Oh my goodness…this weather! I’m sure the cherries aren’t usually so early, yet we have them dropping from the tree.
The challenge is always to get them before the birds and wasps so we can preserve them in delicious jams and coulis.
It’s all go in the Kitchen Garden, where not only is everything growing at a rate of knots, but we also have a melée of new chicks – three black and one yellow. It’s not clear which hen or hens are mother, as they’re all clucking around the little ones, which is lovely.
They enjoyed the visit of a French student called Max, who was with us on work placement for a couple of weeks and fed the hens every day, in addition to walking the dog and helping with all our events. I don’t know what we’re going to do without him.
Mark is planting out in the Kitchen Garden and taking down the electric fencing and putting something more permanent up as the hares are abundant. Sky (our whiplington / scrappy lurcher) has been going crazy to the point of me being able to hear her heart beating outside her body! She escaped last week, scrambling straight over my knees and out as I opened the car door. Silly creature…
Our yard-en is doing well, the Alpine strawberries in abundance and the herbs bursting out of their tubs. We also have a new crop of micro-cresses this week, which are wonderful.
We picked rosemary and self-seeded violas to decorate a christening cake last week. Gill baked carrot, lemon drizzle and Victoria layers, which we stacked and decorated with a little whipped butter icing for a naked finish. It was pretty and delicious.
I’m off to Cornwall to visit the Eden Project with my daughter Phoebe next week. The food down there is so good and our trip will make for much-needed R&R before the balancing act of weddings, christenings, private parties and school holidays on the horizon. Here’s to an abundant summer…
Vicky Moffitt of Vallum Farm on Hadrian’s Wall, shares the trials and tribulations of the Kitchen Garden which supplies produce to the farm’s tea room, restaurant tipi, wedding and events venue.
Vallum, Military Road Newcastle, NE18 0LL, tel 01434 672 652, www.vallumfarm.co.uk