29 Aug 2010

A Novice in The Garden…

Those of you who are used to living in the countryside, or at least familiar with growing your own fruit and vegetables will no doubt be accustomed to the sight of your own produce making its’ way from the branch to the table. But for those of you who, like me, are still quite shocked beyond belief that asparagus doesn’t grow pre-tipped and can still get a thrill from using things grown in “MY OWN GARDEN!” – it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful it feels to utilise truly organic and fresh home grown fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Recently, I’ve been picking apples from the garden to make pies and applesauce – I hope to branch out into chutney and relish soon, and of course the leaves from the rosemary bush are a constant addition to family meals – whatever the recipe. I also have bay leaves, mint, sweet basil, thyme, oregano and rhubarb. Next year, together with my previously mentioned strawberries, I hope to see my newly planted blueberries, although the grapes will take a few more seasons. Here’s a picture of my apples and the very unsophisticated and rustic looking apple pie that they turned into.

And this is the just cut rosemary scattered onto our Sunday roast amid a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of sea salt. Now, admittedly, the pig wasn’t ours – that would be a step too far considering I’ve only just traded in my Manolo’s for Hunter Wellies. Not beyond the realms of fantasy however, since my wonderful eighty-something-year-old neighbour Ron, who presents me with a home grown vegetable ‘care box’ several times a week (“those poor undernourished city folk”) is an ex-butcher. He proudly claims that until recently, people would drag their road kill to his door (deer, pheasant and the like – nothing sinister!) to ‘sort out’ for the larder – “Waste not want not” being his life’s philosophy. Despite not having yet made the first rung on the ‘ladder of small holdings’, I’m all for self sufficiency. After all, that’s country living for you. However, call me (home reared) chicken, but I think I’ll be sticking to the meat counter at Waitrose for a while yet…

The Diaries

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