Sunday, 6 July 2014

It's all about The Good Life (and raspberries)

Gooseberry and Mint Jam.

Well, so far so good with my ‘half hour allotmenting’ plan! I have been up there every night – I have even managed to drag a variety of family members up with the promise of “It’ll only be half an hour-tops”.

My useful book divides the half hour up into a list of jobs in descending order of importance. Picking, planting, weeding, watering then digging. In fairness I have struggled to get much beyond ‘picking’ as the raspberries and gooseberries have gone mad. Now, I like a raspberry or two but this is getting blooming ridiculous. I have made raspberry jam galore, raspberry jelly (that didn’t turn out so well), raspberry ice cream and raspberry crumble. Not to mention raspberry muffins and raspberry eton  mess. I am now scouring books for other interesting raspberry recipes to ring the changes a bit!

My raspberry collection device - proving most handy!

I tackled the gooseberries today. They aren’t my favourite fruit either to eat or to harvest (my poor arms) but I figured that as we had inherited a few bushes on the plot it was the least I could do to try and put some to good use. I have made a batch of gooseberry and mint jam and the rest we are turning into alcohol J I’m assured that gooseberry wine is very lovely indeed.....

DH wields the uncapping fork!

With all the picking and making it does all seem a little ‘Good Life’ round here but I am loving it! We managed to extract about 15lbs of honey from one of our hives which was an added bonus as we didn’t expect any. Fingers crossed there might even be a little more before the end of the season.  The garden is also producing well – broad beans are coming in and the ruby chard looks almost too beautiful to eat! Some things are struggling though – all the squashes are very behind and I don’t think we will see much from them this year. The courgettes are tiny (which isn’t a bad thing!) and the runner beans are only just making their way up the poles. I have even picked some sweet peas to enjoy in the house after I read somewhere that they produce far more flowers if you pick them regularly.

Well, off to create more exciting things with a raspberry – I’ve just seen something called a ‘miniature raspberry and basil financier’......I’m assuming it is for eating and not offering sound financial advice but I will let you know!


  1. Oooh scrummy! Some lovely photos of your bounty :) Just love your raspberry collector - most ingenious!!

    1. Thank you Claire! I tried making a bigger collector out of a 6 pint bottle but couldn't take the weight :)

  2. Wow! You have been blessed this year!! I love raspberries, so I'd gladly take some off your hands if I wasn't so far away (what do you think the post would cost for that!?). Locally, we have strawberries galore and I actually just finished a post about the strawberry basil jam my mom and I made recently. It was my first time making jam and I had so much fun! I love seeing your posts and photos of all the wonderful foods you've grown. Someday I hope to have the right home and climate for a garden! But for now, the Arizona desert is home and I will have to just enjoy my succulents and cacti!!

    1. Strawberry and basil sounds delicious :) sadly all my strawberries were lost to slugs and birds this year so I didn't get a chance to make anything... the raspberries made up for it though! And yay to succulents and cacti... they are beautiful plants!