Berried Treasure

There has been a pretty amazing few weeks of fruitiness here in the Dig My Veg garden. Plants that were introduced two years ago have started to get into their stride and, aided by a good mulch earlier in the year and a fabulously warm and sunny June, they have been delivering daily bounty.

On Sunday I spent the day at Glastonbury Festival, which is very close to where I live. I couldn’t resist a bit of sparkle… but just look at these pink currants! Probably the sparkliest fruit in my fruit patch, and much sweeter than the white ones. No need to cook. In fact, these didn’t even make it to the kitchen.

My black currants haven’t done so well this year. They had a promising start, but quite suddenly one of the two bushes developed brown leaves and the developing fruit all dropped off. The other one has fared better, but I’m thinking they might be a bit crowded and I might move them in the autumn.

But then there are gooseberries galore! I’m going to be making jam with most of them, but I do love a gooseberry pie. These green ones are actually from my mum’s garden. I’ve got two bushes of the red Hinnomaki variety (see top photo) in my garden, which are a bit sweeter and are just starting to ripen.

I added a dash of sweet cider to these gooseberries before topping with the pastry (which I also brushed with some cider just before popping it in the Remoska*, giving it a lovely crisp finish).

The biggest surprise has been the huge quantity of strawberries I’ve been getting this year compared to a handful last year. A colander full of strawberries every other day, for the last two weeks, from about 15 plants. I’ve got Cambridge Favourite, Honeoye, and Hapil varieties… and a few new ones called Just Add Cream, which are just getting established.

I got this plate (how could I resist!) from the shop at the newly re-opened Somerset Rural Life Museum… well worth a visit if you’re passing through Glastonbury

But what to do with so many strawberries? Unfortunately they don’t freeze well as whole fruit and it’s such a shame to waste them. I don’t like keeping them in the fridge as it ruins that special homegrown flavour. So I’ve been making ice cream! So far, one made with cream and one with yoghurt. And served with? Well, fresh strawberries of course!

Oh, and more pies 🙂 This one with some 2016 frozen raspberries. I’ve got a few fresh summer raspberries but mostly autumn ones on the way.

And finally, coming soon to a pie dish near me… Blueberries. I’ve got three different blueberries in pots (an early, middle and late variety), which I’ve revived from an almost-dead collection of scrawny twigs to healthy fruit-laden bushes over the last 18 months. It can be done! (In my case, with thanks to Daylesford Peat-free Ericaceous Compost who sent me a bag to try out).

Getting your 10 a day? Easy when you have summer fruit!

I hope you’re enjoying a bumper crop of fruits in your gardens too… what are your favourite summer fruits? And what are you making with them? 

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