Archives for posts with tag: quince

image

Made Quince jam today with our allotment harvest. I love the way quince surreptitiously changes colour as it cooks from a creamy pale yellow to a blush rose. Our eight small perfumed fruits yielded two small jars of thick jam with a texture that explains why it gave its name to marmalade.

I also made a quick batch of rock buns using spelt flour, partly because I am running low on white plain flour. I had a slight fear of creating buns resembling the dinner lady’s solid offerings for the Bash Street Kids but they have turned out well – more satisfying than their traditional counterparts.

The weather has been kind, enabling us to take the opportunity of a full weekend at home to get to work in the garden.

Having dug up a lot of plants from our allotment in the rain last week, our main focus was getting them in the ground at Plunton. During the week, Matt had planted and staked the quince tree on the south west side of the lawn in line with the established apple trees. So we began on Saturday to prepare supports for our cordon apple trees and planted those first of all.
P1010272
Once they were sunk and staked we decided to plant our rhubarb crowns in front of them, making the most of a deep existing bed in the corner of our protected veg patch. We made quick progress, not least because this area had been actively cultivated relatively recently so the soil was less stony. Finally we mulched everything with a good pile of the great compost we inherited with the house.

There was one impediment to our progress – a self-seeded blackthorn bush close the fence. We have been planning to construct a windbreak to protect our herb garden on the west side of the house, so I took long cuttings of the blackthorn before we dug up the remainder. After trimming each stick of thorns and leaves, I planted them and the main plant in a row about a foot apart on the top of the slope in front of the herb bed, creating a 20ft hedge for nothing.
P1010273
A pretty good day was ended with a bit of bramble cutting in the field. Jo and Phil came by to help us tackle the worst patches for snaring their lambs and with about an hour’s cutting and gathering we had cleared the worst patches and discovered some wood piles and got to know our neighbours better in the process.
P1010277
Sunday has been a glorious Autumn day without a cloud in the sky. We planted strawberries at the front of the rhubarb and apple bed and finally planted the spring bulbs Valla had bought as a house warming. Most of the bulbs were planted in the dell nearest the house with some planted on the bank in the front garden. I also planted tulip bulbs in the front border, in the pots and a row of tulips and aliums either side of the path leading to the veg patch gate. Planting in the dells meant an outing for Matt’s new strimmer, once we had assembled it and filled it with fuel.

The final job of the day was to build a frame and net another brassica bed. The kids had great fun playing all weekend and even got their bikes out today but the most fun was had playing on the swing!
P1010302
It has been really satisfying getting so much done, especially as indoors I feel increasingly like everywhere my eyes land is another item for the to-do list. We also heard on Friday that the person we had booked to start the floor sanding this week is very I’ll and so can no longer do it. We had been waiting for the floors to be done before moving the last of our belongings into the house. We are now considering painting the floors ourselves…

On a final very happy note we had our first showers in the new shower this morning – bliss!