Friday, July 8, 2016

Bumper Harvests.

We often wonder where the time goes, the weeks seem to fly by, what have we done with all this time? Well in the last week, Simon has redecorated the lounge, it's quite a big room, 30'X14' and had not been done since we first moved in, one wall was a burgundy colour, this is now a rather nice antique sage.
The front of the cottage has received it's first coat of Weather Shield and it needed doing although it was only done four years ago, these decoration jobs have been fitted in between rainy and sunny days
and harvesting vast quantities of fruit.
So far this week I have processed around forty pounds of fruit,

I had to make some scones, just to check the jam was OK.
some is now jam, some frozen and the rest has been bottled, plus two more batches of Elderflower cordial has been made, just in time for the gooseberry harvest, elderflower and gooseberries compliment each other . I had just put on the last batch of Strawberry jam and in he comes, bearing gifts,
the first gooseberry bush has been picked, another ten ponds of fruit and we have eight bushes, I am assured that this is the harvest from the biggest bush, I hope so as there is  lots of blackcurrants to be picked as well as the redcurrants. Well that's what we have done in the last week, next week I will again be making jam, Gooseberry, Blackcurrant as well as  Blackcurrant cordial. The strawberries have now given us 'the' big pick, they should now just keep giving us a few for desert but there will be another big pick from the raspberries. I had considered  using jam sugar this year, just for the Strawberry jam but I looked at the label,( yes I'm a label reader.) Now if I see something advertised as jam sugar I expect the contents to be sugar and pectin, not so, jam sugar contains PALM OIL, why? Am I missing something here, since when has palm oil been an ingredient of jam? Palm oil seems to be put into just about everything that is sold in supermarkets even when there are good alternatives. Do none of these faceless corporations care anything for the plight of the indigenous peoples and the habitats of Orangutans? I guess not, just profit.
Calabrese, sprouts and cabbage.
Potatoes now ready to harvest.
Next week the potatoes will be harvested, if the amount of leaf is anything to go by we will have a good crop,
we have already started eating the carrots, just the thinning's, although they are a decent size.
5.7 ozs, not a bad size.
The garlic once again has been very good, it's now all harvested,
and we are getting plenty of courgettes and mange tout peas.

Last winter must have been wet,
although our roses are looking lovely they have all developed blackspot so I will have to come up with a spray for them that wont harm wild life,

You can just see the blackspot on these leafs.
if anyone has a non chemical treatment please leave a comment.
Shame there is no perfume.

The first of the lilies are also in flower but these are not perfumed which is a shame, the white lilies which are only in bud have a lovely perfume.
A cultivated Loosestrife.
We have had to re-sow cauliflower seeds, unfortunately the hot weather came just at the wrong time and all the plants bolted, more French beans have been sown, they will go in the tunnel to give us a late crop. I am sat here listening to the very satisfying sound of jam pot lids popping, this is the last of the strawberry jam, such a good sound to hear.
A few more garden flower pictures.
Purple mallow.
Double flowered Feverfew.


  1. Antique sage sounds really nice, our lounge used to have shades of green, green is meant to be a good relaxing colour for a lounge.
    What a bumper harvest you have had, I just love scones, jam and cream (well I am from Devon), Love roses and lilies, I was only just saying I would like to get some more roses.

    1. I am pleased with the paint colour and yes it is restful. Simon is also a Devon man, born and bred a small village called Chardstock, between Chard and Axminster. we both love clotted cream but alas the only clotted cream here is sterilised and docent even resemble the real stuff.
      Just about all of my roses are David Austin, and everyone is highly perfumed.

  2. WOW WOW WOW! I'm so impressed with your recent activity. I've been canning green beans this week here in Illinois and next week we'll start freezing zucchinni. Our orchard on this new farm is in its earliest stages, we'll be lucky to get apples to make sauce but there is always next year! Keep up the hard work. You inspire me.

    1. I'm impressed with how you have got your veg garden up and running in so short a time Donna, it looks great, how about you doing a post on soap making? I did make it when we were in Spain but so far here I haven't found time, a post from you would probally get me going!

  3. Well, I hope you like jam, because you are going to have a lot of it. Or perhaps you sell it...? Re the jam sugar: I'm appalled at the inclusion of palm oil. I'm going to check mine now. What brand was yours?

    1. We use a fair amount of jam Mark but a lot of the fruit will be bottled as we have desert every day, during the summer it would be fresh fruit, winter time bottled. I don't remember what brand it was Mark as I put it back on the shelf, we are a palm oil banned house, but 'Sucre' was definitely one of the brands. And yes, I do sell jams normally at the Christmas markets.

  4. Wow, they're bumper harvests indeed, all that hard work is now paying off. I've only recently started growing roses but they get blackspot every year. I just pick off the leaves I can as I don't like spraying but it always comes back again. It doesn't seem to affect the plants, it just looks unsightly.

    1. And the raspberries keep coming Jo, another 7lb tonight and masses of gooseberries.

  5. So much fruit...and I have already peeked at the coming posts so know it keeps coming! Those scones are making me hungry! x