Tuesday 7 July, 2009
As the strawberry harvest gets well underway, both Dan and I have made strawberry jam. Dan made his special "twice boiled" jam - because he couldn't get it to set first time and was persuaded to tip it back into the pan and have another go. Actually, it's very nice, better than mine, I think, but all will be revealed at the local Horticultural Society show in September. The raspberries are doing better than expected. We're planning to replace them this year and they looked a bit neglected, but they are cropping well. If I could only grow one soft fruit, it would be raspberries. I love a handful, freshly picked, on my breakfast cereal.
Monday 13 July, 2009
We've had some fabulous weather this week â€“ wonderful sunshine, but with some pretty heavy rain too, so things are growing well. Even the sweetcorn looks a bit perkier.
Most of the broad beans are now picked and frozen. The strawberries are still coming but the raspberries are almost finished. We're planning to replant these this year, so I think we'll have three varieties with successional harvest times. Now the peas and the blackcurrants are ready for harvesting â€“ I find blackcurrants really tedious to pick, but it will be worth it (I tell myself). Actually, I've bribed Dan's mum and dad to come and pick them, in return for morning coffee and a Jacob fleece.
Tuesday 14 July, 2009
We had the most SPECTACULAR rain last night. About 9pm, we went out to do the water troughs, feeders and to shut in the hens. We were also going to dose the lambs with Heptavac P Plus. It had been showery yesterday, and sometimes quite heavy but nothing like the deluge that hit then.
We were in the sheep shed, thank goodness, and what a triumph IT has been. The rain wasn't taking time to come down - it was easy to see where the description of stair rods comes from - it was solid rain.
Tuesday 21 July, 2009
The weather has continued to be changeable here. We've had some really heavy showers and our garage has flooded a few times â€“ the drain is inadequate so I'm going to get a water butt to put on the downpipe to take the pressure off it. Fortunately, anything that could have been damaged was high enough off the floor to be safe.
In the garden, the French beans are ready â€“ I've not grown these before but we had them for dinner yesterday and they are really tasty. Along with peas, carrots and new potatoes â€“ all our Sunday vegetables were homegrown.
Monday 27 July, 2009
The vegetable garden is really getting going now. We've managed to get a handful of runner beans, with the glut yet to come. The French beans are doing really well - next year, I'll grow these instead of broad beans which neither Dan nor I really like. Peas are regularly contributing to plate and freezer - I wish I'd grown more of them. Beetroot and carrots are available as thinnings and we've had the first of the Minicole cabbage. The new netting has transformed the brassica bed - just hope the sprouts and the sprouting broccoli don't get too high and pull it out.
Wednesday 29 July, 2009
I'd like to make a plea on behalf of British rare breeds. Please support the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and maybe more importantly, use the breeds on the RBST watchlist. With support since the Watchlist was published in 1976, 13 breeds have moved from the watchlist to being Category 6 Other Native Breeds. But many more still need help - almost all the pig breeds, many of the horse and pony breeds, as well as cattle, sheep & goats and poultry.
See the RBST website for more information.