Posts Tagged strawberries

First good haul of strawberries

The last few days we have had glorious sunny weather and the strawberries have come on in leaps and bounds.  In the week I picked a dozen ripe berries, but today I picket 2.3 kg of strawberries, that’s over 5 lbs.

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I think we will have an abundant crop this year so I shall be making strawberry liqueur, strawberry cordial, and strawberry jam as well as eating them every day.  I do so love strawberries, they are one of my favourite fruits.

If you want fresh strawberries with your breakfast, come and stay at our B&B.

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Strawberries for breakfast, lunch, dinner and jam

Yesterday we picked our first trug of strawberries.  I can hardly believe how laden the plants are with fruit, there are red berries everywhere.

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I absolutely love strawberries and it is no problem for me to have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still we have enough over to make jam.  I also gave some to our next door neighbours as they were eyeing them up enviously!!!

Our B&B guests at the weekend had them with their cereal for breakfast.  If you want to share our strawberries then come for a visit.

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Planting our potatoes with the “no dig” method and progress in the garden

We had read about it, so we thought we would give it a try – “No dig” gardening. What is that you ask?  Well the idea is that you cover the ground around the plants you want and it stops the weeds coming up, therefore you don’t need to dig them out.  We understand it can take a couple of years for the weeds to completely stop coming up but we thought we would give it a go.

So we started with the potatoes.  We laid cardboard across the ground and Neil made holes through the cardboard into the earth.

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I followed up by planting a potato into each hole and then we covered with the cardboard.  The idea being that each potato will grow through the hole in the cardboard, but the weeds won’t be able to.

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We then did the same with the onions.  We got the cardboard from our local convenience shop.  He would only put the packaging into recycling so we are recycling a different way.

I took the opportunity to have a look round the garden at what else is growing.  The rhubarb is coming along fantastically and we will be able to pick from it soon.

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Where I had pulled up all the dead strawberry leaves and exposed the new little plants coming up, they are doing well, still small but growing new leaves.

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I had created a border of daffs, narcissus and primroses around one of the lawns.  These have finally come into full bloom and are looking lovely now.

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It’s nice to have a dry day to get some jobs done in the garden.  Saturday was glorious with sunshine but today it is more cloudy, but still a good working day.

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Plentiful strawberries

Yesterday I picked my first strawberries and they were plentiful.  I picked loads into the trug as pictured.  Mind you there were also lots of mouldy ones where the rain had got to them, but there were lots of lovely red ones.  Neil had made a netting shroud to go over and around the strawberry beds to keep the birds off, especially the blackbirds, as they are very partial to strawberries, so that had helped keep our crop OK.

Last night we had strawberries and cream for dessert at dinner, then this morning we had them on our breakfast cereals.  I also cut some up into my yoghurt at lunchtime.  Its not difficult me for to eat them with every meal as I love them so much, but I guess I shall be making some strawberry jam soon too for my B&B guests to have with their breakfast.

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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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Lovely midsummer weather!

Can hardly believe the weather at the moment.  To think yesterday was Midsummer’s Day and I was sat here in a jumper with a cardigan over the top.  Our neighbours lit their woodburning stove.  I looked out over the back of us and all I could see were the rain clouds, see below.

clouds over the hills

rain clouds on MidSummer's day

Today didn’t start much better.  It rained all morning, and about lunchtime the rain eased off and the sun peeped out for a while.  I went to a Strawberry afternoon tea at Stapley today, but luckily we sat in a marquee so were sheltered from the wind.

I wish oh wish Summer would come!!!

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