Grass finally, (finally!) was cut, dried and baled ….. just in time as the very next day we had the most spectacular thunder and lightning storms I have experienced for a long time. The birds of prey have been flying the field now that it has been cut. This year we sold the grass as a standing crop – it’s proved to be a much simpler process, though less profitable, than trying to get someone to mini bale for us to then sell on. The chicks have reached the ping-pong ball stage of development and are spending much of the day out in the run; hitching a ride on the back of mum seems to be the game of the moment. We have masses of chickweed, (Stellaria media), on the veg. plot so weeding is more fun as the chickweed is proving to be very popular with the chickens and is packed with nutrients. Home grown veg. is now coming through thick and fast; we have been feasting on a hummus made from broad beans (Hugh Fearnley’s recipe – delicious) with a mix of young courgette, radish et al as crudite. Great stuff!
Reading at the moment: The Road to Le Tholonet by Monty Don
Ah the joys of being on leave – and the sun is shining! Dashed out to the veg plot to, (belatedly), plant out the squashes that were about to get up and leave their 9cm pots in sheer disgust at my tardiness. I am buoyed up by the emergence of new life on the smallholding – the wildbirds have been very fecund and we are surrounded by numerous fledglings, plus …. and this is a first for us….. our very own, homegrown, livestock. Five new chicks (English Game x Australorp) (one is hiding) with their amazing, determined, sweet tempered mum. Sweet peas are coming through thick and fast, such a giving cut flower and loads of fresh produce to eat.
Reading at the moment Cleve West ‘Our Plot’ – inspired by his earth oven – a (nother) new project!
Took another trip today and we swung past a new friend who has a pick your own business. The strawberry season is so late this year so I opted for some rhubarb and gooseberries. Our rhubarb plants are still too young to crop from, ditto the gooseberry bushes so I have forgiven myself for my lack of produce on that front. On the vegetable side – wellllll – it is all a bit late and whilst I can try, I can’t blame the weather entirely – (although the snow did squash the early sowing of Aquadulce broad beans resulting in a late sowing of Sutton). Anyhow the gooseberry PYO choice was very much influenced by the magnificent crop of elderflower we have (though no credit to me). Gooseberry and elderflower fool is ABSOLUTELY delicious, and of course I’m looking foward to a bumper crop of elderberries. This year I shall try to use as much of the crop as possible, elderberry cordial is a definite.
Something I can take, (a little), credit for is the progress of my rescue medlar, (the firm I used to work for had it earmarked for the skip!), and whilst it has a way to go on its road to recovery – I am pleased with progress.
Potential – that’s what it is all about!