Wine

Having been away on my holiday and doing various other things a whole month has passed by without me blogging. So, now back to the sad realities of work it’s about time I got back into the swing of posting updates once more.

At the allotment there’s nothing much to report apart from the cycle of watering and harvesting. Having been pretty wet throughout June we’ve barely had a drop of rain since. Also last week we had some very high temperatures- 34 degrees plus, meaning regular watering has been a feature of most of my trips up. Have picked a ton of beans and loads of other fruit and veg, but coming near readiness in our greenhouse are both our first ever aubergines and melons. Hopefully this coming weekend at least one of those will be ready to pick. Also, our cucamelons, despite looking like the world’s most unlikely plants are thriving and producing fantastically tasty fruits. Plus the brand new variety of squash growing this year- a climber called Festival- are producing superb results. Lots of big, tasty squashes which taste fantastic roasted. A definite repeater for next year.

Away from the allotment, whilst I was away, the gooseberry wine that I started last month has finished it’s fermentation so has now been siphoned off into a  fresh demijohn and disappeared into my ‘wine cellar’, or the understairs  cupboard as it’s better known for about a year now to mature. As you can see from the pic below it’s beautifully clear and a fantastic colour. Of all  the fruit wines I make, this has to be my favourite as it’s so tasty!20160829_101937

If this is anything like the previous ones it’ll taste as good as it looks! The 2014 batch went down well at out allotment bbq a few weeks ago, so hopefully this will do the same in a couple of year’s time.

 

 

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Wine making and baking

I’ve not blogged for a couple of weeks, not because I’ve not been doing anything but posting photos of fruit or veg picked can get a bit boring!

But, something I have been doing is making wine with our excess fruit. Here are both gooseberry and mixed fruit ( blackberry, blackcurrant and raspberry) wines underway.

it never ceases to amaze me that something so disgusting looking can turn out into something so amazingly clear and unbelievably tasty. Here’s last year’s gooseberry wine now bottled up to give you an idea of what it looks like-

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Apart from wine, I have for the very first and probably the very last time baked a cake! My wife’s been away for a short while and is coming back home today, so as a little welcome home gift and a good way of using up the glut of courgettes we’ve got, I’ve made courgette and lemon cake-20160731_133549.jpg

It smells amazing, so hopefully it’ll taste good too! We shall see.

At the allotment we continue to have masses of fruit and veg to eat much like everyone else i’m guessing, so i won’t post any pictures. But here is a photo of our cut flower patch. Not a bad transformation from a derelict bit of ground littered with stones and bits of wire, glass and metal20160724_154057

Next week it’s our summer bbq and show so hopefully the weather is kind to us and I might win a prize or two!

Weekend just past

We had friends coming to stay this weekend so spare time was at a premium, but still got up for and hour or two Saturday morning. Didn’t do much apart from pick some raspberries and blackberries. 20150822_091344

Our summer raspberries are still happily fruiting, so they won’t be cut down just yet. Personally I prefer autumn ones though. The yellow ones look a bit rough but have a great taste. Unfortunately they don’t crop heavily enough for me to have any excess for wine though. Boo.

Also dug some spuds, picked a couple of courgettes and some chard.

Our winter squash are going really well.

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None are ripe enough yet though to pick. Also can see some of our leeks coming along well. So too is our lemongrass experiment. 20150822_091351

Yesterday our association had its first ever bbq. Typically literally the second the food was ready it began raining! However with typical British stoicism out came numerous umbrellas, parasols, waterproofs and gazebos and we carried on regardless. Was really enjoyable, good food and company and am looking forward to the next one already. Hopefully it’ll be better weather!

So a few facts and a little history…

Our plot is 10 perches and sits on a very sunny, but incredibly exposed slope in Kent. We’ve about a foot of clay on top of sandstone, not chalk. When we took it over it was a massive jumbled entanglement of brambles, stingers, abandoned raspberries, 6ft tall grasses, assorted dumped metal and plastic and had been uncultivated for about 5 years. Spent the 1st year clearing it with only a fork, mattock, spade and rake, planting as we cleared area by area. Now it has 6 fruit trees- 1 cherry, 2 apples, 2 plums and a pear, a fruit cage full of raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries, a small shed, a patio, half a path and some terracing. We’ve dug out about 3 tons of assorted stones and dug in about the same in compost and manure. Incredibly hard work, but hugely rewarding! The plot keeps us going for most of the year in veg of all descriptions and allows me to make plenty of wine from the excess.