Brogdale apple festival, a review

Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection, hosted its Apple Festival – touted as the ‘Biggest and the Best Apple Festival’ on 19–20 October 2013. Being something of an apple enthusiast, and appreciating the importance of the National Fruit Collection in terms of the preservation of our fruit growing heritage, I was very keen to… Continue reading Brogdale apple festival, a review

Patisserie Lanka

Having recently expanded the content of the blog to include recipes, today I am making yet another digression by uploading a review of this wonderful patisserie. Whilst staying with our good friends Serafiina and Arto at their house in Hampstead, a visit to Lanka, Finchley Road, London, was recommended. We took some other friends with… Continue reading Patisserie Lanka

Winter squash harvest

Determining the exact moment to harvest the winter squash can be a little tricky. They want to grow and ripen for as long as possible, but gloomy weather, especially with the onset of autumn rains, is not good for them. Placing a tile or something similar between the squash and the soil to prevent them… Continue reading Winter squash harvest

Louise Bonne of Jersey

Some of our cordon pears are bearing fruit for the first time, and Louise Bonne of Jersey was the first of the autumn sorts to ripen. Despite the name, this old French variety hails from Avranches, Normandy, where it acquired various names, amongst them Bonne Louise d’Avranches and Beurré d’Avranches. As the first fruit fell… Continue reading Louise Bonne of Jersey

Botrytis brings an end to the tomato crop

Grey mould, caused by Botrytis cinerea, has struck both the glasshouse and polytunnel tomato crops. Spores of this fungal disease are generally present in the environment and typically infect dead or dying plant material. In theory, grey mould could cause problems at any time of year, but in order to develop significantly, a certain amount… Continue reading Botrytis brings an end to the tomato crop

Improving egg shell quality

Recently, our girls have been laying the occasional soft shelled egg and even those with shells have been a bit thin and weak. A properly formulated layers feed is supposed to provide sufficient calcium for the production of strong egg shells. Additionally, they have access to mixed grit – a combination of flint grit and… Continue reading Improving egg shell quality