Food for free

August 23rd, 2011 by richard

Aside from all the veggies we’ve planted and the animals we’ve introduced (bees and chickens), there are plenty of things growing around here that we inherited, some that have sprung up like weeds and some that are growing wild in the lanes around here.

I suppose the dreaded brambles are the main things that spring to mind. I spent months and months trying to eradicate them from the main part of the garden but they have still thrived around the edges. Last year the blackberries were dry and shrivelled but the cool summer we have ‘enjoyed’ this year has been a boon for them and plenty have ended up in various deserts. The common accompanyment to blackberries is of course apples. We do have an old apple tree in the garden which has been here for years. It produces plenty of apples (there are plenty on the ground that’s for sure) but they are all tiny and mostly inedible. Fortunately there are plenty growing wild in the lanes around here, as well as pears, and often on my daily walk with the hairy one I manage to snaffle a few for my knapsack.

oranges and apples

Two of the trees that were also here before us are the orange trees in the courtyard. Fortunately they seem to be doing very well and have plenty of fruit which should be ready at the turn of the year. We also have our fingers crossed for our small lemon tree which has two lemons and our new lime tree which has quite a few microscopic fruits clinging on for dear life.

I suppose quite naturally for these parts we have grapevines sprouting all over the place. Most have had a poor summer with few grapes but we have an enormous bush in the lane by the house. Although the grapes are only small at the moment and not of high quality I am hopeful for at least a few glasses of grape juice for next month.

grapes and blackberries

Aside from the flora, the fauna still continues to thrive. I took another frame off the bees which they seem to be fine with. This gave another two and a half jars which is just as well as we seem to be giving plenty of the stuff away. I won’t be taking any more so let’s hope that we’ve got enough for ourselves over the winter (I’m sure the bees will be thinking the same). Other fauna is also doing well. The collared doves must like it here as they’ve had a second brood and the fledgelings have just left the nest but are staying close to home for now. I wonder how long parents and kids will stay for?

another baby dove

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