Wednesday, 24 July 2019
On Monday we went to see some smallholding friends of ours. What a lovely afternoon we had, being shown around the property, drooling over various plantings, meeting their livestock and generally talking Country Talk.
It's always nice to find someone you are on the same wavelength as, and H and I get on like a house on fire. I took cake and jam (I wouldn't dream of going empty-handed) and H & P provided a lovely lunch of home made Lettuce Soup (a new one on me, but very tasty), and bacon butties - so Keith was pleased as that's always what he has when we "go out for lunch"! (I know . . .)
Then we had the tour of the smallholding, which was wonderful.
The soft fruit area - various Raspberries shown here - autumn ones, orange and yellow and black Raspberries, plus - out of sight - Loganberries, Amelanchier, Tayberries, Jostaberries, Boysenberries, Wineberries, Honeyberries, Pink Blueberries and blue Blueberries, Chilean Guava, Chuckleberries, Blackberries, plus Mulberry, Blackcurrant, Red Currant, Pink Currant, White Currant etc - I don't think H had missed anything in the berry department!
The Lavenders in part of her big herb plot - which was divided into four areas - Culinary Herbs, Medicinal Herbs, Sensory Herbs and ??? (forgotten!) I am now inspired to reinvent mine, as it has gotten moved several times down the years and is more dotted about than in the one place. I have promised H a big root of my Elecampane, which romps around the place here but she's not been able to keep going in her plot. The roots on my plants are as thick as my wrist so should grow on well.
A nicely laid out and TIDY (e.g. no weeds) veg plot. Most of mine is under black plastic to suppress the grass and I am trying to get rid of all the weeds now I can get out in the garden again.
The very start of H's orchards of fruit and nut trees. All planted in the last five years.
A Belgian hare of the most beautiful russet colour, who came from a local poultry auction recently.
Apricots growing against a warm wall. Apparently they were sulking and curling their leaves until H & P put a little roof on them and now they are happy, content and fruiting. I am guessing the roof made a little micro-climate for them to thrive in.
Beside the main house is this little barn which is home to a couple of spare rooms, including this working kitchen where they do jam and chutney making, sausage making, and other meat-related work. H had demijohns hanging from the rafters, empty glass storage jars and jam jars, pans of various dimensions, a big chopping block, and no end of useful items. She was saying every time she used things, she remembered the person who had given them to her.
P's salamis and choritzos, made recently, and now curing.
Finally, one of the triplet lambs they had taken on after the ewe had rejected it (I think they ended up with about 10). She drank her bottle of milk in double-quick time!
We had a lovely afternoon there and the conversation was all about country things, making things from scratch, growing things, repurposing, nothing being thrown away and just downright practical country common sense (unlike the new townee neighbour who was feeding the local foxes . . .)
Can't wait to see them again.