Gentle Reader~the fruit patch is a thousand shades of green as fruits swell and prepare to ripen very soon. Everything now is about patience, waiting for this to happen, for Nature cannot be rushed, then days of picking, preparing, and preserving will follow~
This year, which is the fourth year since I planted the gooseberry bush, there is a little crop of plumptious green jewels. I am so excited, and am sure they must be nearly ripe, but am unsure, for I have no experience growing or harvesting them. As they started to set fruit in the driest part of the year, I gave them extra manual watering to help them along, and now the bush, with it's mighty sharp thorns, is full of shiny green baubles. I hope I have enough to make a delicious fruit crumble~Oh! I do love fruit crumbles, served with hot custard~
Gooseberries go very well with Elderflower, and I have two small, wild elder trees growing on my stone hedge. They are full of blossoms, and as they are the perfect partner for gooseberries, I am certain that the fruit will not be long in ripening now~
Oh~Gentle Reader~I wish you could smell this fragrant bloom that fills the warm summer air with it's delicate perfume~
The blackcurrants are starting to turn colour! They will be ready very soon. I usually start to pick them around the middle of July, and it is a long and tiresome job, for each tiny fruit must be 'topped and tailed', and I must fend off the blackbirds too, for they consider these bushes their very own! These will be used in crumbles, pies, and jam. I freeze the fruit and make small, fresh batches of jam throughout the winter months for a delicious boost of Vitamin C. I spread the jam on hot, buttered toast or crumpets, but also dissolve a tablespoon or two in a mug of hot water for an easy, warming drink to soothe a cold.
I have four different varieties of raspberry, to give a prolonged picking season. I pick these warm from the canes in the early morning sunrise and serve them fresh, with organic homemade yogurt for my breakfast~so good! The fruits are only now starting to set, and I should really be starting to pick them, but this is because it has been such a cold and slow start to the growing season this year~
These are my loganberries which are a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry and they are very tart. There is a bumper crop. Unlike a raspberry, the core stays in the fruit when picked, so last year, my first decent crop, I made Loganberry Gin by steeping the fruits in gin and sugar. When I first tasted it, in January, it was very sherberty and I didn't think it would be very good, but now it has matured I don't think I made enough! This year I will know better, and I am on the look out for more recipes to use this unusual fruit~
The apples have thinned out very tidily, leaving good space between each small fruit, which is what is needed to give the apples room to swell and grow without damaging each other~
I already have a brand new strawberry plant! I planted six new bare root plants a few weeks ago and one put out a runner which has put down roots of it's own to make a new, baby plant. It is looking very healthy~
I don't think it has been warm enough for the strawberries at all, for there are not very many berries growing, but there are a few at least to give a small taste, and if the weather picks up soon we could have months ahead for everything to catch up and produce some fruit~
Gentle Reader~the temperatures are still quite cold, remaining in the high 50's and seldom breaking 60℉, so let us hope things warm up very soon. Much needed rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I will hope I can save the heavy job of watering for a day or two, and the water barrel will be full again. Soon, I will be harvesting the fruit and then I will share some recipes with you.