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Entries in harvest (4)


Lovely pears

We have a williams bon chretien pear tree that my brother bought for us from Crocus not long after we first moved in (I think). It's trained in a double-U cordon shape, which makes it strongly vertical. It just happens to be a good fit for the spot between our front door and the living room window, although I have to give it some canes as support against the wind. It's growing in a large half-barrel, and up until this year it produced masses of flowers every Spring, then lost all of the developing fruit. 

Full bloom

(That's an old photo before I realised it needed support! It's taller now.)

This year I changed tactic with the watering, and started giving it an entire watering can to itself. Lots more than in the past. And what do you know? I got a lot of pears this year. 


(That's one of Clarkie's photos.)

I got some advice off a friend, who said that when the first one fell off I should harvest all of them and keep most of them somewhere cool to stop them ripening too quickly. I've been keeping them in the fridge and just ripening a few on the windowledge as I need. They are tasty and very juicy, and I've still got a load to go! 


This has been a good weekend for home-grown food. We have a book of soup recipe, and I decided to give the 'Beetroot and apple' soup a whirl. I planted some beetroots around the edge of a few other crops, and at least one of them this time got to a decent size! I also have apples at the moment, so this seems like a good use for them. The recipe also used a potato, and we have some of those. So it was just the onion and garlic that didn't come from our veg patch!

Homegrown beetroot and apples

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Lavender seems to grow really well in my dry, chalky soil and as a result I've planted quite a lot of it now. This year I decided I'd have a go at harvesting and drying some of it. I found a really good blog post on when to harvest the flowers, although I think I've actually still cut them slightly early.

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Last weekend my red and white currants ripened. I was a bit worried about the blackbird discovering the red ones - they look so jewel-like, and that poor little plant has really struggled since I planted it there and this year had a semi-respectable amount of fruit on it! So I had to get there first. 


That there is 500g of fruit. I know the white currant has far out-performed the red, but it's a much happier-looking plant! Still, what to do with 500g of currants? Make a mixed-currant jelly, of course!

I got the River Cottage Handbook No.2 - Preserves for Christmas last year (I think - might have been birthday - sorry!) so I went with the recipe for red currant jelly. I was tempted to make the currant shrub instead, but maybe next year.

Juice straining 

I strained my currants after boiling them using this nifty little straining setup I found on my lunch hour, and then it was just (ha!) a case of boiling the juice with sugar until the setting point was reached. I didn't get a huge amount, I'll admit. Just the one jar. And did it set?


We'll find out when we open it!