Fruit and vegetables
Thanks to the fruit and vegetables we grow, we have great fun every summer and autumn, making jams and chutneys. They make great presents as well, packed in a hamper for Christmas.
Here's something we made earlier...
- Raspberry jam
- Blackcurrant jam
- Hedgerow jam, with blackberries, elderberries, crab apple.
- Sweet Chilli jam
- Wholegrain mustard
- Rhubarb chutney
- Green bean chutney (an unusual mix, but with tasty results)
- Seville orange marmalade (we cheat and buy the oranges for this one)
In our greenhouse we use growbags and get better results with peppers, courgettes, cucumbers, and lots more tomatoes!
In 2006, the raspberries, blackberries and damsons gave us a large amount of fruit, nearly 10Kg from one damson tree alone!
2007 was an exceptional year for Crane Flies (Daddy Longlegs) which we haven't minded. Unfortunately, it was also an exceptional year for Cabbage White butterflies. While we were on holiday, a huge number of caterpillars had hatched. Cabbage and brocolli that had looked perfectly healthy two weeks earlier had turned into something that looked like it had been used for shotgun target practice! So growing fruit and veg free of pesticides has its pros and cons.
We're happy with our chickens being natural pest controllers, but caterpillars don't seem to be on their menu.
In 2010, we improved our vegetable bed frames. Originally, we started with 6ft x 6ft frames, but that proved to be awkward for planting and weeding. We've changed them to 6ft x 3ft (which basically means, saw them in half and stick an extra side on) and these are easier to work with.