Sunday, June 17, 2012
From the hedgerows
All around us the hedgerows are white, full of Elderberry blossom. If you pick the right tree it smells like muscatel, heavenly. Yesterday we went gathering blossoms to make Elderflower cordial and Elderflower champagne. It takes little to turn these blossoms into a lovely drink, water, flower heads, sugar, lemons and citric acid for the cordial. In a weeks time the cordial will be ready and in a month, hopefully the champagne.
The keyhole garden is now completed, thanks to our last helper, he did a wonderful job even though the weather was not the best. So far only pumpkins have been planted in it, given to us by a friend with a permaculture garden, later today I will plant more carrots, spinach and chard, it will be interesting to see how well everything does in it.
I have had to make a further planting of runner beans thanks to the young rabbits, there is one male who seems to spend all his time working out how to get out of the run, on his last escape he ate the runner beans, fortunately it is early enough in the season to replant. I can see that he will be the first one for the pot, even though he is the prettiest.
As we look at the veg garden it is hard to remember what it looked like just eleven months ago. It was just a field. Since last Sept we have found something to eat in it every day and now it is looking like a well established veg garden. We have planted around three hundred trees and bushes, hoping that in time they will create micro climates. The young fruit tress have even managed to set some fruit, although it will probably be a couple of years before I can bottle any surplice, but even the fig tree has two fruits on it. We will however have plenty of veg.
The two cockerels that were slaughtered last weekend weighed in at 3lb 11oz not the biggest, but the one that we have eaten was full of flavour and in fact gave us a good return, roast for three on Sunday, a pie on Monday and enough, with added mushrooms for another four person pie, nothing got wasted. The other one is in the freezer.
We have some La Bresse chicks coming on, it will be interesting to see if they live up to expectations. They are the untidiest chicks we have reared, they kick up their litter covering the water drinker, the same with their food, even though both drinker and feeder are suspended they still manage to fill both with the milled straw. We also have duck sitting, plus a broody hen, she is on duck eggs, hopefully some ducklings will hatch.
It is again a lovely sunny day, so I must get out there and get the seeds planted.