Thursday, 13 December 2007

The Fruit Trees are In!

Well I got the last of the fruit trees in today so I’m feeling rather pleased. In my Grand Plan before moving here they were to have been planted last February. However as my purchase date was deferred a month the deadline for planting passed without me being able to get the site ready. The poor quince tree I purchased spent the summer in its tiny pot on the patio. How it survived I do not know but it made it through to the winter and I hope will relish being in open ground. Now the trees are in I can concentrate on putting in the other soft fruit I want. I’ll post a picture of the orchard in the spring, as at the moment it’s just a collection of brown twigs against a brown soil background!

I’ve also been busy dry curing some bacon again. The first time I made some, courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, I read as far as the bit that said – if you cure for 10 days the meat lasts longer-. What I didn’t read till later was the bit that said it made the bacon very salty if you did. Too right it did! Still it was nice as lardons. This time I’ve only cured them for 6 days and will freeze those that I won’t use straight away.

As well as the belly pork, I bought two complete shoulders of pork. The first one is now frozen as pork burgers and mince while the second one is going to become Pork and Beans and Sweet and Sour Pork. The beans I’m using are the large white variety I’ve grown and dried this year.

I’m having a lot of trouble with my ‘phone connection at the moment and have had the line fail 3 times in 4 days. Reporting the fault is quite an exercise. My friend tried to phone for me but as she has cancelled her France Telecom contract and gone elsewhere, France Telecom refused to talk to her at first. Talk about throwing your toys out of the pram. Reporting the fault also requires you to call a premium rate line – OK it’s not a great amount per minute but I don’t understand why we should pay to get them to fix their line for a service we are already paying for monthly. Even I’m beginning to get a bit cross.

The cats all hate me now. As a result of their summer long wandering through the grass, they all have ear mites and I have to put drops in their ears morning and night. To say they don’t like it would be an understatement. Lets hope they get used to it before long. Rounding up all four at the same time is quite a feat. Still it meant I got hold of Hazel and despite it being December I discovered she had a tick. Thankfully I had bought one of those twist tick removers and it worked really easily. Usually the ticks are killed by the Frontline I use on the cats but I’ve had to change to Advantage as the fleas round here are becoming resistant to Frontline. Sadly Advantage doesn’t kill ticks as efficiently as Frontline.

I’m now off to change the duvet over to full winter thickness. There have been a couple of mornings with frost but the weather forecast is for a sustained drop in temperature. Well I suppose I should expect it, it is nearly the Winter Solstice.


Jamie said...

Im currently deciding which fruit trees to get. As i dont think my back garden is big enough to hold anymore trees I am considering dwarf ones instead.

Not sure how much fruit these will produce though.

Glad youve got yours all planted!


dND said...

Thanks Jamie, I can now concentrate on some of the soft fruit. I've got red currants and a blackcurrant to go in and someone has promised me some raspberry canes.

Have you looked at the 'family' trees - the ones where you get 3 types of apples etc on one tree. I've only seen them in catalogues so don't know if they are any good. It might be worth posting on MSE or the BBC gardening site to see what people suggest.

Have a great weekend.