Harvest 2015 – Not quite living the rural dream

Having moved to our beautiful dream house in the country eight months ago the practicalities of living here are well and truly apparent now. We were fortunate to move in November when the garden is less rampant. At the time this was a godsend as our daughter arrived four weeks after getting the key. There was no time to spend titivating outside.

Since spring it’s been a different story. There’s a constant battle. Once you see something that needs work, it’s actually too late. The reason you’ve seen it is because it’s five times as big as it should be. And the true story is we should have been titivating in the winter. However, that’s easier said than done when you don’t know what’s going to come up where and you’re not a trained gardener.

Now into August and well into our harvest cycle I feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of fruit we have here. I only managed to pick and freeze one out of the three gooseberry bushes . Some of the redcurrants were harvested by the neighbours and my husband and I managed to gather the rest – finishing at 10PM one evening. Except apart from summer pudding, which I hate, and red currant jelly (I prefer mint jelly) I don’t know what else to do with them.

One of the blackcurrant bushes I totally missed. The apples on one tree are dropping as I type. The sight and amount of them on the floor brought tears to my eyes. Even if I was a juicer I don’t think I could eat them all. I’ve picked a few but couldn’t bear to keep sweeping them up so I’m here, at my computer.

It’s a lovely sunny day. And I’m here at my computer.

Strange that. Because the reason we moved to the countryside was to have a big garden, grow fruit and vegetables to eat, laze under apple trees yet to drop eating home grown strawberries and pink gooseberries… you know the dream.

As with most things in life the grass isn’t always greener. I barely have time to sit down for lunch let alone outside under a tree. And in this instance the grass is only green because of the work the previous owners put into it.

Living the rural dream is hard work. It’s constant. It’s definitely a lesson of putting the effort in to reap the rewards later on. It’s the opposite of the ‘immediate’ culture our children are growing up with.

Next year will be easier. That’s my theory anyway. We’ll know the garden better and hopefully spend less time catching our tails. Whether or not I’ll have consumed 2015’s harvest remains to be seen.

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