Hey, little hen…

Hey, little hen…

Whisper it – spring is here (maybe). The birds are chirping away like there’s no tomorrow and our customers have a happy spring in their steps. But as my parents always say – ‘ne’er cast a clout till May be out’ – a clout being an old word for a piece of clothing, I’m told, though I’ve spent my life assuming it’s a clod of earth and that you shouldn’t start working on your garden until spring is well and truly here, which just goes to show that every day’s still a school day.

In the Kitchen Garden we’re harvesting the last of the celeriac and it’s sad to see it come to an end. The kale is now fantastic, however, because the cold weather we had killed the strange silver bugs that were attacking it.

We’ve also met a chap who is going to take over the raised beds and poly tunnels. This is great news for us as we only grow what we can manage to grow – not necessarily all the things we would like. Our chef, Jonny, has a wish list of year-round produce, so we all have our fingers crossed for new energy and skills on site.

The wedding season is about to start, so we’re experimenting with micro-cresses for afternoon teas, such as mustard cress for ham sandwiches and the wonderful earthy taste of red amaranth with hot smoked salmon.

As I write, our baker, Gill, is having her lunch outside in the sun, which is bizarre considering that this time last year we were smothered by the Beast from the East. Some of our best wedding photos were taken during the first weekend in March. They were all snow and bright sunshine following a 5ft fall a few days before.

In other exciting news, our Tea Room has been taken over by a new tenant and a new chef. They will be getting the benefit of lots of garden produce harvesting within yards of their kitchen door this summer. In the meantime, fingers crossed for a mild spring and a glorious summer. We already have a batch of chicks in the hen house!

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