Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sorry Mr Squirrel.

Doing a rough check on what has done well around the farm this year and what has performed poorly -I would say that the biggest disappointment has been the apples and the plums.  In both cases these have been largely non-existent.  Walnuts too have been a disappointment.

Everything else has performed to perfection.   Raspberries, runner beans, peas, broad beans, sweet peas, onions - all these in the vegetable garden have done very well indeed.

But it is in the hedgerows that the real burgeoning has taken place.
Every holly bush and tree is covered with fat, red berries (although whether they survive until Christmas or not will largely depend on the weather), every crab apple tree has branches hanging low with red or golden fruit (the cattle are waiting for them to drop off because they seem to enjoy their sourness), the sloes, which are almost ripe, are more plentiful than they have been for years.   But the crop which amazes the farmer - the best crop he can ever remember - is the hazelnuts.  We have quite a few hazel trees in the pasture hedges and every one is thick with nuts.   Yesterday the farmer picked up those which had fallen off in the breeze (I forbid him to get up the trees to pick them when he has a severe balance problem) and brought them home, and today he has added more to the bowl.
  I have to tell you that I had one or two last night and they are absolutely delicious - so fresh tasting and quite unlike the ones you buy in the shops, which have been picked for a few weeks.   So I am sorry Mr. Squirrel.   I know you have been hanging around for a few weeks just waiting for the nuts to ripen, but we are hoping to get at them first.   You can stick to the ones at the tops of the trees - you are agile enough to get up there with no effort at all.

I hope you like the bowl.   It is hand made of white ash, by Richard le Blonc and I bought it in Cheticamp, a lovely coastal village in Nova Scotia.

12 comments:

jinxxxygirl said...

Well i'm afraid i don't know what sloes are........ unless i just know them by another name.. I will have to Google it. :) I'm glad most things are performing well for you this year. I LOVE hazelnuts! But i must say i have never seen a hazelnut tree. Since coming to CA i have seen an almond tree which was something new for me...In TX where i lived for many years it was all about the pecans. We had two trees of our own that gave us plenty and plenty to share with friends and squirrels alike. How i miss them....
I hope we live in the country again one day....spend our retirement years there....nothing like enjoying natures bounty. Hugs! deb

Heather said...

It is surprising that apples and plums have not done so well this year. I am sure you left plenty of nuts for the squirrels and how lovely to have your own supply for Christmas - assuming there will still be some left by then! It is a long time since I have tasted a hazel nut picked from the tree.

Joanne Noragon said...

The bowl is beautiful, and so are the hazelnuts. I love them, and have never tasted them fresh.

donna baker said...

Those British hedgerows are legend, but I never knew they had foodstuffs amongst them. Nuts are a luxury and so healthy. I really don't know how farmers of old fed their families. There really doesn't seem to be reasons why things do or don't produce. We haven't had wild plums for the last three years, but gallons before that.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Our wild hazelnuts are getting ripe too - they are all throughout the woods - sometimes you hear the squirrels quarreling about them and often they will fling a nut or two at you when you walk under the trees. There are commercial orchards of them here too.

I had the best salad at our anniversary dinner - hearts of Romaine lettuce, placed side by side on a lovely square plate - drizzled over with an ice cold bleu cheese dressing and sprinkled with whole hazelnuts. I think when we go back to that restaurant I am going to order two of the salads and call it my dinner - it was that delicious. I love an ice cold salad and this one was beyond delicious.

Now I want to go check the hazelnut trees - better get a hard hat.

Julie Clay Illustration said...

We have seen this hazelnut bounty too, I picked some up intending to plant them, and have pushed some in with the spring bulbs, but why I din't think to eat them I don't know?? I'm on the lookout for more now, hope Mr squirrel hasn't nabbed em all :)

Becca McCallum said...

That bowl is beautiful! Up here in Scotland, everything has peaked a little earlier than you, so my sloes and damsons are already sitting in gin and sugar, and the brambles are in the freezer. Crab-apples have been passed onto a friend who makes crab-apple and chilli jelly. The squirrels got all our hazelnuts this year :(

angryparsnip said...

I love hazelnuts. How lucky that you have trees. I have read about all the fruit trees you have but I don't think I ever read about the nut trees.

cheers, parsnip

Mary said...

….picked the blackberries and then the hazelnuts in the hedges of Devon. Those were the days, the lovely childhood ones after the war was over and we were free to roam the fields and enjoy nature's bounty.

Beautiful bowl - the nuts must be delicious that fresh.

Mary

Cro Magnon said...

The sloes here were like small plums this year. My own hazel nuts were hopeless, so I bought a bag from a nice lady at a boot sale; they are big, sweet, and juicy. I've sown a few in compost, if they grow I'll add them to hedgerows.

mrsnesbitt said...

We'll have to try and grow some Pat - Jon loves his nuts - that's why he married me! lol!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you liked the bowl.
I think I might try and grow a few hazelnuts - you never know we might get a few bushes to add to our little plantain.