Damson Gin

Having been given some offcut Damson branches laiden with damsons in exchange for some eggs, I decided to make a little something to help combat the coming winter nights…damson gin.

Really easy this one:

  1. Wash and stone 500g of damsons.
  2. Add to a washed kilner jar or similar.
  3. Add the equivalent amount of sugar.
  4. Top up with 1 litre of gin.
  5. Shake vigorously until all the ingredients are mixed together.
  6. Repeat 5) every few days for three months.
  7. Decant liquid into a new bottle and drink, small amounts at a time.
  8. Use the fruit pulp in an amazing damson pie, or a very drunk trifle 🙂

Onions Finished

Just a quick post to show the finished onions, shallots and garlic all strung up or bagged up. We’ve enough onions to sell some out front, to help pay for next year’s seed and sets.

Potato Sorting

Having left them for a day drying out, the next task was to bring all the spuds up to the garage to sort through and bag. None were so badly blight-struck that we had to bin them, so a bag of mixed tattys was made up to eat now or give away, and the rest were bagged up separately for storage into hessian sacks 🙂

In the background you can see the onions, shallots and garlic, far back right are the Desiree, middle right are Valour, front right are Edzel Blue and front left are Anya, named after Lord Sainsbury’s wife…but apparently the spuds ain’t  bad 😉

Merrybower Growers II

Finally we have proper chalk boards…nothing much to write home about, but it does seem to bring the sunshine out when you see them 🙂

Merrybower Growers

A tongue-in-cheek title for our communal produce stall outside No2 Merrybower Cottages – nothing like the size of the old and ancient grower families around the Melbourne area in South Derbyshire, but a start nonetheless. A glut of produce means we have spare to sell, two thirds the price of Asda up the road means we have a fair chance of selling it to any local who walks past, with the added bonus that no chemical were used in the making of these beauties. Newly-painted chalkboards are drying as this is typed up.


A quick post to show off a delicious meal. What can you do when your corgettes turn into marrows? Stuff them with couscous, add some homegrown arran pilot new potatoes, homegrown cauliflower, fresh egg and a steamy slab of pork steak. <slurp> Hat’s off to Suz for coming up with this groaning plate!

Fresh Stuff from the Patch

A typical armful brought up from the patch for dinner. Anya first early potatoes, beetroot, snap peas, shallots, broad beans, corgettes and fresh eggs. Fantastic!

Out in the snow

With the field size being finalised and hopefully we’re on the last leg of the buying process, Suz and I took the opportunity to pop out and measure up accurately so we could use decent measurements. With these we can then work out tree spacings and more importantly, the centre of the field where we’re going to plant a walnut tree (on a Rita rootstock so we get to see it in our lifetime), under which we can sit in our dotage, contemplating our navels, listening to the delightful sound of walnuts bouncing off our heads.

It was a cold day, strange to be out there again without our beloved Frankie, our cocker spaniel, who passed away just before Christmas. The ice forming on the lane was getting pretty treachourous and had already allowed one vehicle an impromptu entry into the adjacent field, but it made a great slide, even with 4-wheel-drive wellies on. And at the end of the cold day, back to the stove with casseroles bubbling away, filling the house with delightful food smells…slurp! We’re still pulling produce from the ground (now that we can dig into the permafrost!) – these are small parsnips, you should’ve seen the size of those we donated to my father-in-law, 2 of them weighed in at 2lb 6 3/4oz – 1.1kg in new money – not bad for a first attempt at growing them 🙂