Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's raining, it's pouring...

Another month has flown by and it is time for an update for the Garden Share Collective.  Well the weather man was right. It is raining and is expected to last over the next few days. It has been a lovely sunny autumnal week and I am not complaining about the rain.  It saves me watering, although I had hoped to pick some Black boy peaches and do some preserving so I guess I will have to brave the weather to collect them.

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.
How did I do for March?
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.


  1. Glad to hear you are also having some rain, its nice not to have to go and water each day. Those peaches look pretty good, i have never heard of them before. I wish I could grow apples.

  2. Yes bit more rain this morning but clearing now in time for my Buck to arrive this afternoon. Blackboy peaches are a wonderful, freestone peach. We have had bumper crops each year whereas our Golden Queen Peach is very sad indeed.

  3. Gorgeous peaches. Wow what a colur they have! Sounds like you have been busy!