Hi Andrew and Yolande
Just a quick note to say thank you very much for your hospitality, time and patience with us the other week. In particular, we’d both like to thank you for helping to germinate some new ideas in our mind and to firm up on other areas where we had several options from which to choose.
The day we got back we plucked seven spare shoots from our tomatoes and, as you can see, they are rooting very well on our kitchen windowsill and are ready to plant into a growbag for, hopefully, some late tomatoes before the frost comes.
We also have a range of new books, inspired by your no-dig philosophy and my interest in your Square Metre Gardening book. Alison has also tried to enroll onto a permaculture design course but, luckily, we are taking a breath first before plunging straight into that depth.
And, as for the mess below, you two are completely to blame. We ended up picking a load of cherry plums and damsons from the hedgerows following our visit to you.
We de-stoned well over 2,000 plums and popped them through our juicer. The red and purple plums were used to make 5 gallons of rose wine (to the right) which has been bubbling furiously for a week or so now.
The two demijohns on the left will be a white plum wine. All the pulp was consolidated and made into all the jars of jam in the middle. Phew.
Oh, and on the shelf to the right is some plum rumtoff (no idea how to spell that!) because you did something similar with kiwi fruit when we were there.
Alison also made loads of jars of chutney with spices and stuff. which is being stored away somewhere dark for three months to let the spice infuse.
We will shortly be out to repeat it all again with apples, blackberries and, a bit later on, with some raspberries. You shouldn’t have given us that delicious raspberry liquor.
There’s a some jars of honey just to the left of the big fermentation bucket as well.
And even some red milk bottle tops which I’m saving as markers when we get planting our next batches of seeds.
And, yes, the Kilner jars are a bit extravagant but, again, you are to blame for that as well. Do. Not. Show. People. Your. Larder. (unless you are prepared to be accountable for the shifts in thinking of the people you let peep in).
16 jars of blackberry jam and two tubs of jam stuff for an apple and blackberry crumble or two when the apples are ready.
The ginger is for a batch of rhubarb & ginger jam – my favourite.
Thanks once again; your inspiration has caused our perspiration and salivation.
Oh, and 5 gallons of blackberry wine on the go now.
I hope this gives you inspiration to carry on with what you are doing. We both applaud you for your lifestyle choices and we loved it so much that it’s motivated us to accelerate and formalise our plans and actions to live more simply and sustainably.