This week I was shown round the local strawberry and raspberry farm by the owner.
Punnet Of Freshly Picked Strawberries
It was interesting to see the different varieties of strawberries at the different stages of growth and how they are grown. The strawberries are grown in poly tunnels and have been planted in grow bags and then placed on a shelf at about head height. As the plants grow and the fruits form, the strawberries will dangle down making picking easy.
I was asked if I wanted to go and do a few hours fruit picking on Sunday but unfortunately I was poorly so my husband went intead. He managed to do about 100 punnets in 2 hours which I thought was good going. He explained that you have to leave a bit of a stalk on the fruit and so you have to dig your nail into the stalk and then twist inorder to get the strawberry to come off. after two hours Steve said his fingers were aching but he could sooth himself with a punnet of the delicious strawberries that we were given.
Medlars can be harvested at the end of October and through November.
Once harvested the fruit should be left in a box in a cool dry place until they turn a dark reddish brown and become soft and juicy.
This ripening process is known as “bletting” the medlars.
When the medlars are ripe the fruit can be used to make medlar jam, jelly, wine or cheese.
Click on this link for more information about medlars.
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I made medlar jelly lasy year, it is gorgeous and I recommend you try it. We use it with any, yes, any roast meat, very, very scrummy. Sadly I have no medlars this year so may ask on recycle if anyone has any??Comment by Libby – November 8, 2007 @ 8:03 am
Hi Libby, Thanks so much for recommending medlar jelly. I look forward to making it when the medlars are ripe. Any tips would be useful. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Sara @ farmingfriendsComment by Sara @ Farming Friends – November 8, 2007 @ 8:42 am
Hi SaraI LONG for a medlar tree, because Libby’s quite right, medlar jelly is wonderful with roast meat – esp venisonLooking forward to hearing about your version.
Hi Joanna, I was lucky enough to inherit the medlar tree. Thanks for the tip about serving medlar jelly with venison. I like venison so I will certainly be trying that.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. sara @ farmingfriendsComment by Sara @ Farming Friends – November 8, 2007 @ 9:53 am
Oh you are so lucky to have a medlar tree. I have never even seen one around here!Comment by Cottage Smallholder – November 12, 2007 @ 8:58 am
Hi Cottage Smallholder,
I had never seen a medlar until I came to the farm four years ago. I look forward to making medlar jelly.
Thanks for your comment and visit. Sara from farmingfriendsComment by Sara @ Farming Friends – November 12, 2007 @ 6:03 pm
Back in November 2007 I received some raspberry canes as a gift from my cousin and his wife as a thank you for letting them stay with us in the Summer when they were over from Australia.
We planted the canes and added some straw on top of the soil to help retain moisture, keep the weeds down and to warm the soil.
I am looking forward to lovely raspberries in the Summer, so thank you Derek, Suzie and Charlotte, a very thoughtful gift that will be much enjoyed. They are a welcome addition to our flood damaged veg garden.
Here are the ingredients in the pan before the four hour simmer!
Damson Chutney Ingredients
This is the ingredients after a four hour simmer.
Damson Chutney Ingredients Simmering In The Pan
Here is a jar of the damson chutney.
This damson chutney looks delicious – my thanks go to my mother in law and my friends Cherie & Neil for providing the damsons and Fiona for the recipe. I can’t wait to tuck in. It was Neil’s birthday the other day so I gave him a jar for his birthday and he said it tasted delicious. So don’t delay try this recipe today.