Harvesting is almost a full time job at the moment and we are having to squeeze in some essential jobs when we can which includes writing blog posts and visiting favourite blogs.
It's not just the picking - you can understand why soft fruit is expensive - but there's also all the podding and picking over once the harvest arrives home. Not that we are complaining as our hoard will serve us well throughout the year.
Monday and Tuesday's harvest
The peas are producing well at the moment giving us lots to eat fresh and lots to freeze. Frozen home grown peas in the midst of winter are a treat.
The courgettes are now producing fruit in a range of shapes and colours. We are trying to catch them whilst they are still small but no doubt we will fail to keep up.
As we enjoy the first of they courgettes we have harvested and thoroughly enjoyed the last of the cherries. What a treat they were.
A few cherry tomatoes from Martyn's early experimental plants were added to out salads which also include freshly picked herbs and salad leaves that don't feature in photos.
We picked the last of the Witkiem Manita broad beans and the cauliflowers just keep on coming and so some have to be frozen.
The main problem was prioritising the fruit to be picked and trying not to devote all our time to picking as much of one type of fruit as we could
The sweet peas are beginning to flower just in time to take over from the sweet Williams which have now gone over. The dianthus that has sneaked into the vase are the first flowers from cuttings that I took from bunches of flowers bought earlier.
The jostaberries have done really well this year and maybe to make up for devastating the plot cherry tree, the wood pigeons have either been content to eat fallen fruit or found something more to their liking elsewhere.
Jostaberry bushes grow quite large and even after yearly trimming have slightly outgrown my 5' 1" (approx 1.5m). We inadvertently ended up with six bushes as bits of prunings root really easily! It's a good job that we like the fruit.
We picked the first of our dwarf - Robin Hood broad beans. The plants grow between 1' and 1.5' (30 - 45 cm) tall. We picked these small.
This time the sweet peas have been combined with a few cornflowers and some ammi from the annual bed which is just beginning to flower.
The collection above shows a small collection picked to add to our evenings fruit salad. We have no idea what some varieties are as they were grown from cuttings given to us. The green one is Hinnonmaki yellow and we have a Pax some of which we picked on Sunday. All develop into sweet fruit if left to mature fully before picking. I tend to use the taste and squeeze gently test.
It's tempting to just carry on picking fruit until the bushes are bare but we really have enough redcurrants now even though the bushes are still dripping with fruit. Up until now they have been protected under netting but I have now opened up the 'cage' to let in the blackbirds. Knowing how contrary they have been in the past they will probably lose interest now the currants are being offered freely.