Thursday, August 19, 2010
Peaches, Blackberries, Dahlias and Deer
Finding a new blackberry patch took a little time. Our favourite one in Victoria was found on Christmas Hill. Here we spent some time driving around, stopping periodically to get out and inspect the bushes. The right spot for us is away from roads (to prevent car exhaust fouling the berries), a source of water (for juicier berries), and accessibility (utterly crucial).
We found a spot with all of the above and one more thing. Proximity to the sea. We can hear the waves rolling in on the shore as we pick and then, the buckets full and in the car, we walk a few steps to the beach, kneel at the water's edge and wash our sticky hands. Boy, does the salt water ever make those blackberry thorn scrapes sting!
Most of the berries are in the freezer, to be used in cobblers, sauces and on Tim's breakfast granola. This morning I made a batch of peach blackberry jam. Oh, so yummy on toast or scones.
Last week, with the first batch of blackberries, I made some peach blackberry turnovers. And as you can see, I forgot to take a picture until I'd taken that first bite. Ooops. I make them with phyllo pastry sheets - fast and easy.
I'm pretty sure the deer are angry with us. We've been trying to protect our shrubs and plants from being devoured by covering them with mesh. That worked for awhile, but the deer soon learned to push down on the mesh and the most tender new growth would poke through, enough for them to chomp every bit of it down. So on Saturday Tim put up bamboo poles and a serious deer mesh fence. No pushing will permit leaves through this! It's not pretty, but until we can get a fence built we would like to protect the plants.
But the very next day, my dahlia plant was missing the largest, most beautiful blossom. You can see a few scattered petals that escaped being dinner. I thought deer didn't like dahlias. I'm sure it ate it just out of spite. It left two other blossoms, and there are many buds coming. Will they survive? It might be time to expand the fencing. Sigh. Our yard is looking like Leavenworth prison - but keeping the plants IN and the deer OUT.