Friday, 25 September 2009

Another year older

... but definitely no wiser! I don't suppose I can eek this birthday out much longer although looking forward to dinner tomorrow with friends and taking delivery of a few outstanding pressies! Always happy to try though.

Lots of lovely presents including a chicken (to come!), blueberry bushes and beautiful trug for the show veg next year - handcrafted by Rhys. Thankyou everyone for thinking of me, and getting such thoughtful things or allowing me to get things that will be really useful (but also lovely!!!)

Pics to follow here...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Late summer on the farm

Blackberries and raspberries absolutely everywhere. The sunshine of the last week really got the field going and we now have a bumper crop of raspberries to pick. While the courgettes seem to be having a second growth spurt, do they ever stop?

The Gelbe Kirschen "Yellow Cherries" chillis are turning a lovely yellow colour lulling you into a wonderfully false sense of security, which is nicely shattered if you touch them on your tongue to see how hot they are! The answer: blisteringly hot... The other varieties, Pretty in Purple and Iranian Red Round chillies are taking longer to ripen, and I think we might need to cobble together some sort of special greenhouse for them in the tunnel, if they are to reach their full scorching potential. They are just so pretty!

The colder nights have meant some of the tunnel crops are suffering with a mildew on their leaves, it doesn't seem to be affecting the vegetables themselves, so we just have to keep as much air going through as possible.
The beans, I think were attacked by spider mite, thankfully it happened late in the season and we had already picked more than we can possibly use. Something to keep an eye on for next year, and get ready with some sort of predator.
We're already looking forward to starting next year's crop. With a long wish list of additional heritage and heirloom varieties to try we've never been so excited to see January before.

Monday, 14 September 2009

What a wonderful weekend ...

So we thought we'd have a weekend off ... of course we didn't, but we did have a lovely weekend anyway doing camping the Clun farm way and the only way that camping or indeed glamping should be a field with bunting!

At last we had a couple of nights of beautiful night skies, perfect for catching ISS as it travelled about 350km overhead

Check out the night sky pics here...

Saturday we had a very successful, if long, blackberry pick.

While Sunday was taken up with "a little light gardening", or hedge slaying, and wall building

All in all a lovely, rewarding and slightly less hassled weekend. Thanks sunshine!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Now that's a lot of tomatoes ....

We headed into the jungle tunnel last night to pick some tomatoes.
This is what we ended up with! Better late than never, and there's many more to come ...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

A little pot of sunshine ...

Despite the awful weather the tomatoes are coming thick and fast now. Galina, the yellow cherry toms look (and taste!) so lovely we decided to try and pot some of that sunshine taste to see us through the darker days ...

Halve the tomatoes (try any varieties you like as far as I can tell), lay them cut side up on a baking tray,
Sprinkle with your favourite fresh herbs (we use golden oregano and finissimo basil),
Season with salt and black pepper and drizzle them with olive oil.
You can also give them a tiny (and I mean tiny) sprinkling of caster sugar to give them some extra sweetness if you like...

Place them in a really low heated oven circa 100 degrees c for several hours (3-4) until they are soft and chewy. The warming shelf in an aga would be perfect.

Place in a jar, top up the jar with olive oil and cover. Store in the fridge. They will last a couple of weeks but only if you forget about them! You'll have eaten them long before that...