Sunday, November 30, 2014

On the Fickleness of the Weather

When we lived in Cromwell I could not grow a strawberry.  We had lots of plants, none every made proper berries.  They would flower, then the fruit would be all stunted.  I tried several years in a row, and eventually decided that "I cannot not grow strawberries"

Now I think, perhaps it is more weather dependent....this week alone I have picked 3 large colanders full.  We have a strawberry glut!

I have made strawberry jam (on 24th November, my birthday, at 6am!), and today I have both frozen and canned strawberries.

Canning them using the waterbath method does result in a pale sloppier strawberry, but should be pretty good for pies/milkshakes/icecream.   Freezing them gives a fresher result.

I hope that by using a variety of methods to keep them I will have covered all eventualities.  I used the method in the Youtube video link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s4Bgv8N1Tg

In general the garden is starting to look better.  We have had a bit of rain, and this has helped things along.  I have also had some help in the garden, with a lady coming on a Monday to help weed and plant, given that this is the crazy time in the garden, trying to get plants in, protect them from wind, and imminent hail etc!  along with watering and picking what is ready to be harvested.

The onions with our decimated, windblown glasshouse beyond.  (if you look at previous blog posts you can read all about our glasshouse heartbreak).  The other photo is my small Medlar tree which I have been nuturing.  It is now growing some Medlars, which is a wonder in itself as all the other fruit trees flowered just before a huge storm, and all their flowers were blown off.  I think I can find ONE apple on all my apple trees.  The rest have just disappeared.

You can see how dry we have been, by looking at my so-called "lawn" ....it's burnt off already and today is the last day of spring.  God help us when summer arrives with full force.


This is a Medlar fruit forming.  Eventually when it is ripe I will have to "blet" it (leave it to rot!) before eating.
 I purchased a new apple tree, a Pacific Rose, (hubby's favourite) and I have tied its arms down so that it will grow in a manner which we can pick off.

This is my Garden Share Collective post for December.  You can check out all the other bloggers and what they are doing once the link is working.  I will update this post when that happens.

Planting now: Corn, Carrots, Potatoes, Corgettes, Pumpkins, Lettuces

Harvesting now: Lettuces, Strawberries, Asparagus, Spring Onions

Jobs to do this month: take away all 15 bags of glasshouse glass to the dump, Cover the berry fruits with bird netting, continue to harvest and freeze strawberries