This is what you put all the work in for:Â my first good harvest of the top vegetable garden broad beans. I have been concerned about them as they suffered so much during the three week absence. Small pods, more black fly than plant. But lo and behold, I squeezed a few of them and discovered to my amazement that they were ready.
At first I thought I was just growing the plants so that the ladybird population had a happy home to keep on feeding on the black fly and breeding. These are the purple flowered variety which I will definitely grow again next year. But in a more prominent position so I can admire the gorgeous purple flowers.
I even found a few peas. Poor things. Quite dessicated. But if I mix them with the broad beans, add mint, fresh marjoram and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, they may prove to be a tasty treat.
I had actually planned on going up to the top garden to weed the netted cabbage patch. And I tookÂ my gauntlets and secateurs as the brambles tend to grab you on the way past. I really, really need to remove the wire fencing around this garden and plant a beech hedge instead. That way I will be able to control the brambles a bit more. An autumn task.
But before I managed to even get to the weeds I noticed that there were a few ripe raspberries. A few!Â I ended up hauling back five towering punnets. And that didn’t include all the ones I scoffed while I picked.
So that meant the weeding had to be put to one side (any excuse to avoid the task)l, then down to the kitchen to flash freeze some of the berries, and start the raspbery cordial process. Dead simple and very satisfying.
And naturally when you think of cordial you have to consider the cherries. I feel I have done my bit by picking and turning all the black cherries into jam.
But the red cherries are now ripening on the trees and demanding to be picked. There is less flesh on these ones, so I tend to be lazy and just turn them into cordial. Back up the top to one of the easy to reach cherry trees just outside the vegetable bed. Â
I picked a kilogramme (the weeding was calling me) and took them back to the kitchen. A squeeze of the cherries into the pan, some water, two apples, and off you go. Once simmered for a bit then stir in the caster sugar and bottle. That should keep the hoards quiet for a few weeks.
And then I really had no more excuses: back to the weeding. I had cleverly secured the whole area with a netting to keep the cabbage moth butterfly off the cabbages – and it took ages for me to undo all that good work. But once it was off with the weeds and a quick extra sowing of parsnips in the gaps. Lovely.