Friday, 14 June 2013
Well, we’re a week away from mid-summer and the hay is still not cut! The weather is still weird, but I have decided to be brave and put away my winter clothes and bring out the summer ones. The hardest thing at the moment is switching between 29C one day and 15C the next. Goodness know what it is doing to plants; the harvest this year will really depend on the following 3 months weather.
This year the apricots have failed completely, of the 2 almonds I have, the earlier one has a little fruit while the later one has none. The peach and the 2 nectarines have all developed leaf curl despite winter treatment but did set fruit although one of the nectarines has lost nearly all its fruit during a storm last week.
On a brighter note the quince tree looks like it has a good crop so quince jelly this year and both the wild cherries and my late cherries look to have a really good crop.
It’s the vagaries of the weather that persuaded me to try and preserve enough for 2 years when there is a glut so I still have bottled peaches and apricots in the store and some in the freezer. If this weather weird-ing is to become the normal I think I’m going to have to think more about longer term preservation of a greater variety of fruit and veg to cope with the more erratic harvest that will occur.
I’m also trying to move away from freezing everything but only if the alternative method tastes as good as the frozen so for instance I’ll bottle my plum tomatoes but unlike the French I won’t bottle my green beans.