Flavours of the good life

This week The Verve had rights to their hit song Bitter Sweet Symphony returned to them from the Rolling Stones. Whilst we haven’t released a chart topper we thought this could be a case of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, a type of cognitive bias.

We have already mentioned the tension of decision making in a more commercial gardening venture. Yet this still doesn’t alleviate the pang of guilt when we had to pull out 100 odd tomato plants still laden with 20kg+ of green fruit.

It seems silly to say aloud but we develop a close affinity to the plants when we’ve witnessed a whole life cycle. From determined seedlings popping up as surprises to surviving transplant and suffering a terrible batch of compost. From thirsty plants struggling to cope with summer heat to wispy stalks of green somehow producing plump fruits of magnificent colour and umami goodness.

We also took the plunge and knocked the eggplant on the head. That was a season of firsts for us. Unsure how they would grow and how much fruit they would produce. A firsthand understanding of their susceptibility to pests and great lessons learnt for next seasons efforts.

Whilst the rational self understands the argument for getting started on the next crop, it was still a bitter moment to say goodbye to the first residents of our 6 month old polytunnels.

For now we will sit back and reflect on this summer past with a cold bottle of sweet soft drink and reflect on the tenuous link between a 90s song and a homesteading life……

Fruit Compote

We love a tart compote served with a generous heap of natural yoghurt and topped with a crumbling of muesli or drizzle of honey. You can use many different fruits: apples, berries, plums. Medlars provide a richer, sweeter version not unlike Dates, a great foil for a chocolate craving too.


  • 500g or so of your fruit of choice, roughly chopped
  • An acid – juice of a lemon, lime or orange
  • Some sugar – anywhere between 50 and 150g depending on the fruit you choose and how sweet your tooth is.

Step 1: Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until it collapses into a nice consistency, about 5-10 min depending on the fruit of choice.

You want the fruit to be somwhere between its original chunky state and a smooth puree.