacant shop to my left. The front door was open. A new shop sign had been erected  above the shop window. Some brave entrepreneur I thought. Maybe it would be a small speciality emporium or a farm shop.

Last Friday I had cause to be driving through Garvagh again. What of the new shop? Well at first glance it appeared that Garvagh General Stores had opened its doors and that an old public house next door to it had also bucked the economic trend and was welcoming patrons once more. A second glance robbed me of this bucolic view of the village idyll There weren't two new village businesses,but rather two sets of well painted hoardings and window insets. 

I suppose that the main street of this small village looks tidier as a result of this commercial artwork . The proprietor of the rather old fashioned filling station on the opposite side of the road certainly thinks so. Tidier it may be but the painting over of the widening cracks in the commercial economy of our towns and villages does not provide replacement jobs. Perhaps the money spent on paint and hardboard should be spent on something that has the potential for a true economic return.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Autumn Training

Despite continuing problems with my hip I turned out for the group training session on Saturday. Oh for a magic pill or potion to allow me to run freely with no pain! Still, two days on and two more runs and it certainly isn't any worse so maybe nature's recuperative powers have decided to work at last.

There were only five of us out on Saturday. We started off with an eighteen minute warm up on road and  path. That completed we then started into the session. For the two young Turks that involved 8 x 5min reps with three minutes jog between. Two of us had six efforts to do. Our fifth compadre was even sorer than I was, so his job for the day involved shouting encouraging expletives at us. The reps were run around a two kilometre undulating grass loop. No hills as such but one or two testing inclines. As I expected it was not long before I was running far in the wake of my much younger comrades. I suppose one has to get used to this and try to comfort oneself by remembering and recounting sessions of twenty five and more years ago. It was a tough session but enjoyable in the cool autumn sunlight. The session over we then regrouped and ran what had been our warm up route. Again about eighteen minutes running. I wasn't wearing my garmin but I expect that I ran something over ten miles in total. Probably enough to offset  the couple of glasses of wine which I quaffed that evening.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Auction Fever

I went to a general auction tonight. These seem to becoming quite popular events again despite the likes of e bay. Maybe it is a reflection of the economy or perhaps it is a luddite backlash against the point and click generation. 

There must have been about two hundred people present, most of them intent on buying, or at least bidding for one of the four hundred lots that were up for sale. I wasn't one of the prospective buyers, but I was interested in the outcome of  the auctioneer's endeavours in relation to two of the lots. My recent tidying had unearthed a couple of items which I had no interest in keeping and I thought I might as well see if someone would like to give me a few pieces of silver for them, rather than just hoarding them or throwing them out. Accordingly I had left the items in question, a 1950's copper garden sprayer and a map from the 1870's showing the route of proposed railway lines  in central Ireland, with the auctioneer earlier in the week. He  recommended reserves for both lots and I was happy with the suggested figures. 

Would there be any interest from the assemblage? Would my  lots reach their reserves? The sprayer was the first of my items to come under the gavel, - lot 265. An initial offer of £10. A pause. The auctioneer going through his exhortations attempting to cajole his audience into increased bids and increased commission. A bid of £12.  I looked around the room, willing someone, anyone, to continue the bidding. The gavel came down. Unsold. The £17 reserve had not been attained. Bugger!  

It was now 9.30. My second lot was number 379. Should I continue with my vigil? A combination of my back beginning to ache and a rumbling tummy gave me my answer. I would leave the map to its own devices and check whether it had sold or not on Monday morning.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Last Tomatoes of Summer

Tomatoes - 25th October 2012

The title I know, sounds a bit like that of a Victorian ballad belted out by a besuited baritone. For many the last rose of summer is a sadder and more profound event than the last tomato. Nonetheless both occasions mark a definite change in the weather. Overnight frosts will soon be the norm as we head into another winter, with Christmas galloping along behind Halloween. 

I spent a portion of yesterday afternoon stripping the tomato plants of their remaining crop.  There were rather more tomatoes still on the vines than I had anticipated. I picked a total of three tray fulls of which one contains the green crop. I will lay these out in a single layer in a large tray and place them in the cellar. Most of them will redden up and I suspect that I may be able to eat, "fresh," tomatoes until the middle of November. Not too many months after that and I will be sowing the seeds for next years crop! And so the seasonal circuit goes around.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

An American Classic Novel

The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - Penguin Classics

This is one of those books which is much lauded and for a long time I have thought that I should take it down from the bookshelf and see what all the fuss is about. The story is set in 1930's America and centres on the Joad family from Oklahoma. They are small time farmers and like many thousands of families at the time they lose their land due to the weather and the actions of Banks and large mono farmers. They decide to move to California lured by the promises of abundant work and luscious land. To them California is the promised land, the land of milk and honey and grapes. The biblical allusions are enhanced by the presence of the ex preacher Jim Casy who joins the family in their journey.  The promises turn out to be just that and the migrants are so numerous that the large farmers are able to cut rates of pay to a level that cannot support a family. There is no minimum rate of pay. Market forces are king.

Neither of the grandparents survive the drive. The eldest daughter's day dreaming husband becomes disillusioned at the lack of work and gives up on the family. Noah the deformed and slightly slow eldest son also leaves the family nucleus claiming that he is not loved as much as the other children and Jim Casy is ultimately murdered for his unionising efforts. The second son, Tom Joad, is eventually told by his mother to move away from the family so as to prevent his arrest for killing the assailant of Jim Casy and when the floods come at the end of the book Al Joad, the third son decides to stay with the family of the girl he has fallen in love with. The Joad family is certainly a family which does disintegrate but throughout all the tribulations and heartache it is Ma Joad who provides the stability and strength that the family needs. It is she rather than her husband who makes the big decisions.

There is a lot of social commentary in this book but it is also an enjoyable read. Whilst I can understand why Steinbeck inserted the short chapters of social background between the much longer chapters dealing with the story of the Joad family I do find the style slightly didactic. At times he is very definitely speaking from atop his soapbox. For me they come across as rather long asides from the story. It seems as if he is attempting to put everything in context just in case the reader is not able to do that him or herself.

Maybe his wife should have entitled the book, "His Truth is Marching On," rather than , "The Grapes of Wrath."

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

55th Anniversary of No 204 Squadron

March 1970 marked the fifty fifth aniversary of the formation of No 204 Squadron RAF. To mark this occasion the Philatelic Club of RAF Ballykelly issued a souvenir cover which is apropriately stamped and certified as having been flown on a routine maritime patrol. The date stamp includes the silhouette   of an MK 2 Shackleton.

The planes flown by the Squadron in its early years included many of those flown by the hero of  the Capt. W. J. Johns' books. The montage picture on the Cover includes these old Great War planes such as the Sopworth Pup and the Sopworth Camel as well as the Dakotas and Shackletons flown by the Squadron in more recent years.

After leaving RAF Ballykelly was reformed and was involved in the maintaining of sanctions against Southern Rhodesia from an airfield at Majunga in Madagascar. Thus was its last hoorah. The  Squadron was disbanded on 28th April 1972.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Magazines at the Dental Surgery

Almost a new magazine!

Last Wednesday saw me at the dentist's awaiting my six month check up, (soon I understand to be yearly due to government cut backs). I cannot say that I enjoy these visits even if I am rewarded with a, "no fillings needed." The descaling is every bit as painful as that involved in getting a filling. Indeed it is, I think, more painful. At least when you need a filling you are offered an injection to numb the pain. Not so with the descaling so I now attempt to moderate the pain by taking a slight overdose of painkillers in advance. It does help, but every so often the drill manages to find a nerve ending which is close to the surface of the tooth enamel.

I always try to grab an appointment straight after lunch as it does mean you do not have to wait too long to be taken and it also means that you do not have to listen to some other poor sod being attacked by a drill. I was waiting no more than two minutes before I was taken so I was unable to read very much of the magazine which I had lifted from the table in front of me. It was a National Geographic Magazine. The age of magazines in dental and doctor's waiting rooms is something of a joke. This one was dated January 2004. I didn't pay any particular attention to this at the time. One does sort of expect old and rather dog eared magazines in waiting rooms. However I was reminded of the incident whilst reading the Sunday Telegraph this afternoon. The paper's Health Correspondent writes that  NHS officials have warned dentists not to keep old periodicals in their waiting rooms because they are apparently a health and safety risk.

Imagine a dental waiting room with ranks of up to date magazines with the corners lying flat! Unimaginable! Dammed jobsworths!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Boden and the Danish Model

For so long the darling of yummy mummies, Johnnie Boden and his clothes wear business have been having rather a rough year in the press and on Internet forums. In the Spring it was being questioned whether Boden offered value for money in these recessionary times and there were suggestions of smugness. He is now having to deal with the apparent furore that has arisen over the use of Helena Christensen as a model in Boden's winter catalogue.

I wonder if I am the only fifty something year old male who was left scratching his thinning thatch and questioning who this model is that can have so many women of an indeterminate age quite so incensed. (Apparently she is a well known forty three year old Danish Model and mother of one!.)

Johnnie seems to agree with me. He is reported as saying, "that women prefer to see models who look attractive in our clothes." That is common sense to me. After the functional considerations have been taken account of, clothes shopping, for both males and females, involves a great big dollop of aspiration. We want to look good, or at the very least presentable.

A lot of Boden's success and it has been a success with the last annual accounts showing a  profit of £32.5M on a turnover of £232M, has been based on the essential homeliness that the brand has successfully evoked. It is unashamedly middle class. When one thinks of Boden one does tend to think of bicycles with wicker baskets, the famous five and and drinking oodles of ginger beer on long summer afternoons beside the croquet lawn. Maybe that is why Johnny Boden has engaged Ms Christensen. Maybe he thinks that she will add a little edginess to his brand and help profits.

I think that I will write a personal note to Johnnie and suggest that his new model should try on some of the menswear for the next catalogue. That just might persuade me to add a new colour to my selection of Boden Old School Shirts.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Yet More Tomato Chutney!

The Raw Materials

One of my friends was complaining last week that his tomato plants had succumbed to botrytis. Thankfully, (remove hat, and touch head,) my plants have avoided the fungal spores and they are still producing more ripened fruit than I probably need. I do not like to admit that though.

Eight pounds was today's haul. I do not think that I will end up with very many green tomatoes when I finally remove the plants from the greenhouse and in any event I do prefer red tomato chutney over the green variety. Accordingly I decided that half of the, " pulling," should be processed into more chutney for storing away for winter and spring use. Why half you ask? Well simple really. When you add all the other ingredients to the dear old saucepan, four pounds of tomatoes is as much as you can squash in. The amalgam of contents was going to be somewhat different for this batch.

The saucepan with its red and vinegary contents was put on the hot ring of the aga for an initial boil up and then allowed to simmer on the slow ring for a couple of hours to reduce the liquid and give a bit of slurpy solidity to this culinary delight. The resultant chutney was then spooned into the awaiting sterilised jars.

The Possible Ingredients

4 lbs tomatoes - chopped
2 sweet peppers - chopped
1lb onions
2 pints malt vinegar
1 lb raisins
1 lb caster sugar

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Celeriac Crop

Celeriac - 15th October 2012
 This is the first year that I have grown celeriac.  It takes at least six months to mature so the seed has to be sown in early spring. I sowed my seed indoors and transplanted the seedlings into trays to grow on . It was late May before I planted the young plants outside in a block. The bulbs at the base of the stem are about three inches in diameter now. Hopefully they might swell a little more before growth ceases.

It is a good winter crop and is able to cope with temperatures as low as fourteen degrees fahrenheit without any protection. As well as being able to use the "bulb," either cooked or raw the leaves and stems can be used in soups. In dry summers, (what are they?) the books say that you need to water the plants and apply mulch to prevent loss of moisture. I think that I will probably add celeriac seed to next year's seed list.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Bloms for Tulips

The May bank holiday was wet, very wet and I became wet, very wet as I trudged around the grounds of Glenarm Castle that Monday. The omens for a good summer were not auspicious and haven't they  turned out to be so correct!

Why was I allowing the May precipitation to run down my neck? Well I had decided to view the annual Tulip Festival in the gardens of Glenarm Castle and I wasn't going to allow the weather to thwart me. I had been at the same event the previous year when the weather was glorious and the gardens were crowded with avid amateur gardeners, (including two of the Singing Priests). This year there were no crowds, just a few damp families, some sodden OAP's and me. The somewhat diminutive figure of Lord Dunluce was clearly not happy that the weather had scuppered one of the major pay days for the Estate. He was holding on to his crook very tightly as he peered out at the sodden gardens.

The event is sponsored by, "Bloms Bulbs, " and every year some 8500 tulip bulbs are planted out in the Estate's walled garden. With this number of bulbs there is an adequate swathe of every profiled variety so as to gain a proper impression of what they will look like in your garden. The representative from Bloms looked almost as glum as Randal Alexander St John McDonnell (aka Lord Dunluce).

I decided to brighten up the rep's day and proceeded to order ten packs of tulip bulbs, each of a different variety. These bulbs arrived yesterday courtesy of Royal Mail. I will now have to decide where to plant them. I think that I may have to put chicken wire over the planted areas so as to prevent the grey squirrels digging the bulbs up and eating them for tiffin. It may be time to call upon one of my friends who has a shotgun to assist me in the decimation  of this New World import.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Frolicking Foxes

I was working in my study yesterday afternoon when flashes of rich chestnut brown raised my eyes from the open book on the desk. Two mature foxes were chasing one another around the lawn immediately in front of me. There was no timidity in their play. They sprinted, twisted, jumped over one another and skidded on their green playground. I could see their tongues lolling from the sides of their mouths, their flanks heaving from their boisterous play. They were entirely oblivious of my presence.

 As if by mutual agreement they both then ceased their play.  They were now wary animals once more, glancing around them and sniffing the air. Both foxes trotted with purposeful gait and straight backs towards a small copse to my right and then disappeared. The interlude in my work had come to an end.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Closure of RAF Ballykelly

RAF Ballykelly opened as a Coastal Command Base on 1st June 1941 and a Coastal Command Development Unit was based there from December 1941 until June 1942. For the balance of the War various squadrons served at Ballykelly as well as Fleet Air Arm Units flying their Swordfish. With the end of the war the Base became the home of the RN/RAF Anti Submarine School for some six to seven months before lapsing from operational standard.

Operational standard was regained by February 1952 when No 269 Squadron, (later renumbered 210 Sqn) and its Shackleton MK1's flew in. That squadron would remain at RAF Ballykelly until October 1970 when it was redeployed. By that time the base had been absorbed into Strike Command. No. 240 Squadron (subsequently 203 Squadron) was stationed at Ballykelly from the middle of 1952 until redeployment in January 1969.  The honour of being the last operational Squadron at RAF Ballykelly went to No 204 which had been reformed in January 1954 and which remained at Ballykelly until its redeployment to Honnington in March 1971. An Air Sea Warfare Development Unit was also based at RAF Ballykelly from September 1958 until April 1970.

The final closure of RAF Ballykelly occurred on 1st June 1971 when the Base was transferred to the Army and renamed Shackleton Barracks. The Philatelic Club, RAF Ballykelly, marked this occasion by the issue of commemorative covers which were carried by train from Limavady Junction to Londonderry on that date. The rear of the covers are date stamped NIR Limavady Junction and NIR Londonderry as well as carrying a "Northern Ireland Railways per Passenger Train," stamp.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Children to vote in Scottish Referendum!

The prospect of sixteen and seventeen year olds being permitted to vote in the Scottish Independence referendum fills me with dread. Politics seems to be a dirty business, but why David Cameron should have agreed to this extension to what many would regard as already being too wide a definition of universal suffrage I cannot imagine. There will now be renewed pressure to allow these children to vote in all national and local elections. I acknowledge that the decision is not one of the Conservative Party, but rather that of the Government and perhaps there lies the rub, because of course the Liberal Democrats are members of the coalition of regional and other political parties supporting the, "Votes at 16," campaign. 

Mr Samond must be very happy with this turn of events. His, is at heart a socialist party and as the saying goes, " He who is not a socialist at nineteen has no heart. He who is a socialist at thirty has no brain." That is of course a very glib saying because Mr Samond does have a brain and a very politically astute brain and he knows that he will get the majority of these children to vote for Saltire separatism. 

If you permit people to vote at sixteen then presumably it follows that MPs need only be sixteen, policemen need only be sixteen, surgeons need only be sixteen, jurors need only be sixteen and High Court Judges need only be sixteen. I for one do not want a sixteen year old to determine how I am governed. How many of these youths (male and female) have any great knowledge of politics and economics? What life experience do they have? Are they able to weigh matters up? Will they really consider the pros and cons, the short term factors and the long term factors?  If they must vote on something there is always the ,"X Factor." or  similar. For the most part they will vote per their parents or with the herd. I was not sufficiently mature to vote at sixteen. I know that now and I would like to think that I knew that then. 

Rather than reducing the age for voting perhaps an increase in the voting age should be considered.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ballykelly Philatelic Exhibition

I watched last night's episode of, " Lesser Spotted Ulster," which was looking at the area surrounding Ballykelly and in particular the slob lands. I enjoy this series. The reference to Ballykelly and indeed RAF Ballykelly reminded me that I had some philatelic memorabilia relating to the village filed away carefully in a brown box. A two hour rummage this morning was all it took to locate the correct brown envelope in the correct box. I knew my system would not fail me.

In September 1970  RAF Ballykelly Philatelic Club and the Londonderry Philatelic Society put on a joint stamp exhibition and fair under the rather grand title of,  "Norwest Ulsterex."  This took place in Ballykelly Primary School. A friend of my father took me along. I cannot remember why my father was unable to take me, but he delegated the responsibility to one of his friends. 

Whilst the event was billed as a joint venture I had the feeling that the airforce chaps were the prime movers, in particular one Squadron Leader T. J. Hanbury. I can't pretend that I have very vivid memories of the day, but I do remember that the school seemed very crowed with people, so it was presumably a reasonably successful event. The organisers produced a set of four commemorative covers (2,000 sets) and a pair of commemorative postcards (500 sets). This does seem a large number, but I do recollect being told by Sqn. Ldr. Hanbury that there was a large demand from other squadrons and ex RAF personnel. All the covers have a certification stamp stating that they were delivered by mail drop from a Shackleton of No 204 Squadron and they are signed by Flt. Lt. Gordon  T. Smyth.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Last Peppers Picked

I spent about an hour this afternoon cutting the last section of the beech hedge which surrounds the vegetable patch. A tad too late in the year to complete this task, but hopefully there will be no very hard, early frost to punish my tardiness.

The hedge will easily withstand the light ground frost which is predicted for tonight, but I was slightly concerned that the remaining sweet peppers might not, even though the greenhouse would give some protection. Accordingly in case they should be converted to unusable mush overnight I picked them all. One or two have a blush of red pervading them but most are a very verdant green. Kept in the cool of the cellar I probably have a fortnight to use them up. I suspect that some of them may be used to bulk up a green tomato chutney or maybe to add some crunch to a minestrone soup.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Golden Marjoram

The pinkish marjoram flowers are not very big but they seem to be very attractive to my neighbour's bees. Maybe it is the smell. There were several domestic bees as well as two or three bumble bees sucking up one of their last nectar hits of the year as I snipped off a couple of handfuls of non flowering sprigs for drying. I will hang these in the kitchen and once they have dried out thoroughly I will strip off the desiccated leaves and grind them down before placing the resultant powdered herb in an airtight container.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Portbradden in the Fall

From Portbradden Pier - 5th October  2012

The late afternoon sun gave warmth to the autumn air. There were no tourists disturbing the solitude. The few houses at Portbradden were all unoccupied and there were no boats at the small pier. Looking across the bay I could see four people on the beach, but they were so far away that I could not hear them. The  turning tide slapped idly on the polished pebbles. A solitary herring gull's rasping cry momentarily disturbed the silence and then the salty tranquillity resumed. I read my book.

The active quietness and warm solitude wrapped around me.  A curious seal poked its head above the steel blue sea. It's curiosity sated, it subsided below the undulating waves. Chapter two read. The sun was now lower in the sky. The damp corpulent smells of autumn sank down from the surrounding woodland and with them the coolness of the evening hour. Time to take a regretful leave.

St. Gobbans Church Portbradden - 5th October 2012

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Victorian Trollope Attracts Little Interest

Most of them are women, but I do not think that that is the reason. As for the men, well there was no evidence of misogyny. Why then was the turn out of members at the monthly book club which I attend so pitiful? Only two were in attendance. Just yours truly and a n other. It did mean that there was gallons of coffee and tea and copious biscuits for the brace of attendees that did turn up, but the paucity of individuals did not help the intellectual  dissection of this month's book, - Anthony Trollope's, "Framley Parsonage."

The explanation is I think fairly obvious. The leader and organiser of the group, who had been provided by the Library Service, had announced his resignation at the last meeting and none of his colleagues had volunteered to take over his mantle. Those at the September meeting had all avowed that they would continue to attend and declaimed that the lack of a formal organiser was not a death knell for the classics book club.  It seems however that rigor mortis may not be too far distant.

Will the Dowager Lady Lufton and her son get over the slight that has been visited upon them by the readers of this locale?  It is I think doubtful, but the number of members that present themselves at the November meeting will provide the answer.

Maybe Steinbeck will be more to their taste.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Little and Large

Courgettes  3rd October 2012
It had been a few days since I had picked any courgettes so I trudged along to the vegetable garden this morning with my ancient Swiss Army knife at the ready to see what vegetable largesse was ready for excising from the courgette patch. At this time of year I am anxious to crop the tender vegetables as soon as they are ready as even a moderate frost can cause devastation.

I had cut seven courgettes when I noticed an eighth which was more or less hidden by the foliage. Clearly I had missed this particular specimen on previous visitations. It was no longer a courgette. It  had very definitely grown  to be a marrow. With so much effort being put into its  growth I have probably lost out on several small courgettes but I am not unhappy. This large specimen, which weighs just under a stone, will have quite a thick skin and will keep in the cellar quite happily for eight or ten weeks. I will however have to decide how I should ultimately process it. Stuffed and baked is one option, although it would require several people to dispose of it at one mastication session. Alternatively it could be used in the manufacture of marrow and ginger jam. I remember my maternal grandmother making marrow jam from one of my early ventures into vegetable growing in the mid 1960's. I liked the jam at the time, but that was probably because I had grown the main ingredient. It does seem a long time ago. That's probably because it is!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest

There are presently approximately eight thousand, "listed buildings," in Northern Ireland. The vast majority of these, (almost seven thousand five hundred) are designated B1 or B2. The figures given on the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) website for the two higher grades of listing (A and B+), are one hundred and ninety three and three hundred and eighty eight respectively.

It was the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 which provided the statutory impetus for the first "listing," survey in Northern Ireland. That survey took some twenty years to complete and was rather lacking in detail.  The present relevant legislation  is the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 and in particular Article 42.

A second survey is presently under way and this is hoped to be completed by 2016. The field work has been contracted out to a firm of Belfast architects and they are presently surveying properties along the north coast. The new entries on the Buildings Database of the NIEA are of much more interest to local historians and those with an interest in our build heritage. A typical new entry will now have at least one coloured photograph of the exterior of the building or structure; give a written description of architectural features and where possible some historical information. The NIEA's booklet entitled, " Criteria for Listing," issued in 2010 sets out an example of the new style of listing .

Monday, 1 October 2012

Calabrese - Eat Your Greens!

Calabrese - 30th September 2012
Surely even the most pernickety of sprogs, (oka children), must like spouting brocolli, or calabrese as it is otherwise known as. If they do not they should. Mixed with roasted pine nuts it is extremely appetising. 

The heads on my Calabrese plants are swelling nicely and they should be ready for cropping by the end of October.  It is recommended that the seed are sown where the plants are to crop as they tend not to transplant well. Whilst that may be what the books say I have always sown the seeds indoors in mid spring and then transplanted the seedlings into trays for growing on and hardening off,  before finally planting them in their final growing positions at the end of June. Maybe the cool and damp summer helped me this year. Although I have never done it with this crop it apparently freezes well.