May is, in my opinion one of the best months of the year. Yes there are a lot of bank holidays that throw things off schedule a bit, but it’s worth it for the longer days and, if we’re very lucky, glorious sunshine that’s not too hot, not too windy, just right. It also means some of my favourite things are starting to be ready to be picked, these being asparagus and strawberries. We can expect our home grown strawberries to be largely available within the next week, and asparagus is ready now. Other wonderful crops being picked are home grown lettuces, spring cabbages, chard and spinach, then later in the month hopefully the first of the raspberries, indoor courgettes, beans and new potatoes.
Signs of life from the cherry trees, currant and berry bushes are making it look like a good season ahead, albeit we would prefer a few more sunny days! The past couple of years cherries have been particularly spectacular and so the May sun will be essential for this years crop (and define whether or not we can offer pick your own!).
I am planting sweet potatoes in another trial and error attempt as well as beans and chillies and growing and harvesting cut flowers for the farm shop. Wish me luck!
We still have 3 ewes yet to lamb, in a couple of weeks we will turn them out to the field to catch up with their flock and get some vitamins from the grass, next up for them will be shearing which will hopefully take place mid May as Southdowns are particularly susceptible to fly, the shearers usually hate us for choosing this breed due to their exceptionally fluffy faces! The piglets have grown enough to go outdoors now, giving mother pig some time to rest and recoup. We are still unsure if a pair of geese are likely to lay this year, stay tuned.
Whats in your boxes?
Lettuce Varieties - Lollorosso, Cos, Little Gem, Oakleaf, Mixed Leaves Rocket
Strawberries - Florence & Valliant
Summer potatoes - Swift (or Zwift - I can't get a straight answer out of Dad...)
Why not try...
Choose four of the best-looking strawberries and set these aside to finish the mousse, then hull and roughly chop the rest. Tip these into a blender or food processor along with the sugar and blitz until smooth.
Whisk the cream to stiff peaks. Reserve roughly 4 tbsp of the strawberry purée in a small dish, then fold the rest through the whipped cream until it turns an even shade of pink. Divide the reserved purée between four small serving glasses or ramekins. Spoon the mousse over the top, then chill for at least 1 hr. Will keep chilled for up to a day. Just before serving, halve the reserved strawberries and use these to decorate the mousse.
Recipe from BBC Good Food
- 3 dried red chillies
- 100g runny honey
- 12 slices pancetta
- 12 asparagus spears
- 200g block feta
- Olive oil to drizzle
- ¼ bunch thyme
- Crusty bread to serve (optional)
- Begin by making the hot honey so it has time to infuse. Toast the chillies in a hot dry pan for a few minutes, then roughly chop and return to the pan with the honey. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
- Heat the oven to 200ºC fan/gas 7. Wrap a pancetta rasher around each spear of asparagus and put in an oven dish. Put the thyme in the centre and top with the block of feta. Drizzle in a little oil and season each side of the feta with plenty of freshly cracked black pepper. Put in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes until the pancetta is crisp and the feta is golden.
- Drizzle the hot honey over the feta and return to the oven for 5 more minutes, then serve warm, spreading the feta over the asparagus spears or using bread to scoop it up.
Recipe from olive
In season this May
Still in stores