Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘cordial’

The Blackcurrant Harvest.

In Animals, Cooking, Gardening, sustainable living on July 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

The Blackcurrant harvest continues as more fruit ripens each day. Other years you could cut off branches and pick off the fruit as all would be ripe together. This year however the bushes have to be gone over daily to pick the newly ripened fruit.

As branches are eventually stripped of fruit the goats get a treat, competing with each other to get any remaining currants which they love. I’m sure a vitamin C boost won’t do them any harm!

I freeze the fruit in 1kg lots. This is then enough to make 7 or 8 pots of jam or a few bottles of cordial. Blackcurrants are of course full of health promoting antioxidants and Vitamin C. They are helpful for joint inflamations, eyestrain and urinary tract infections. Research in New Zealand has found a compound which may help some types of asthma.

As I pick the dogs keep me company. Lettie sits on the garden bench, a plank of wood on some concrete blocks, and enjoys the heat of the sun.

Freddie stays closer, dozing under the shade of a Blackcurrant bush. I’ts amazing to think this little guy has only been with us little over a week. He just fitted perfectly into the routine. He hangs out with the other dogs, does’nt run off and is very affectionate. Everyone who visits loves him.

Wild Plants that grow on our Lane.

In Cooking, Foraging., Gardening, sustainable living on June 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

The Wild Rose is spread throughout the hedgerows. I love how the flowers change colour as they get older. Later on there will be vitaminC filled hips which will be used to make jelly and syrup.

Bramble is flowering too. The early Autumn harvest of Blackberries coincides nicely with the first cooking Apples, they marry together beautifully in tarts. I also make Blackberry and Apple Jam which is always a good seller. They can also be used in chutney and cordial.

Ragworth, a poisonous plant for animals, especially if it ends up in hay. They tend not to eat it fresh. It causes irreversible liver damage. We always pull any that grow in the fields as each plant has about 50,000 seeds. However, here on the lane away from grazing animals we leave them as they are the only food source for the Cinnabar Moth larvae.

So many beautiful grasses that would look beautiful in any garden setting.

The verge beside our driveway is left uncut, filled with Orchids, Plantains, Vetches and grasses to name but a few. If only more people would leave a section of their barren green lawns uncut they would be rewarded with gorgeous native plants and a multitude of insect visitors.

In the kitchen another lot of Elderflower Cordial is infusing. This one has Mint and Lemon Verbena added.