152 days ago
I start on the subject of strawberries. Then it is onto: Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), SRT Marine (SRT), Bidstack (BIDS), Non Standard Finance (NSF), Versarien (VRS) and Audioboom (BOOM), today’s big ouzo moment.
162 days ago
The only cheat is the blackberries which Joshua and I picked last September and froze. Everything else I just picked in the garden this lunchtime: strawberries, three of four very early raspberries (red and golden), dessert gooseberries, red currants and black currants. I shall cook this evening and serve tomorrow night with lashings of cream. Photos will follow. Summer is well and truly here.
168 days ago
You can, of course ,just eat them and this attraction has prompted that rare spectacle, the Mrs and Joshua heading into the garden of their own volition. But faced with a glut, even that is not enough. I pushed a few through the blender to make the first strawberry ice cream of the year on Sunday and it is generally agreed that it was utterly amazing. If I sound conceited, anyone who has tasted my home made ice cream knows that I have every reason to be conceited. What you see below was picked in just 20 minutes by myself with Joshua and Jaya supervising ( i.e. picking to eat).
499 days ago
I hear that there was a near biblical deluge yesterday and it looks like there is plenty of rain ahead back at the Welsh hovel. And I have a couple of assistants going in to water both the garden and the big lawn so I hope I shall return to something in good shape. As long promised, here is what I have turned the jungle into. The project is far from finished but its no longer a jungle.
531 days ago
There are a few firsts in last night’s produce, all of which came from what was once the jungle, but is now a football pitch-sized vegetable garden.
570 days ago
The garden I created in the area once known as the jungle sits about 4-6 foot, depending on where you are, above the lane that leads to the Welsh Hovel. You may remember that last year I lined it with lavender bushes. Then came the weeds.
784 days ago
The main strawberry bed is still on badger hill. But the plants have all shot runners and so I am opening up a new area of strawberry production in the main vegetable garden, what was known as the jungle. So far this expansion is half complete and I could go further but i am minded that with plans afoot for expanding production of fruit and other vegetables next year there is only so much space, even in an area the size of a small football pitch. A problem to ponder.
916 days ago
When we arrived here two years ago, the grass, ferns and nettles were more than six foot high in bits of the small field above the barns. You could not see the gate fence and chicken shed at the end of the field which separated it from our upper meadow which goes all the way to the churchyard. The glass-filled ruins of an ancient shed just before the chicken shed were hidden from view. I had no idea it existed. What a difference two years makes. This is the field onto which five of our neighbours must look at from their houses and it was one of them who made my week by saying thank you a couple of days ago. So what does it look like now?
1010 days ago
The workers arrived at 7 and the skip shortly afterwards with the first project the removal of the asbestos shed at the bottom of the vegetable garden, the area formerly known as the jungle. Notwithstanding my work into the early hours on family papers, I’d set an alarm and was there at the outset to make coffee for all.
1033 days ago
There has been great progress on all fronts and, this year, I hope for an abundance of apples, pears, plums, damsons, cooking apples, crab apples, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb and more and there are photo updates on all to come. But I start with the strawberries.
1040 days ago
This part of the lands here is at the edge of the new orchard on the inner upper field. When we arrived just under two years ago, this field was under six foot high in grass, nettles and ferns. You could not see the gate and fence at the end of it, nor a chicken shed and small asbestos shed all of which have now been removed.
1053 days ago
I am not sure if you can see but the strawberry patch I created last year in the near top field at the Welsh Hovel has been tidied up. The patch already has 108 plants but is still only half full and Joshua can eat only so many strawberries. Thus, work has continued on the rest of the area, although my role is, again, largely managerial.
1251 days ago
My father has a very large strawberry bed and that, plus the extreme likelihood that my father’s carer E will have lots of chocolate to hand out, is enough to encourage my son to join me on a road trip to Shipston. Do not tell the lockdown jihadis in the Welsh Government but we broke through the border two days ago.
1276 days ago
When we arrived at the Welsh Hovel, what you see below, the area at the edge of the nearest upper field was a sea of ferns and nettles, almost six foot high in places. You could not see the small shed at one end of my strawberry patch, which I am now knocking down, and the larger chicken hut at the other end, whose days are also numbered, was barely visible. In fact I did not know of the existence of the smaller shed which is, I fear, largely made of asbestos so not that easy to eradicate. The area between the two sheds had once also been a building and you can see the base of its wall still exists.
1295 days ago
As it happens, strawberry cultivation used to be big business here in the last village in Wales. And myself, Joshua and the Mrs have been working hard to create a patch here at the Welsh Hovel.
1401 days ago
This is a rarity, getting the Mrs to assist in the garden, but the lure of a strawberry patch got her on board and also Joshua who was given a new gardening kit for Christmas by “aunty” K.