Having previously bemoaned my failure to garden successfully with children I am pleased to report that I have cracked it in the past week – once or twice at least.
I have had a couple of really enjoyable afternoons at the lottie with my oldest daughter, harvesting potatoes and picking raspberries.
Working together along a row of potatoes was great. I have not watered the tates at all during this long drought (reserving any precious water that I take to the lottie for more vulnerable leafier crops such as spinach and newly-planted purple-sprouting broccoli. The tates have had to look after themselves. As such the earth was so dry that we could simply brush it aside with our hands to reveal the crop underneath. This had lots of the factors that are likely to win around a 7 year old – it was tactile and immediate with a sense of unearthing buried treasure: in short, a real wow factor. She squealed with excitement as we unearthed kilo after kilo of whoppers!
Topping this off by picking raspberries and eating them on the hoof also went down well. My autumn raspberries are in their third year now and are doing fantastically well. Again, I haven’t watered them at all but the fruit is wonderful.
Much as I love strawberries, I maintain that nothing beats the flavour of freshly-picked raspberries. Unless of course you take them home and make them straight into raspberry jelly. Now there’s an idea to get the kids excited!