Yesterday morning was quite a rush to get everything underway before setting out to meet Sandi. The bolognese sauce was in the slow cooker and the bread dough was in the fridge, the hens were out, fed, watered and eggs collected, a punnet of raspberries picked and the first couple of figs picked. I had promised Sandi both some raspberries and some figs when the time came. We then all piled into her land rover and off we went. We cleared several fields of wandering pheasants but Basso picked up a complete coat of sticky willy seeds. We were then just clearing a piece of hedgerow along the side of the track when we were approached by the farmer in high dudgeon apparently the gamekeeper had failed to mention we would be there. Sandi handled the situation diplomatically but we were all amazed. Given that there was no crop anywhere near only mud and stubble and the dogs had done no damage to anything. Had we been driving all over his land or harming his crops or disturbing his stock you could understand it but he was extremely possessive of a bit of scruffy hedgerow bordering a public pathway. At this point we called it quits and left having all but completed our job for the morning. We were back home by about 10.30 by which time my bread had risen beautifully in the fridge and only needed shaping and putting it the loaf tin to rise for the second time. This took no time at all as the sun was blazing and it was quite warm by then.
Next came the miserable job of trying to get the sticky willy seeds out of Basso's coat and what a job that was. It would have seem sensible to do this in the garden but then I will have sticky willy growing all over the place next year so we did it indoors and then hoovered up the mess. His feet were thick with mud so then it was an outdoor job to get him in his bath and wash them off. This time he got in the bath willingly as there was no water in it and we just used the hose on jet spray to clean him down. Despite our best efforts he still has plenty of seeds in his coat so I will have another go today. Poor old Nip was very put out as he doesn't get to go on these outings so by way of compensation I took him for a walk on his own and went to the bakers and bought some pasties for lunch which we had with a nice big salad. I was really shocked at the price of the pasties they were £1.90 each. I really should make a batch and put them in the freezer. Supper was really easy as the by then the bolognese sauce was ready so all I had to do was to make a tomato salad and boil some pasta and grate some parmesan.
Today is a catching up day I need to make a cake for the barbecue tomorrow and get to grips with the laundry which is piling up so I had better make use of the good weather. I boiled the beets but there really isn't enough to make chutney so they will just have to get eaten. I also made a big red pepper and tomato stew in the thermo which along with some of the crusty bread will do for lunch.
Despite the huge deluge of rain we had earlier in the week the garden was a dry as bone so I spent some time watering the new plants which are not yet established.
The borlotti beans are doing really well and next year I am going to grow twice as many as we really like them and they are not available in the shops. This crop are of the dwarf kind but I think the climbing ones are a better variety to grow. I am hoping that my globe artichokes will take off but as yet they look pretty miserable. I am hoping to have a plentiful supply of horse manure over the winter which will either spend the winter on the beds to be dug in in the spring or go into the compost heap. Isn't this a wonderful time of the year as fast as I am gathering in the crops so I am planning next years harvest. Lets hope this wonderful weather last over the weekend and we can all enjoy it........