194 days ago
Will this be enough to tempt daughter Olaf to visit her old father this Christmas. Home produced apple vodka is mixed with home grown plums and sugar. Actually one smaller jar contains blackberries picked yesterday by Joshua and me. By bonfire night what was clear liquid will be dark purple and slightly syrupy. The jars are turned now and again to ensure all the sugar – the white stuff at the bottom – is dissolved. So this should be around seven litres of fruit vodka, enough for at least a few breakfasts for Olaf.
505 days ago
Gettig folks to eat apples here at the Welsh Hovel is something of an ask. Which is an issue as we now have two apple orchards and also a highly productive cooking apple tree. I just hate things going to waste. We are now past the blackberry season so there can be no more blackberry and apple crumbles. Rhubarb and apple? Maybe that will work.
517 days ago
There is just so much to do but my target is to harvest at least one crop a day and put it away for winter storage. Tomorrow is the official start of the apple harvest and, having jumped the gun by a week on the crabapples and edibles from the new top orchard I have created, work will, start on the old orchard by the river which is dripping with reddening apples begging to be scratted and crushed into juice. Meanwhile…
541 days ago
I am working like a demon picking blackberries with Joshua in order to produce as much blackberry cordial as possible. On Saturday we spent an hour picking at our two favourite sites and the amount we produced generated 600 ml of cordial which is enough to make three litres of ice cream. But with both Sharestock and Joshua’s birthday party looming I need about 6 litres, plus some for normal family use. And fear not there will be other ice creams at both events (lavender and rhubarb & ginger). So it is all hands to the coalface.
662 days ago
The role of my son and heir who will, I hope, see these trees at their maximum height was to hold the stakes as I whacked them into the ground with my new toy, a fencing rammer. One tree is at the far edge of the upper field next to the graveyard, the other, almost, at the other corner of the field, just above the line of the Ha Ha.I am aware that I need to cut back the grass around the saplings to make sure they grow and that is a job for this week. But two more trees are now planted to delight local innumerate celeb Ms Eleanor Farr.
755 days ago
Last week, we finished the last jar of 2021 radishes preserved South East Asian style. They were a big hit with the Mrs and myself although Joshua, an increasingly fussy eater, was not so impressed. But it is now almost February so it is time for the first planting of 2022. I am conscious that there may still be a stack of frosts to come, so the one line of radishes is covered with plastic cloches, wide enough for me to add a second protected line in a month’s time, the idea being to harvest throughout the year so we have enough both to eat fresh and to pickle.
864 days ago
Having spotted some blackberries in the churchyard yesterday morning, when the Mrs arrived home to take charge of Jayarani, I headed back through the drizzle with young Joshua to harvest. We discussed the weather in Welsh as walked up the hill. We both know all the key phrases and also “it is sunny” not that we get to use that very often.
920 days ago
Tended by P and watered by God, the garden at the Welsh Hovel has come on by leaps and bounds in my absence. There is so much to photo, eat, preserve, freeze and pickle so where to start? Let’s kick off with one of the two patches known as Joshua’s garden so these are really his vegetables.
1082 days ago
A few folks asked how we could be enjoying rhubarb already here at the Welsh Hovel. The answer is in the top photo below; each of the eight plants is covered with a pot which seems to be accelerating growth. Don’t ask me to explain but it works. The tree in the middle of the rhubarb is, incidentally, one of the eight cherry trees I planted in December 2019 and it looks all set to blossom and deliver fruit quite magnificently this year. But it is not just the rhubarb which, after some persuasion, even four-year-old Joshua decided he liked.
3643 days ago
The Mrs, Personal Best on Word Mole c2,000, reckons that I waste away my life playing this word game on my blackberry. I like to think that having a command of the English language assists in some way although I must confess that I should have spent the train time between Didcot Parkway and Chippenham penning a piece on a company meeting ( Leyshon Energy) from today.
Instead using my normal banker words “stranglers – 88 points” “stringers – 73 points” and “stranded – 73 points” I battled through to level 37 and a new PB of 11,601. If you do not know this game this will all be gibberish to you. In fact it is all gibberish and the Mrs is spot on with her analysis. But I mark my achievement in wasting my life with a new Word Mole PB none the less.