Thursday, 29 July 2010

Jewels in the Crown

We seem to have gone jam crazy in our little corner of blogland and to follow up last week's Strawberry Jam today we have been picking redcurrants from the garden.  My redcurrant bushes are somewhat of a family heirloom .... they were originally on my dad's allotment but when he had to give that up some 15 years ago following a stroke, we dug them up and transplanted them to the bottom of our garden.  This year has seen a bumper crop and just over 4lb was picked this morning and they have now been stewed, pulped and drained and the liquid is waiting to be turned into jelly tomorrow.  The children thoroughly enjoyed doing this and one of them even arrived this morning with a tub of blackcurrants that she had picked from her own garden last night .... we now have six jars of blackcurrant jam to add to the collection.

While the littlies were busy picking the fruit I did a little weeding in the veg patch and pulled our first onions and baby beetroot.

and one large lonesome courgette!

We have a little sea of sunflowers in the veg patch which weren't intentionally planted ..... these must have been scratched in by my dear chooks before Mr Fox arrived.

I have also had a lovely lavender bush for years but alas Mr Lala was let loose with some secateurs last year which is always a bad move.  He has a nasty habit of snipping off all the new growth and leaving the dry woody bits underneath and this proved too tempting for one naughty spaniel last year .... she chewed it to bits!

So a dilemma .... I like to make lavender bags for the Christmas markets later in the year but with no lavender to harvest what was a girls to do???  Then the brain cell leapt into action and I posted a wanted on my local Freecycle group and received a tremendous response.  This is what I have so far and there is more to come.
It smells heavenly and should keep me going for a while.  One lovely lady also let me harvest some seeds from her lupins and said I can go back again for more lavender if I need it.  This got me thinking that there are gardens out there with an abundance of fruit growing this year, most of which will be left to the birds so what better way of food thrifting ..... join your local Freecycle group and see what you can find.

On the subject of thrifting I will end with some of my car boot goodies from last weekend.

Total spend = £12.50


  1. Lovely garden goodies and I am also drooling over your finds! A spurtle!!!

  2. I spy a spurtle!!!! Takes me back to my granny stirring the porridge in the pot on her fire...... wow!

    Lucky you to get redcurrants, the birds had ours.... AGAIN! I tried covering them with curtain net one year, but to no avail.... lucky you. I think they are the prettiest of berries on the bush and love redcurrant jelly. Love that blue cup, saucer and plate.

  3. Lovely post Lala ... such bargains.

    Glad you had such good luck with Freecycle - as we do too.

    The spurtle made me spurtle as I thought of Angel and her spurtling ... or is it BM?

    Anyway am dead jealous of your redcurrant crop.

    Sandie from Dancing on a Blade of Grass

  4. That little tartan box was poking out of a box of miscellaneous on a charity stall at the CB ... I am a nosey bugger and always have to open boxes to see what's inside ... I was delighted to see the spurtle and yes Sandie it did remind me of certain spurtlers on a favourite forum of ours! The blue trio is 1900 flow blue and I got not one but three of them .... I nearly had the poor woman's hand off when she said £3 for the lot .... they will be joining my evergrowing blue & white collection.

  5. Those redcurrants look gorgeous - I shall get a plant for my own garden - and your carboot finds are lovely. I think car boot sales vary a great deal, I went to the first I've visited in 2 decades recently and it was full of tacky stuff no one would want. Your finds however are excellent!

  6. I love homemade jam, but my first attempt ended up like toffee!!!! It's lovely to think that the redcurrants stayed in the family and what a bumper crop.

    I'm a big fan of Freecycle too, people are so generous. There's a man on ours who fixes computers for free and he is going to completely rebuild mine.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.
    Jak x

  7. Gorgeous sunflowers - I do love sunflowers, as they always seem to last for ages in the house, and have a real feel of summer about them. Love your car boot goodies as well.

  8. Like the china particularly the blue set. Is that wooden thing a spurtle?

  9. Those redcurrants look delish, I love their colour and delicate nature. Are they easy to grow, do you put in the ground or in pots?

    Great CB finds too. x

  10. I love to see gardens and fruit and home made jam, the full jars are like jewels.

  11. What a great post, lovely goodies to eat and look at and use! You always manage to get some good bargains! The redcurrants look fabulous and very tasty.