Strawberry Picking On Strawberry Farm

This week I was shown round the local strawberry and raspberry farm by the owner.

Punnet Of Freshly Picked Strawberries

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.


Harvesting Medlars

This weekend I harvested the medlars on our tree.

medlar.jpg

  • 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.

Click on the image below to go to Amazon.co.uk for more information about this book or visit the Farming Friends Book Shop to go to Amazon.com.

Fruits of the Hedgerow and Unusual Garden Fruits: Gather Them, Cook Them, Eat Them

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.

    Joanna

    Comment by Joanna – November 8, 2007 @ 9:12 am

  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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


Raspberry Canes Planted

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.


Strawberry Plants – Green Thumb Sunday

Although the recommendation is to plant strawberry plants in late Autumn, I have just planted three elsanta strawberry plants that I recently purchased from a local garden centre.

Which variety of strawberries do you grow?

Any advice on how to look after the strawberry plants through the Winter would be appreciated.

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Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As The Garden Grows for more information.


Damson Chutney

At the weekend I made damson chutney following the excellent recipe from Fiona @ The Cottage Smallholder.

Here are the ingredients in the pan before the four hour simmer!

Damson Chutney Ingredients

Damson Chutney Ingredients

This is the ingredients after a four hour simmer.

Damson Chutney Ingredients Simmering In The Pan

Damson Chutney Ingredients Simmering In The Pan

Here is a jar of the damson chutney.

Damson Chutney

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.

If you fancy making more chutney then checkout the fantastic courgette and green tomato chutney recipe.


Nutritional Value Of Apples

Apples are a fruit that are a good source of;

vitamin C,
vitamin A,
calcium,
phosphorus,
potassium,
and dietary fibre.

The nutritional value of apples will vary slightly depending on the variety and size of the apple.

Other Health Benefits

Low in calories.
No cholesterol in apples.
No sodium in apples.

Click on the image below to go to Amazon.co.uk for more information about this book or visit the Farming Friends Book Shop to go to Amazon.com.

Success with Apples and Pears to Eat and Drink: A Practical Gardeners' Guide to Varieties, Husbandry, Harvesting, Storing & Making Juices, Cyder and Perry

 


Apples In The Orchard – Green Thumb Sunday

Cooking ApplesWe have a beautiful old cooking apple tree in our orchard and at this time of year it is laden with apples.

This photograph of the apples on the tree is one of my favourite photographs.

I will be using these apples to make apple crumble – my favourite, but what is your favourite apple recipe?

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Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As The Garden Grows for more information.

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The Nutritional Value Of Plums

The Nutritional Value Of Plums

Plums

Plums are a fruit that are a good source of;

  • vitamin C,
  • vitamin A,
  • vitamin B2,
  • potassium,
  • and dietary fibre.

Other Health Benefits

  • Assists with the absorption of iron.
  • A source of antioxidants.
  • Can act as a laxative.

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Seasonal Food For September

Seasonal food for September as recommended by FARMA includes:

Apples
Blackberries
Beetroot
Broccoli
Cabbages
Carrots
Cauliflowers
Courgettes
Cucumbers
French Beans
Kohl Rabi
Mange Tout
Marrows
Onions
Peas
Plums
Potatoes
Raspberries
Runner Beans
Spinach
Strawberries
Sugar Snaps
Sweetcorn
Turnips

FARMA is the UK’s National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association. It “is a co-operative of farmers, producers selling on a local scale and farmers’ markets organisers.”

 

Click on the image below to go to Amazon.co.uk for more information about this book or visit the Farming Friends Book Shop to go to Amazon.com.

Seasonal Food: A Guide to What's in Season, When and Why

 

 

 

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