Middle Aged Gardening

I never thought I'd become this guy. But something about making the back garden thrive with greenery and life just makes me smile. It has taken some time to get the garden to a state where I feel it's ok to show somebody, mainly due to it being a new build house. We basically got a square of grass and a few basic slabs leading to the back gate. Much time, a patio, shed and a few raised beds later I've finally been ready to plant something! Whilst I'd love to go off-grid like Tom and Barbara Good, to not end up with a garden that looks like an allotment, I think we have to temper the amount of edible produce. However, a starter-for-ten were the eighteen strawberry plants I stuck in in March. It has been a success! They are delicious. I'm fairly sure they're only about 20% better than can be bought from the supermarket. But they're all shapes and sizes, I took care of them, and they're just better. Like having chips out of the paper. It wasn't even a g

Mulberry Jam

I recently had the pleasure of sampling this quite fairly-hard-to-come-by jam, and I have to report that unfortunately it’s god damn delicious. And not made from handbags.

Looking rather like a blackberry or raspberry, the mulberry was a Jacobean fashion when it came to the UK and trees can still be found in the gardens of some stately homes, including Chastleton House in Oxfordshire and Charlecote Park, Warwickshire, where there is a receipt dated 1713 for the purchase and planting of a tree that is still flourishing.

The trees tend to grow fairly large and the fruit does not weather well after being harvested (they are quite soft and liable to explode when touched). This might have something to do with the commercial scarcity of the fruit and by extension the rarity of the jam shown opposite by Wilkin’s. Nowadays the best way to get your tongue around this genuine rarity would probably to grow yourself a tree and make the stuff yourself.

If you do get chance to sample it, or spot it at a supermarket/farm shop then snap it up quick. They don’t come around often. Enjoy with heart attack inducing pastry of choice. Very tasty.