Farewell to My UK Edible Garden

August 2015

Soon we will be on the move and saying goodbye to our UK garden – at least for a few years with visits back in intervals. However, the fruit trees and bushes flourish and will continue to do so even if we aren’t here. We’ve arranged for care and for others to enjoy the harvests in the interim. However, this is how my last month went and what is still pending. Earlier in August, I harvested the last of the red currants. A bumper crop this year. Too much to consume instantly, so some jelly got made. It makes a nice gift to friends (some of whom will be enjoying those future harvests!).

last_crop_red_currants2015

The loganberries are finished and much of the huge crop is currently stored in the freezer. I have plans for the bulk of it – pies as I’m going with my new obsession with sweet shortcrust pastry. The old long canes from this year’s crop have been cut down, leaving this year’s new canes pined to their trellises for next year’s berries to form.

loganberry_arch_2015

I’ve also harvested all the blueberries. No trouble eating the entire crop as it came off the bushes. Fruit salads featuring handfuls of blueberries have been on the menu this month.

ripening_blueberries_August2015

The blackberries are also beginning to ripen – one or two at a time.

blackberries_ripening

A few blackberries, the last loganberries, a handful of blueberries, a peach or two, and some left-over pastry = instant fruit crostata/galette.

berry_crostata

The raspberries are gearing up for their second late summer to autumn crop. The older canes that produced the early crop have been cut back to ground level to give the new, taller canes a bit of breathing space. The fruit will be harvested, eaten or frozen in my absence. Really going to miss my raspberries!

raspberry_cage_August2015

The Damsons are turning colour. They will be harvested before I leave. Still grappling with what to with them.

damson_ripening

The grapes might soon be at that peak un-ripe juicy stage to collect for verjus. The contiment makes good gifts and keeps well, mellowing with age. Might lay in a stock of a bottle or two in the cellar for our eventual return.

unripe_grapes_August2015

The rhubarb is winding down – the leaves turning colour and looking a little messy.

rhubarb_August2015

The quince tree is loaded with fruit. It will not be ready to pick before I leave, but others will harvest it. Once that is done (the last of the fruit trees to harvest), our gardener will come in and trim the espalier trees, ready for next year.

quinces_August2015

The kiwis are also developing nicely, but they will not mature and ripen until the first frost. I’ll be gone, but with a fleeting visit in the autumn, I might just be in luck and be back in time to pick them.

developing_kiwi_8-2015

Meanwhile, planning what comes next…

Around My Edible Garden is my monthly diary entry detailing what is happening in my garden this past month, part of the Garden Share Collective (GSC), maintained by Lizzie@strayedtable (click on the “links in collection” icon below to view all participants). A chronological listing of my garden blog posts is listed Diaries in the Menu bar.
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32 comments

  1. What a wrench to leave all that beautiful fruit. Our damsons are just ripening on one tree – so far used for compote, crumbles and spiced damsons (Nigel Slater recipe) and the rest will most likely end up in jam or gin.
    I think I shall copy your fruit tart for supper tonight – it looks delicious.

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    • Damson crumble sounds good – I remember the Slater recipe. A friend has offered to take the rest. It is not a bumper crop this year as we had that last year, but still too many to consume at once. Those little pies are great. It’s worth having little packets of sweet shortcrust in the freezer for times like this.

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  2. It is so hard to farewell a garden, especially when there are some crops that are still ripening and you won’t have the chance to play with them. I am thinking of the quince here.Sounds like you have a gardener ready to do some essential maintenance work in your absence.

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    • A friend here in the UK who usually gets half my quince crop will now be getting the whole crop! She has a plot of land (next to her mother’s house) with a quince tree on the island of Kythera in Greece. We’ve agreed to swap crops – that is, if I can get to Kythera in time! Meanwhile, my son will be squirrelling away raspberries in the freezer here, waiting for one of our visits to indulge. I may even attempt to grow raspberry canes in Greece (notice I said ATTEMPT). No doubt I will be reporting back.

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  3. All those berries look amazing. I too would be making plenty of jellies to take with me if I was moving. I did that when I left the farm. I dug out all the veggies and picked all I could to jar or freeze not knowing the next time I would return to harvest again. I look forward to seeing your new garden next month. Safe Travels

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    • I would love to have taken a huge supply of jams, chutneys, and jars of stuff with me, but we will be moving across Europe, so I settled for a selection of food stuffs. We needed to keep the volume of things shipped to a minimum. Plus, no jam making (other than the red currant!) was done this year. We’ve eaten through our supplies, except (of course) the marmalade. The garden I am going to is chock full of Seville oranges, so marmalade didn’t seem to be a priority! Will still miss those raspberries.

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    • I do love berries and am tempted to try growing them in Athens. Who knows? I’ve been reading up on growing berries in hot climates. Yes, it can be done, but the plants need a bit of shade in the hot afternoon sun and plenty of water.

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  4. Wow, what a lot of garden you are saying goodbye to! It’s wonderful you have people to look after it at least…and think of all the wonderful citrus and figs and olives you’ll have access to – I expect adventures in olive pickling next, plus maybe making some of those interesting Greek pastries 🙂

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