You may remember that I left you with a picture of the gooseberry bushes in our allotment. Well, after all the hard work put in by The Husband I had the fun of picking the fruit on a rare, sunny Sunday evening. By the time I took these pictures the shadows were fairly long. It must have been around 9pm.
It was such a treat to be in the garden at such a quiet time. I kept hearing rustling and wondered if it was a fox. The Husband and Son Number One disturbed one about this time last year. Son Number One was full of excitement about it. He wasn’t sure if it was a fox or a red panda! I didn’t see any mammals so I think the noises were just birds hopping around.
We’ve had a resident thrush this year, bashing snails to bits. I’d like to think that thrushes have done well this year, as snails, their favourite food have been in plentiful supply. Seeing it in the garden made me think of my Dad. He always had a soft spot for them and, much to my Mum’s annoyance, refused to use slug pellets in case they were responsible for the decline in song thrush numbers. Slug pellets were one of the many areas of garden management that Mum and Dad disagreed on!
Anyway, back to the harvesting. Last year, I left it too late to pick the majority of the gooseberries and suddenly they were all gone. I blamed the birds. Good job I wasn’t trying to win the Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show, which is not so far away from me.
Why did I leave it so late? I just couldn’t wrap my brain around picking something so tart. This year, after talking to a friend about rhubarb, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment (yes, my life is this exciting). I realised that I have no problem with picking rhubarb, sour though it is, and cooking it with LOTS of sugar. Why should gooseberries be any different?
Of course, picking gooseberries is a slightly hazardous experience. They have incredibly thorny branches. Despite wearing gloves, my hands and arms came under quite an attack. Nevertheless I managed to pick a reasonable amount of fruit.
Shall we take a closer look…
Erm, you might recall the title of my last post? Seems I managed to bring a ‘friend’ home. I really took this picture to show that my bucket was full to the 8 litre mark. In fact there turned out to be 5.3kg or over 11 lb of gooseberries. Not bad for zero gardening effort.