Feel the heat

I don’t know what the weather is like when you are reading this but I am writing this column during a full-on heat wave!

This morning I went to walk the Whiplington (half whippet, half Bedlington and far too posh a name for my scraggy lurcher!) round the pond at Vallum and popped in to water the seedlings in the poly tunnel on the way back. It was so hot I ended up spraying the roof and creating an internal water park.

The seedlings are growing like billy-o and the poor old broad beans have given their last in there, just in time for the next crop in the kitchen garden which are ready to pick. 

The radishes, lettuce and peas are doing well and I have just bought some hanging tomato bushes to avoid the time-consuming process of nipping out those little shoots of the normal variety. 

I really want to create an edible poly tunnel where people can come and enjoy a BBQ or pick what they want from the plants in the knowledge it is safe. The polytunnel dining experience would be such fun, and it gives us the chance to play around with different open flame cooking – which we are slightly obsessed with.

We made a lovely vegetarian starter salad for Vallum Restaurant this Sunday; we used broad beans from the garden and marinated courgette with lemon zest, thyme and olive oil, displaying the cold ribbons of courgette in little twirls on the plate and finished the dish with our lovely home made Fine Fettle cheese (like Feta). It was so refreshing. 

The grass has grown up around the yurts and the trees are so vivid green in leaf, it looks magical. The hens are laying really well, ready for visitors to pillage if they are
brave enough.

It’s not long now until the children break up, which half fills me with panic as to how I will manage to juggle everything but equally I can’t wait to get up the Northumbrian coast and feel the sand between my toes. 

Happy holidays!

Canine café
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