When I last wrote we had been enjoying wonderful, unseasonal weather but I can now report that we are very much enduring seasonal weather now! Since the latter part of November we have paid for all the good weather with unbelievable winds, snow, rain, hail... There have also been power cuts - last Thursday the power went off during the early part of the evening and didn't come back on until the early hours of Saturday morning and again during Sunday night/Monday morning. With today's winds we are checking our torch batteries - just incase! Down at the Growing house we are actually "off grid" so we were not affected by the lack of electricity and thanks to our microturbine are batteries are well and truly charged!
The weather has restricted the amount of work we are able to do outdoors - we had started transferring soil into the ornamental garden but the ground is much too wet to continue. Our resident geese had decided that our veggie garden was just too tempting and over the course of a week they caused quite a lot of destruction - each time we caught them in there we chased them out and thought we had blocked their latest entry point (or so we thought). Under Ruth's supervision Alison "clipped their wings" and fingers crossed that has helped. I can reassure you that the geese will not be part of any of our Christmas dinners!
This week Alison has cleared out the tomato system and I think sometime will be spent this weekend making green tomato chutney. Our chilli plants have done really well so maybe some lemon chilli jam as well?
Alison and I had a wonderful day out to the east coast to visit one of our customers who grows microleaves for Skibo Castle. It was really interesting to see all the leaves she had "on the go" and we were also invited to Skibo Castle and received a warm Highland welcome and after coffee and croissants, Lindsey (one of the chef's who just happens to be our customer's son), showed us around the kitchen (our planters crammed with microleaves looked fantastic), the gardens and seeing the Victorian greenhouses was wonderful - our thanks to everyone for making us welcome.
During November we held the first Achiltibuie Winter market and Alison and I were kept busy selling produce from the Garden and even took some orders for Christmas produce.
We have been planning what we will grow in 2012 and the new strawberry plants have now been ordered and we are going to trial a few new varieties as well as continuing to grow Korona, Marshmellow and Flamenco. Due to the demand for our strawberries we are having to construct a new strawberry system!
As long as the weather permits we will be taking part in the Christmas Zumbathon - will need to get the decorations out for our costumes!
All the best for the festive season and 2012