Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: July 2010

Call Duck Hatch

The final count of baby call ducks for this season is twelve. I have four sets of  ‘babies’ of different ages to look after. I shall have to find new homes for some of them which is always a wrench. The difficult bit is deciding who to keep and who to sell.

More Jam Than Hartleys

The kitchen window ledge is now full of jars of jam made from the fruit harvested from the allotment. I do still have some picking to do but I am nearly at the end of it. I have kept a few for ourselves which are in the fridge, given some away and have thirty two jars needing new homes. I have Black Currant, Red Currant, Pink Currant, Red Gooseberry and Green Gooseberry.

I used all the Victoria Plums in a pie. Although the tree was covered in blossom in the Spring only fourteen plums survived the very cold spell. The Damson Merryweather is still not ripe and I would imagine I will get another pie out of that. Both the cherry trees did well this year and the fruit was all eaten as it ripened. The pears are showing a few fruit and should be ready soon. All in all for such young trees they haven’t done badly.

Jams and Jellies

It’s that time of year again. Time to pick the fruit and make the jams and jellies. To date I have made four jars of red gooseberry, one of yellow gooseberry and six jars of blackcurrant. I have already used up all my saved jars and freezer boxes and there is still a load to pick. I think I may have to invest in some bought jars but they are so expensive to buy the decision is yet to be made.

Heatwave Conditions

We have had weeks of hot sunny weather meaning we have had to do a marathon with the watering cans but the results have been good with lots of salad, vegetables and strawberries to eat and freeze. This has been a very good year for cauliflower and cabbage but the peas have been few and far between as have the early carrots. At home the roses have been good and the fruit trees are showing a bit of fruit too but all could have been better with a little rain.


We have planted the last of the leeks Real now. It was a disappointing germination and only fifteen plants have gone in out of forty seeds. The runner beans are forming with the Scarlet Emperor being the first to show. The sweet peas are a picture and smell lovely. The squash plants are romping away now with the exception of our favourite the butternut, which, for some reason, did not germinate well. We have picked loads of strawberries but again they have suffered from the lack of water. The fruit cage is full of currants and berries ready to be harvested and frozen or turned into jam. All I need is time.