Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Making blackberry freezer jam

The blackberries are starting to ripen in the hedgerows so I picked some and made freezer jam

ripening blackberries
crab apples

hips, haws & berries

The earliest blackberries are alongside the bridleway in Great Forest and there's lots of rosehips, hawthorn berries and sloes in the hedges too.  The photos were taken by the footbridge into Lakes Field.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Lemon & Marrow Marmalade

The vegetable garden is looking rather chaotic and disorderly at the moment. The sugar snap peas and the rhubarb leaves are dying off and the coriander is going to seed. The climbing beans are providing us with enough for supper every evening and the beetroot is growing faster than I can keep up with but there's only a couple of carrots left. Earlier in the week I missed the courgette hiding under the leaves and by the time I saw it, the wretched thing had grown enormous and everybody moaned at the prospect of another stuffed marrow. So today I've made some Lemon & Marrow Marmalade, which sounds disgusting but tastes wonderful. The marrow turns translucent and infused with lemons so that you really wouldn't know it was marrow at all. I sometimes eat it like a sweet chutney with goats cheese or a chunk of Wensleydale, but generally spread it on my toast.

Ploughing Great Forest field

Today we are ploughing in Great Forest.  We need to prepare the land for the seed and use the plough to lift and turn the soil, creating a line of furrows in the field.  This loosens the soil and buries the remains of last year's crop and weeds.