Posted by: hencorner | September 25, 2011

Harvest, Cider and Preserving

It’s that time of year…

We’ve sown & grown, watered & weeded and now it’s time for harvest. ‘That’s the best bit’, I hear you say, but here at Hen Corner, with busy London lives, it’s all too easy to miss a crop at its peak and let fruit and vegetables go over. Runner beans just aren’t that special when big, stringy and chewy…. So when we’ve got a few spare minutes, we are cracking on with the picking, pickling, and preserving. We do hope that you find some encouragement and inspiration from our projects here, it’s great to have you with us and we are thrilled to welcome all the new subscribers that have joined us on the journey.

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Cider Sunday is a special day in the Hen Corner diary…

We put out requests for spare apples and strip the five apple trees that we have here at Hen Corner. Then we invite friends round to help spend the afternoon sorting, washing, chopping, crushing and pressing…

Once the apple juice is in the demijohns and everyone has gone home, we get to work with the remaining pulp and boil it up for a pectin stock which makes the perfect base for Apple & Chilli Jelly.

This year, we are very proud to have had Cider Sunday featured by designer Rich Ward on Grass, grit, grapes…

Other photos can be seen here.

Hens on the High Street, cluck, cluck, cluck…

And the Apple and Chilli Jelly was jolly handy to take with us on our first ever stall at the Belsize Green Fair. We were asked to join in the annual Transition Belsize event to encourage Londoners to think rural whilst living urban. Just down the road from Camden Lock and Market a Pop-Up Farm was built for the day; with apple pressing, bee keeping, planting and farming. Hen Corner were invited to join in specifically to encourage people to consider keeping chickens in London; we took our beautiful Butternut and she stole the show! Snug in a display cage with two of the chicks  (both the Barnevelders) she had a constant stream of visitors admiring her and her new family…

Jobs for next week:

    • Watch out for the Saffron sprouts… still haven’t seen anything…
    • Keep on feeding the bees…. they’ve already had 8kg of sugar!
    • Continue to harvest and preserve; poach pears, runner bean pickle, nasturtium pesto, etc.
    • Prepare for next week’s Harvest Fare Trade, complete with a second cider pressing…

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