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Since my last post we’ve got started with another lot of WOOFers. When the 3 of them arrived the garden and orchard was in pretty good shape and we spent some time building up one of the paths on the property. I got a lesson in chainsaw ripping, which was very exciting. Chainsaw ripping is an integral part of the infrastructure (fencing, benches, outdoor buildings, etc) here at Melliodora and I’ve been wanting to give it a go for a long time now.

My first ripped log.

After I ripped some old grey box logs we used them to terrace the half logs and filled it in with a great stone and clay mix that comes from around here that sets hard as can be.

                                                                                                                 The path with ripped logs in place waiting to be gravelled Path with gravel on

Apples and plums

A bowl of fruit on the table

On the food side of things we have been spending a good chunk of time picking and preserving fruit and veg, though Im sure its just a sample of whats to come later on in the season.

Plums have been the main tree crop recently, Weve had so many plums we dont know what to do with them all. We have dried plums, made plum sauce, plum juice, plum Jam and plum chutney as well as ate huge numbers of fresh plums. We take the sweetest ripest ones from an amazing local heirloom variety we have and dry lots and lots of them. We he have three racks that get filled with halved plums then put on the roof to dry, the corrugated Iron roof works really well for drying and allows airflow through the corrugations.  As one rack dries we just cut up more of the ripest ones and put the rack back on the roof. Weve also been drying lots of zuchini, in thick slices, which makes a really nice addition to a winter soup.

Weve had some early peaches as well but not enough to make it to preserving.

The two earliest apples, Gravestine and McIntosh, are just ripening now which gives us a little taste of the many apples to come.

In the garden green beans and zuchinis are without a doubt the most abundant at this time. We are getting to the end of the first planting of beetroot and carrots, with later plantings of both sizing up. The cucumbers have just started to produce in large numbers, we had our first taste of sweet corn a few nights ago and were ready to start digging up early potatoes.

Pole beans, tomatoes, chickpeas a view of the gardens taken standing in front of the house