Same Time, Same Place

It seems amazing that I’ve been writing some sort of blog for eight years. When Ruth went to study in Australia, I started a private blog to let her know what was happening at home and after a few months decided it would be fun to do a farm blog.

Then the farm blog moved to the main website for a while and I started to write Life in Mud Spattered Boots, then switched to Slamseys Journal and have now come back again. Meanwhile, things have changed on the farm since those first blogging days. There are more farm diversifications, including Slamseys Drinks and Slamseys Gin, cropping has changed and we’ve moved house.

Here’s a quick look back at the blog posts – Same Time (August) Same Place (Slamseys Farm).

making blackberry jam

In August 2011, I was picking blackberries and making freezer jam. The photos on the blog were tiny because our internet was so bad that it took an age to load anything larger than a thumbnail size. The blackberries must have been early that year as we don’t have enough yet for jam making this year.

 

cleaning ditch

August 2012 we were cleaning ditches in The Ley, one of the fields on the farm.

 

glut of tomatoes in trug

I was overwhelmed by a glut of tomatoes and runner beans in 2013 and trying to find ways to use them all up. This August 2013 post is still one of the most popular on the blog.  We haven’t yet put up a greenhouse in our new garden and I really miss freshly picked tomatoes, still warm from the sun. With luck, we’ll have erected a greenhouse by August 2019 and I’ll be overrun with tomatoes.

 

greengage sandwich

The following August, I was extolling the virtues of cooking greengages my mother’s way and sandwiching them between slices of Madeira cake and crème patisserie. I could just eat one of those sandwiches now but the plums and greengages have been a bit disastrous this year. There were only five greengages on the tree, three of which were eaten by wasps and we had no early plums at all.

 

Iced Plum gin

August 2015 was a good year for plums, but not greengages and was the month we drank Iced Plum Gin. The lack of plums this year means Beth won’t be making any Plum Gin and last year’s stock has sold out, which is a bit of a blow. Perhaps next year.

 

hollyhock seedhead

Snippets of happiness in August 2016. I love hollyhock flowers and find the seeds fascinating. Last week I cut down the plants and shook the seeds around the flower bed in the hope that they’ll germinate. It’s always a surprise when a plant pops up unexpectedly.

 

orchard in August 2017

Last August at around this time we were enjoying the days of late summer “It’s late summer and every day is a little shorter than the previous one; a change that was almost imperceptible a month ago, is now noticeable. There seems a need to enjoy these summer days before they slip away. To notice the colours and the smells. To gather up all the fruit to preserve in sugar or vinegar.”

 

It feels exactly the same now in August 2018.

sloes and crab apples ripening in summer sunshine in front of wheat stubble field

The wheat harvest has finished, jars of bottled autumn fruiting raspberries are lined up on the pantry shelf and a bowl of raspberry freezer jam is waiting to be decanted into containers. After weeks of waking to blue skies and a blazing sun, the weather is a little uncertain; sunny days are interspersed with damp, cloudy ones; the crab apples and sloes are ripening in the hedgerows (with the wheat stubble of The Ley in the background in this photo) and there is a feeling that summer is on the wane.

 

Joining in with the Slamseys Creative Summer Challenge. This week’s theme is Same Time, Same Place.

8 thoughts on “Same Time, Same Place

  1. What a lovely way of expressing the same time, same place theme! Your photos are always fabulous and the variations they highlight of each individual year are fascinating. Btw, as I’ve said before, I love your recipe drawings. Funny about the plums this year, isn’t it? Last year was incredibly good for them but they are very thin on the ground by comparison in 2018. E x

    1. I don’t know why there are so few plums this year. We have a good crop of damsons and sloes, which are a little later than the plums, so I guess it must be something to do with the weather. Looking back at the August posts made me realise that we get very inconsistent crops with our fruit trees.

  2. Our plum tree has barely got any fruit on, a disappointment. Our neighbours is heavy with fruit and I expect I shall pick some when it is dark… Damson gin is maybe good, too? I enjoyed your journey back in time, I am tempted to look through older post written at this time of year.

  3. Your blog makes a valuable family journal and historical document, it also makes an interesting read for the rest of us. With so many people divorced from their food production it is educational to.

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