In other happenings my coffee grinds do seem to be keeping slugs and snails at bay so my kale, brussel sprouts and broccoli might stand a chance. The strange cold/hot/cold/hot weather has caused one of my broccoli plants to go straight to seed with the first shoot it produced. It is a sprouting variety so hopefully I still get some from it.
The tomatoes are ripening well now on the Sweet 100's, and I have managed to salvage a few Peasgood Nonsuch apples that the birds did not eat!!
There is a good crop again on the Medlar tree and this year I have been more organised and covered the tree to keep the birds away and hopefully increase the amount of fruit I will pick in late May/June. Medlar is an ancient fruit that has a lovely blossom and unusual looking fruit. The other odd thing about it is that it needs to "blet", a process that basically sees the fruit start to rot, before you use it. This year I will be making another bottle or two of Medlar liqueur (medlars steeped in vodka for 6 months), and also some cordial. You can also make Medlar Jelly, in a similar way to Quince jelly. I have made the liqueur before and it is delicious, like a fruity cordial but with punch. It definitely has an apple/pear sort of flavour and is really yummy. I'm looking forward to indulging in an alcoholic beverage over the summer as I'll probably be finished feeding bubs by the time the liqueur is ready.
My Mum has been keeping us in Courgettes after the slugs ate my plants. My husband is not a big fan but I have discovered he doesn't mind when it is in a chocolate cake. We have been eating lots, and I have also used the same recipe to make muffins which I have put in the freezer so the glut is not wasted.
I have been digging the potatoes as I need them. Last year I cleared an area in the vegetable garden, spaced out some sprouting potatoes and covered them with pea straw. I left them alone until now and we are enjoying some nice tasty potatoes. It is the ultimate in lazy gardening but worked well as I was 8 months pregnant when I was planting them so I wasn't looking for anything too labour intensive!
In the next month I plan to continue work on berries and currants area. I have been clearing tussock grasses in an area of the garden to set up my compost bins and also plant some raspberries and more currant cuttings. I have been feeding the tussocks to the goats, much to their delight.
I have a buck turning up on Monday to hang out with my 3 does for a while, so fingers crossed we will have kids in September. We are borrowing a ram from my sister as well so we will be lambing about the same time as kidding.
My to do list for April
- Clear more tussock grasses for compost area and berry/currant garden. This is an ongoing project as there are some Silver Birches to be removed before it will be completely finished but at the moment I am getting the compost sorted and taking some cuttings of my existing bushes.
- Preserve Blackboy peaches - fruit in syrup, stewed, jam, fresh in my tummy.....
- Wage war on weeds in the vege beds
- I also want to get some mulch down on the flower beds to reduce weeds in the spring.
I started digging the potatoes as we need them.
Hazelnut suckers removed and some hazelnuts appearing on the tree.
Cuttings taken and some more to be taken for berry/currant garden.
All in all not bad considering the month flew by and my bouncing baby boy is now 18 weeks old.