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