28 May 2011


We had "scunnered" last entry, now let me introduce you to another fine Scots word: "thrawn".

Stubborn and willful.

Something I think can be applied to all gardeners. After setbacks you have to sulk and ruminate for a wee bit and then, set the jaw, pick up your trowel and start again. Apparently I have a real jaw-set which my nearest and dearest know means "don't argue, she's made her mind up and you'd be better keeping out of her way!"

I think Nature is the same though. She just does what she has to do, and despite the weather and the storms, it's heartening to see the apple trees forming tiny apples. I think these are lovely, little tangible symbols of hope, these hop-sized fruits.

D spent this morning putting together a new growhouse for me, wood and polycarbonate and hopefully more sturdy than the polythene one.

(I took the remains of the other one to the recycling centre where there were two other scunnered individuals dumping the mangled remains of their greenhouses - we exchanged rueful eye-rolling as we tipped the metal into the scrap metal skip). The rectangular planter I had the tomato plants in was just too small, so I transplanted them into individual large pots and put them in the new growhouse - with temperatures just 10 degrees I figure they'll appreciate the protection. There wasn't much root that came with them though - that's a bit worrying... I tell you, these tomatoes, if they appear, will be the most expensive ones ever - remind me why I don't just simply say "sod-it" and head to the supermarket??

Or, indeed, to our local farm shop? Our lovely garden centre, Hopetoun, has today opened a farm shop. And it is lovely. Unusual condiments (lots of variations on balsamic dressings - and samples to try); seafood and smoked fish from St Monans in Fife; a fantastic bakery and deli, with things like venison chorizo, air-dried venison ham, pheasant balmoral (haggis wrapped in pheasant), artisan breads, free-range chicken and ham pies, locally made cheeses; a selection of not-normally available to buy cookbooks, locally made sweets, artisan dairy products and a butchery where the produce is farmed in the fields around the shop, and everything is labelled "Estate". There are jointed chickens and whole ones, all free range, all from just a mile away from the shop.

We bought a load of stuff, amongst which was some smoked salmon trimmings, and when we got home, I rustled up a couple of quiches with the glut of eggs we currently have, with smoked salmon, the last of the garden's purple sprouting broccoli and asparagus. And they are heavenly. I've put them in the freezer and they'll do lunches for a week or a trip to see friends in Fife where it's a communal buffet.

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