When I went to the allotment last time I noticed that some raspberries were turning pink. I knew it would be just a few days before another harvest would begin. I was correct. I think I had the last of the strawberries, I had only a small box so when I finished I took the nets off, leaving the beds exposed for the birds to help themselves.
The loganberries are getting going as well but I’m not going to use them to make jam, we’ll eat them as I pick them. They are delicious, we have them on our porridge or even as a topping on a sponge tray bake.
Finally it was the raspberries’ turn.
The final result was two kilo of the delicious berries and by the evening I had another lot of jam ready.
Today’s forecast was correct-cold, windy and rain, heavy at times. I had to go to the allotment as I wanted to get some more rhubarb. I was looking for some other ways to use it and found a recipe for rhubarb and vanilla jam. I have got enough rhubarb and the only other ingredients were vanilla pods, sugar and lemon juice. Found all of them so the afternoon will be spent making this jam.
When I arrived on the allotment I was in for a big surprise – a swarm of bees! I’ve never seen one at close quarters so this was quite amazing to watch – like a living creature, constantly moving, shifting.
I guessed where they came from – over the hedge Mary and Wayne have hives, it took just a short phone call and Wayne came all dressed in his protective gear to collect them. Even though he didn’t manage to collect them all, he said that the others will find their way home. It was rather fortunate that they settled on a couple of raspberry canes, right beside one of my paths, he was able to cut the canes down and just shake the bees into his special box. Very interesting to watch.
The weather forecast for today wasn’t particularly good but I decided to go down the farm anyway. There was a job to be finished and I managed to do that just as the rain started.
All in all I had countless wheelbarrows full of lovely crumbly soil. That got distributed all over the raspberry patch and on the other pieced of land next to them as that is the only part of my plots where I have some clay. This should improve it.
At the same time I have rebuilt the whole enclosure, also the one next to it and thus widened the little path. I can now fit the wheelbarrow to go through and it is looking much better.
To finish the job I emptied four sacks of horse muck on the new heap and also some of the stuff from the top of two of my composter bins. They were all full but I decided to put some of the freshest greenery on the heap and that’ll give me more space in the bins for smaller stuff.
All is done on this front so all I have to do now is to take the roll of the carpet and store it in the large communal shed and have it ready for future use.
Each time I go down to the allotment, or the farm as I call it, I spend quite a bit of time harvesting. It was the strawberries to start with, then the raspberries and now redcurrants. And in between I picked the first greenhouse cucumber.
I have made loads of jam – strawberry, raspberry and mixed jam with the two fruits. Today was the turn of redcurrant jam, and the result is great. I’m happy with that and the amount I picked yesterday was just a fraction of what is there! I think the rest will have to be frozen.
There will be more cucumbers, one of the water melons is there, only as big as a gooseberry – it has got to start somewhere!