Now that the remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have passed over we have blue skies again. It’s almost shirt sleeve weather at the moment, though that will pass by tonight I’m told. It’s October so this is a bonus. I usually associate this time of year with mist and drizzle rather than crisp clear days.
We haven’t suffered too badly from the hurricane. Some chairs in the outdoor area were blown over, door mats moved and the doors in the fruit cage blew open.They tend to blow open in anything stronger than a stiff breeze so it’s not surprise. What we’re looking at there is badly fitting doors rather than a high wind. Considering that the fruit cage is built from a polytunnel frame that was donated after it blew down in its original site it has stood up well.
The guinea fowl had disappeared when we arrived to see how they had coped with the storm, but we found them later. They have flown back into the chicken field where there is plenty of shelter and people bring them food every day. Maybe they aren’t as stupid as they look.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between days on the farm and this will be remembered as the day we had to pick the chairs up.
Meanwhile we have polytunnels to clear out and Cape Gooseberry to cut back. We will be trying to keep the plants for a third year. All the articles talk about them only lasting 3-4 years so we have taken cuttings this year to give us a new group of plants. We are also talking about growing some from seed again, which was how we got the first lot. I’ve also been throwing squashy fruit into the hedgerows in case they seed naturally. It’s worth a try.
They have been good croppers though the size of the berries has dropped off. Not sure if this is due to the weather or the age of the plants. We have been able to eat the berries, give some away and use them to decorate frangipane tarts. If we get a decent crop next year I will try something more ambitious.
This is one ready for the oven – cutting the fruit in half makes it go further and gives a better effect after cooking. When you use whole fruit the frangipane seems to rise to cover them.
The one on the left was made with halved fruit. The one on the right used whole fruit.
Later: I should have kept my thoughts to myself. The weather turned grey and the day will probably be known as the day the pigs got out.
At least it won’t be known as a boring day.
And yes, this might be a good time to admit what some of you with sharp eyes may have noticed – I do use ready made pastry cases. Given the choice between paying 98 pence or wrestling with a sheet of pastry, shrinkage and baking beans it’s not a difficult decision for a lazy man.