Posts Tagged raspberries

First runner beans and eating from the garden

A couple of days ago I picked our first runner beans, just small tasty ones, but they are coming on nicely now. They had a slow start what with all our cold rainy weather, but all the rain water did them good.

First runner beans

So we had dinner that night with our own runner beans, our own potatoes, and our own peas, followed by our own raspberries, so we really are eating from the garden. My very own “Pick your own” at home!!

lovely peas from the garden

I’ve been sitting shelling peas and topping and tailing gooesberries whilst watched the Olympics.  It’s been really exciting with team GB doing so well.

It’s time to dig up the first of the onions and we have cabbages, spinach, and other brassicas coming along nicely.  I love eating from the garden, no food miles, just food feet!!

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Sparrowhawk in the fruit cage

Our neighbour called us the other evening to say there was a bird caught in our fruit cage.  I went down to investigate and to open the door to let it out thinking it would be a pesky blackbird as they will do anything to get to my raspberries.  Instead when I got there I found it was a sparrowhawk.  I recognised it by its yellow legs.  It had found a gap in the netting between the roof netting and the side netting.

Sparrowhawk in the fruit cage

It was flapping about and flying back and forth, but of course did not see the open door that would have meant its freedom!!.  I didn’t fancy going into the fruit cage as I wasn’t sure if the bird would attack me if I got too close.  So I called Neil and he came down with a towel.  His idea was to wrap the towel around the bird, prise it from the netting and then set it free.

close up of the sparrowhawk

However, before we got round to doing that the bird found the same gap it had entered through and quickly freed itself and flew away.  You can see where the green string that was keeping the roof netting and the side netting together has come apart, so now we have some repair work to do before the same thing happens again.

visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Our first peas and glorious fruit from the garden

We have had a week of lovely sunny weather here and it has done the garden good, bringing on the fruit and veggies after all the rain we have had.  Yesterday we picked our first peas.

Our first peas

They were lovely fat pods of really sweet peas.  We have never grown peas before so this is a definite success.

shelled peas

We had them last night with baked trout and our home grown potatoes – yummy, followed by home grown raspberries that have been so abundant this year we have been eating them daily.

Home grown raspberries

We have the raspberries served with meringues and squirty cream, an unbeatable combination.  Not only do we have raspberries but loganberries and for the first time tayberries, which are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, so quite dark in colour.

Also the blueberries have been plentiful.  I think all the rain made them swell up, we have never had so many big ones.

home grown blueberries

Our gooseberries are now ripe and I have been picking both green ones and red ones.  I made strawberry and gooseberry jam with some of the green ones and raspberry and red gooseberry jam with the others.

Green gooseberries

Red gooseberries

So what with the blackcurrants and strawberries we had earlier our fruit garden has been bountiful.  With regard to veggies as I said we have harvested peas and potatoes, our beans and cabbages are coming along OK and we have had several courgettes, but our sweetcorn doesn’t look up to much, got dashed down by the rain we had, and the seeds of our carrots, parsnips and beetroot have all come to nothing.  Also there are very few apples on the trees.  Our British weather has a lot to answer for, but we must be grateful for the fruits we do have!!

Our B&B guests will be enjoying freshly picked fruits with their breakfast.  www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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“Pick you own” at home

When we lived in Langley, I used to go down the “Pick your Own” at least once if not twice a week.  When we moved here that was the one thing I missed, as there was no PYO nearby. So the first year we were here we had to content ourselves with shop bought produce whilst we planted bushes and fruit canes.

This year we have a veritable “pick your own” at home!!!  The raspberries have just got going and they are wonderful, and we are still picking strawberries.

Today's picking of strawberries Monday 11th July 2011

Last year we planted out 4 blueberry bushes that we had brought with us, that had previously been growing in pots.  We got nothing from them, but this year they have come into their own and we are getting better blueberries than we have ever had.  You can see them amongst the raspberries. When we finally open as B&B I hope to serve some of our fresh fruit at breakfast with cereal or natural yoghurt.

Today's pickings of blueberries and raspberries 11th July 2011

Mind you not everything is a raving success.  My lettuces have bolted, the runner beans are slow climbing the bean poles and my tomatoes are a bit ho hum at the moment.  Let’s hope the sunny weather like we have had today will bring these other plants on a bit better.

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Can you have too many strawberries?

Our strawberry crop is doing magnificantly.  I have been growing strawberries for 25 years, starting off in pots when I lived in a flat, and now at Buckland St Mary, growing them in our wonderful fertile soil, we have the largest strawberries I have ever grown.

My wonderful strawberries

We  have so many strawberries that it is even too many for us to eat, when we are having them for breakfast with our cereal and then again in the evening for dessert. Can you ever have too many strawberries?

It seems like sacreligious but I am going to have to make jam out of our home grown strawberries.  I have never done this before, always making jam out of fruit from the Pick Your Own.

I am starting to feel guilty about Mr Blackbird.  Having been deprived of my raspberries he is hell bent on getting into the strawberry patch.  He even made a hole in the netting and hopped through today, only to be helped out again by us.  Perhaps as we have so many strawberries I should leave a couple on the ground just for him?  But I don’t really want him to get the taste for them, otherwise we could go from plentiful supply to none very quickly!!

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Mr Blackbird is well fed up

Neil’s mate Fid arrived today to stay for a couple of days.  Neil and he set to work on putting up the netting for the fruit cage.  It was difficult getting the netting over the top of the poles to form a roof, and then tensioning it so it was equal all the way round.  This took several attempts. They then built a door in the side , which hinges to allow entry.

We could then remove the temporary netting we had had over the gooseberry bushes and some of the raspberries.  As we were sitting admiring the work, we noticed Mr Blackbird getting in a spin.  He was barging against the netting trying to get in.  Now I know who has been stealing my raspberries.  With the netting there his thieving will have to stop but he’s not happy.  He’s hopping all around the netting trying to find a way in but to no avail.

So Blackbird zero, us and the fruit cage one point!!

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Abundant fruit

The fruit bushes down in the paddock are bearing abundant fruit.  The strawberry plants we put in last year and got nothing from, have really come into their own, with enormous strawberries.  We’ve been eating them for breakfast and dinner for a week now.

The first of the strawberries and blackcurrants

The blackcurrant bushes that we got when someone was giving them away on freecycle, are also doing well. There are quite a few, enough for pudding for us two, but not masses, I expect we will get more as the bushes mature.

Our 2 red gooseberry bushes, given to us by a lady in Combe St Nicholas are also bearing plentiful fruit, this time enough for crumbles, and jam. And the raspberry canes, again planted last year when we got nothing from them, are now bearing fruit.  It is a rush to pick them before the birds get them, so we are trying to net them. When we finally get out large fruit cage net up it will save all the fruit hopefully, until then we are grateful for what we can pick.

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