Thursday, August 9, 2012

Egg glut

Again we have a glut of eggs, now the incubator has been put away until next year the hens have decided to work overtime, even the ducks have started laying again. Most of our friends or neighbours have hens and the one friend who doesn't lives too far away to just pop some over, so once again I have been busy making lemon curd. We have a Spanish helper staying at the moment and she had her first taste yesterday, she loved it, there is nothing like it in Spain but as she has asked for the recipe I suspect her friends will be introduced to this preserve, her father has an organic olive farm but also grows lemons so she will have her own organic supply of lemons, lucky her!
Next on the list is making more Ice-cream, again she had never tasted real Ice- cream but loved it, this is one thing I will show her how to make as it's not too easy to just give the recipe, you have to get the feel of the cream as it is heating.

The keyhole garden that was made by our previous helper is the 'Garden of Abundance', it is less than two months since it was finished but already is proving to be an ideal way of gardening. The pumpkins are doing so well, too well really and I have had to stop them, the cabbages love it and are twice the size of the ones in the ground, I say cabbages, I'm not too sure what they are, I had planted them in seed trays but then forgot to mark the trays, so they could be cauliflower or broccoli or just cabbages, but whatever, they will get eaten. I also planted two types of spinach and chard, again they love the conditions, carrots are looking good and are probably too high off the ground to be affected by carrot root fly , even a late sowing of swede is looking promising. The real bonus is the lack of slugs! Now I know that these little blighter's can climb, but so far they have not discovered the keyhole garden, the only damage done was by our cats, and cats being cats had to leave their mark, well it was something new!

I decided to try something different this week with rabbit meat, it is not the weather for stews or curry's so, inspired by River cottage I thought I would try Bunny Burgers. I used the meat from the rabbit back with a couple of small belly of pork rashers, one slice of bread made into crumbs, onion, sage and parsley, a dash of Lea and Perrins salt and pepper, I put the whole lot through the mincer and moulded into burger shapes on a well floured board, they didn't need any further binding as the onion was so moist, gently fried for about five minutes aside, they were good, and we will be making them again.

I had wanted to increase our strawberries plants, we have sufficient for eating but not for jam making, however I didn't want to forfeit any ground space in the tunnel, we could grow them out side, but I suspect that the slugs would get more than us , so suspended strawberries troughs seemed the way to go. We managed to get an odd length of drainage pipe from the local builders merchant very cheaply, it had been left over from a job. This got suspended from the cross bars in the tunnel by luggage straps, we incorporated a leaky hose in the trough for irrigation, the parent plants have been producing a mass of suckers so these got potted up and are now transplanted into the troughs, the result is double the amount of plants that we had, and no ground space taken up. One of the plants has even started blooming, all I have to remember is to keep the plants fed as there is only about five inches of soil. Again by planting off the ground there will be no slug damage and it will make for easier picking.
I don't just plant edibles in the tunnel, I plant several types flowers to encourage pollinating insects, also Thyme and Oregano as they bloom well and the insects love them, also, herbs grown under cover have a far more intense flavour.


  1. Mmmmmm lemon curd!

    Ingenious strawberry technique. Adding that to the list.

  2. I'm glad to see the keyhole garden is doing so well after my labours. I'm on a small market garden in Canada at the moment which is great. They also have the problem of giant courgettes appearing in the blink of an eye so I might have to give them the courgette and ginger preserve recipe you posted recently. Hope all is well with you both (and Monkey).