Yesterday my son and I picked up windfalls from under some of his many apple trees. We filled two baskets; a bucket full of apples too small to bother with or buggy went on the compost heap. I was learning what a lot of work goes into a garden, especially one filled with vegetables and fruit of all sorts.
Today, after I finish picking the blueberries we have a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits, sitting outside on the bench looking at the enormous vegetable garden. What a lot of work went into it, but what a lot of good veggies are coming out of it! Imagine digging your own potatoes for supper. They’re so delicious and the skins just rub off.
Today, though, it is fruit. The damsons, Victoria and green gage plums are not quite ripe yet; when they are, it will be all hands on deck to pick, wash, cut up and make into jams, jellies, chutneys and preserves, not to mention wine.
But the rhubarb is ready. Whack, whack, off come the poisonous leaves, and whack, whack the sticks of ruby red rhubarb are loaded into two more baskets, with the odd zuccini/courgette tucked in for supper.
The rhubarb will be cut into pieces and frozen with sugar, ready for puddings, pies, and of course the Derwentcote chutney.
Meanwhile, I sit outside in the lovely courtyard cutting up apples.
This first batch will be chopped and made into applesauce for breakfast. Some of them are “cookers” which mash down into a fluffy puree but some are from other trees so a few soft lumps will remain.
Who cares? It is so delicious, and all home grown. The rest of the apples and the rhubarb are still to be dealt with, our job for tomorrow. A lot of work, and it needs to be done when the fruit is ready, not when you are. But my goodness, it is worth it.
If I’m lucky I’ll take some apples and rhubarb and a jar of blueberry/black currant jam back to the city with me. My back might ache a bit, but I don’t mind it because I so enjoyed working in the country garden.