Harvesting Soft Fruit

Rain. We have had all kinds of rain. We have had fine rain. We have had cannonball drops of rain. We have had lost rain, the kind that wanders into every nook and cranny of your body asking for directions to the ground. We have had very sudden downpours followed by surprise, surprise drizzle. We have had it up to here with rain, and because there has been so much of it, we are holding our hands way above our heads hanging onto the side of a boat. That gives you an idea of how much rain we have had. Even burning the old skirting board from the front room has been put on hold until last week. It has been sat in the back garden since March. That's how wet it has been. Last week though was sunny and we decided to divide and conquer jobs in the garden.

gardening, life on pig row

We noticed last week that all that rain has had a great effect on the soft fruit. Last week the weather was sunny and we started to harvest our soft fruit, this is a job that Carol and Little D oversee as I move up the garden away from them both to burn that old skirting board. The wood may be rotten but it could make some great wood ash for the grass in the orchard. However, Little D has his own plans, you can see them percolating in the photo below as he plans how much he can eat out of the sieve before he'll get caught. To give you an idea of the yields and the benefits of moving our fruit patch from the field area; our redcurrant Red Lake has just given us a yield of one and half pounds of fruit. We have never had a yield like that off one bush, not in this garden. That means more for Little D to eat. He knows it. We know it. Even the neighbours know it from the sounds of joy between mouthfuls of soft fruit.

gardening, fruit harvest, life on pig row

life on pig row

There are shouts from the fruit patch and I can hear Little D making his way up to offer me a gooseberry. It is punctuated by shouts back to Carol, which are naturally muffled between hamster cheeks full of strawberries (yes, he is passing the strawberry patch and has stopped off for a 'rest'). He comes around the corner of the hedge, strawberry stained and holding a proffered gooseberry. He tells me he has picked it, cleaned it (dare we ask how?), tested it (there is a chunk missing from it, teeth shaped), and it is ready for my consumption. Little D looks longingly at it, as he offers it over, his fingers tighten on it. 'You can have it, Daddy'. 'Thanks, Little D'. I take it and as I raise to my mouth he asks, 'Can I have a taste?' I offer it back, he eats it whole, goes 'yum' and vanishes back around the hedge and down the hill to the soft fruit yelling back to me. The yells stop just by the strawberry patch.


  1. I have such happy memories of picking and eating fruit with family as a child. Best memories are picking bilberries on Conwy mountain 20 years ago with my Granny. Now my kids hop in and out of the fruit cage or the allotment, helping me pick and scoffing away. Happy times ☺