BE rare breeds…

BE rare breeds…

Early light, just after 8am...

Early light, just after 8am…

Here in the walled garden the harvest season is really upon us. There’s an abundance of produce from runner beans to pumpkins with the baby beds yielding loads of radish, beetroot, lettuce, rocket and the like. Of course, not everything is successful. Some of the carrots we sowed haven’t germinated evenly, whitefly have attacked the brassicas, slugs and snails have chewed holes in some of the radish. Just like in life, it’s how one deals with these set-backs that allows progression and for us to move forward.

We will re sow the carrot bed with a quick growing baby leaf (probably rocket), when replanting brassicas we will cover with fleece to prevent whitefly, and the slugs and snails? – Well, we pick them off as soon as they are spotted, but we always plant extra, allowing for potential vagaries. The recent spate of wet weather has seen our slug and snail population increase, but then so too have the frogs and toads which eat them. Our four resident buzzards – until recently absent from East Anglia – are always hunting over the walled garden and now I realise that frogs are one of their favourite snacks. Another surprise was the trapping of a pole cat. I have never seen one before. They were almost extinct in 1930’s in part due to the popularity of their fur. Martin caught one in his rabbit trap at the weekend and managed to photograph it before releasing it back into the wood (I will put his picture up here) Pole cats love to eat frogs, rabbits, snake and ground nesting birds – all abundant here. Looking at the polecat distribution map, we appear to be just outside the range of the polecat, so BE is very special indeed. Each cat has about 5 pups in June, so it’s likely that there are young here too.

At the moment its elderberry time. Loads are ripening around the walls and it’s interesting to see that the birds love them, but there’s still more than enough left for a decent harvest. Likewise the plums, figs and apples – some are already pecked by birds before we pick them, others look perfect, but inside are eaten by wasps-the majority, however are fine. Phew!

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Raffe’s smart edging, complete with really neat weed suppressant.

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Harvesting elderberries with the long handled ancient pruner. Works well! We invented the game ‘elderberry catch’ and thought that given the profusion of fruit related technology, our game could be translated into a bestselling tech-product. Or not.

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Rainbow chard picked and waiting to be packed.

Have a great evening X

 

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