Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hansel and Gretel

I think I have discovered what the Grimm Brothers did when they were children. They went wild strawberry hunting! After spending all morning cutting down what seemed like a forest of bamboo to make supports for my tomatoes (currently 7 varieties planted with 4 more in pots....) I took to the wilderness to try and find a few more wild strawberries for my jam. For anyone unfamiliar with wild strawberries they are very similar to raspberries, but they grow wild in the mountains etc. Anyway, I went without the children today so I could explore a little further and I really got the feeling that I was in the fairytale "Hansel and Gretel". Everytime I started to turn away I was lured deeper into the bush by the sight of another red treasure, and then another, and then another...... until before I knew it I was in the middle of the bush with a basketful of wild strawberries wondering exactly where the road was. Thank goodness the wild boars had made nice tracks for me to find my way out again! And of course the sight of a snake made me finish up my adventure a little earlier than planned. It is amazing how when you are in the bush by yourself every sound you hear sounds like a wild boar or a snake coming to get you! Anyway, I managed to pick about 2kg of wild strawberries so I guess my next job is to make some more jam. I think I am going to have to charge double for any jam with wild strawberries in it due to the danger involved in collecting them!

After the rain and then a patch of warm weather the rest of the garden seems to be taking off. Flowers seem to be appearing everywhere in the vegetable garden and I have discovered another great reason to have a compost bin. Not only does it provide you with good nutrients for the garden, but it also acts as a wonderful seed raising mix. All the seeds from last year's pumpkins seem to have sprouted in the compost so I transferred them to them to the bigger pumpkin patch up the hill. I guess there will be no shortage of pumpkin jam and pumpkin muffins this year. The only problem is that I am not exactly sure what variety they are..... I guess it is just another surprise to look forward to!

Compost patch turned Pumpkin Patch and the new pumpkin patch

Gherkin, Tomato, Zucchini and Nasturtium flowers are starting to appear everywhere. The picture at the top of the page is the potatoes - they should be ready just in time for Mum's visit.

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