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Courgette Glut

Courgette Glut

When I was 14 I went to stay with a French family called the Plassards. They had five children aged between 21 and 11. They lived during the summer in a large country house on the edge of Paris with their parents and grandparents. Their mother, Huguette, was a good ...
Mulberry Vodka

Mulberry Vodka

The mulberries have started falling and staining the grass under the tree canopy. It’s hard to harvest them. You don’t pick them but by the time you’ve found the easily bruised fruit many are past their best. I got a sheet and a ladder and shook some of the lower ...
Repair and reuse

Repair and reuse

I hate throwing things away. I was using our old spade to dig out some huge, entrenched clumps of day lilies and the handle snapped off. It was riddled with woodworm! I thought I might be able to repair it but didn’t have a vice to hold it while I ...

Soft fruit failure

This year we’ve had a series of “disasters” with our strawberries, gooseberries,raspberries, and redcurrants. I badly pruned the goosegobs and redcurrants – cutting back the wood which would have borne the fruit! Luckily we still have six pounds of frozen redcurrants to use from last year’s prolific harvest. The strawberry ...
Sowing for winter

Sowing for winter

I’ve just sown Florence fennel, half a dozen varieties of lettuce and two plants new to me – Kailan, a kind of Chinese sprouting broccoli and Celtuse, an heirloom lettuce whose stems, when it bolts, are edible. I’ve also sown some Palla Rossa chicory and some frizzy endive, called Wallone. ...
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