Saturday, 26 June 2010

A good yield so far and our first rabbit...

It's funny how the garden catches up with you. One day you're lucky if one of the lettuces is big enough to stretch to a couple of mouthfuls and the next you are feasting on fruit and veg. Everything has been late this year because of the long winter and the late cold spells. I think we still are running a little late - I am sure the elderflower was later than usual - but with enormous benefits it seems to quantity.

We were still picking cherries in June and I know for a fact that hasn't happened before. And what a crop. We thought last year was good but this year wasn't only good in terms of quantity but in quality as well. I suppose the fruit starting ripening late and then with a sudden burst of sun and heat at the critical moment it all burst into ripeness. The cherries have never been darker in colour nor sweeter in taste. Once again the birds left us plenty and for once we could reach them from the ground - indeed the branches were so heavy they sort of came down to greet us!

And then the strawberries - for three weeks we were picking about 3 kilos per week. Not bad when there's only two of you to eat them - and at the weekend we were good enough to share them with our youngest son (he's away at school during the week).

Right now we are feasting on raspberries. The yield isn't quite so magnificent but I am picking about two kilos a week so I can't complain. Certainly enough to accompany ice cream or yoghurt.

And what about the vegetables? Well, of course we are still fighting the rabbits and I had to put netting over the courgettes - all the leaves were eaten one night. But all the same we are eating our first baby courgettes, baby and medium sized carrots (the sweetness of a freshly picked carrot...), and of course lettuces when we beat the rabbits to them. Also potatoes left in the ground last year (by mistake) have given us a few tasty meals.

Chard will be on the menu next week and for some time to come, mangetout are in flower so hopefully they will be eaten soon, French beans likewise.

The tomatoes will be later this year and also the melons and water melons. Cucumbers are still without flowers but enjoying this sunny weather. Onions are doing well. The pumpkin plants look fantastic.

I could go on - aubergine, peppers, chillies, brassicas. But they can be a subject for another day.

The fight against the invasion of rabbits goes on but they are two down. One was taken by a dog, the other by us. Stir fry rabbit for lunch yesterday was delicious.

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