Gardener’s guide to gluts: 10 things to do with courgettes (zucchini)

This summer I have become a woman possessed. What started out as casually bringing a few courgettes along on playdates as a novel hostess gift culminated last week in me landing a rather shocked friend with a massive amazon box full of marrows and courgettes. It was so heavy I couldn’t even carry it, I […]

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Late summer foraging: elderberries for cordial and sauce

I’ve been keeping a secret from you. One lovely summery day in early June, my sister and her boyfriend came to stay and we decided to make elderflower champagne. We’ve got multiple elder trees and it seemed like quite a lovely thing to do with our DFL (“down from London”) family now that we were […]

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Sneaky sheep

Our new sheep have been settling in well and it feels a bit like they’ve always been here. It’s rather nice, watching them potter about maa-ing at each and hoovering up the grass. However we have a problem. We built our new chicken enclosure in a nice sheltered bit of one of our lower paddocks […]

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Moody broody hen

Part of our long-term plan has always been the production of our own meat. For welfare as well as health reasons we’ve gradually become more or less vegetarian during the week. Don’t get me wrong, we’re avid carnivores, but we like to know where our meat comes from, and that it was ranging freely whilst […]

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A berry silly decision; or how we killed our fruit bushes

Or, plant in haste, repent at leisure. As part of our whirlwind first dormant period on our smallholding, we planted more than 120 raspberry canes and more than 30 fruit bushes up in our new orchard. Amongst them were redcurrants, blackcurrants, white currants and many gooseberries. The idea was sound in principle. We would lure […]

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Summer recipe: courgette and mint soup

I grew up in Portugal and there, we believe that soup is important. It’s practically a sixth food group all of its own. In winter here in the UK I’ve brainwashed Mr Land and the children into believing that a hot bowl of soup before dinner every day is the norm. In truth, it’s so […]

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Problems in the orchard: peach curl and aphids, oh my!

Our beloved, if somewhat immature orchard, has had its share of teething issues. Only about half the trees had pollinated fruit (although frankly given that they all survived our utterly naive planting at all meant we really didn’t care). But of more concern since then has been the things that have gone wrong. Our peach […]

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