Cherries

The cherries are coming!

And it’s much more exciting than previously expected.

Two of the cherry trees appear to be plums!

At least one cherry tree seems to be growing edible cherries!!

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Elderflower cordial – simple recipe

Happy J18! In remembrance of Waterloo, Orgreave, the Carnival against Capitalism and other struggles here we are, making elderflower cordial in a beautiful rural squat. Things could be worse.

I did quite a lot of hunting for a decent recipe this year and this is my conclusion. No ascorbic acid used, only lemons, so very simple. We’ll see how it all matures, in a no fridge situation.

THE RECIPE

  • 10 x elderflower heads (large or take two small for each one large)
  • 1000g sugar eg one normal bag
  • 600ml water
  • 1 big lemon or two small – organic, unwaxed, grated and chopped
  1. heat/stir the sugar and water until sugar dissolves and then it boils (i boiled the water first for speed)
  2. grate lemon peel, chop up lemon, throw away ends, put in bowl with elderflower heads
  3. pour on syrup, stir
  4. leave for 24-48 hours
  5. drain out cordial and bottle

Pottering

There’s nowt quite like having an all day potter in the garden.

I really like bimbling around with a vague plan, moving from task to task.

Today I got to make some elderflower cordial, pretty much at the end of the season already so I’m glad i managed it. I found a simple recipe online.

Following on from the weeding in the vegetable garden the other day, the front garden needed some hacking back so I was busy with nettles and brambles, again. Found some wild strswberries. Then i was ripping out brambles to clear the space under the proposed treehouse tree.

Now i have an improved composting arena, it felt good to dump all the chopped matter in the big pile.

I wanted to cover up the IBC container to stop algae coming in the tank, I got about halfway through that using wood and then realised i could put the astroturf to good use.

I also cleared more wood out of the sloot, with the aim of eventually being able to boat down it of course.

Bought some stuff!

There’s a strange “garden centre” in the village which is actually someone’s house with all the plants in the garden. I like it. You walk down a path and get surrounded by plants and have to backtrack. They had netting for my cabbage and also parsnip seeds!!

Then i went to the hardware and bought two saws, one for hacking branches to pieces, one for precision work. I used the latter to make a bench,.

I had a good day in the garden today actually, lots of weeding, planted out some peas and squash, put some beans and beetroot in the ground.

Garden

Had a bit of a gardening afternoon today after I shook off my hangover. The new compost area is pretty much finished, so there’s a a turned over compost sitting there now, with a new one started off next door, then green compost (nettles etc), then a big area for hard to break down stuff like branches too small to burn, bamboo bits, and mainly brambles. It’s great finally having a place to pile up the chopped brambles and the system is kind of complete, since oil drums can be hauled around the on the grass mower.

The mower does work actually, I’ve been using it to clear paths.

In the garden, I was digging out brambles today and tidying up a bit. I planted out a few squash plants, hope they take. The one already in the ground isn’t doing much at all. Same like the rocket, which is growing really slowly. But the radish and potatoes are still growing fast. In the cloche the seedlings are sprouting!

Unfortunately the second cloche which B made with the netting isn’t as stable as the first one so I took it away today when i was weeding and then it fell apart. Oh well.