So the summer is here and what a summer it is turning out to be! The garden is in full flush turning out vegetables by the kilo every day and the problem is how to capture the goodness and flavours before they deteriorate.
The mint has crept through the flower beds with its beautifully aromatic leaves just begging to be sampled. One of our best uses of this vigorous plant is in a minted gooseberry jelly which proves a perfect foil for roast lamb and pork. The gooseberries are organically grown and donated by my lovely, musical friend Ian and the mint is organic and from the garden.
It would also be a travesty not to utilise the heat of the sun for wax extraction. David has used existing materials around the house/garden to produce this prototype solar extractor and today we have achieved the desired temperature of 64C which has resulted in a steady drip of wax.
The bees are enjoying the high temperatures and there are not many days go by when they are unable to forage. This has resulted in large, healthy colonies which are packing the honey in.
The star performers have to be the dwarf French beans; sturdy little plants that keep sending out long, slender pods full of flavour. The courgettes come in second place with their bountiful supply of bright yellow spheres which are, sadly, difficult to keep for very long so we are always on the lookout for new recipes using courgettes. Visit the BBC’s Good Food site (www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/courgette) for some suggestions.