The Swallows haven’t left yet, the beaches are hot and the water bearable. We are swimming every weekend alongside afternoons spent experimenting with fruity concoctions in the kitchen.
The studio is surrounded by glossy blackberries; the trees are thronging with birds and although the quince crop has been tragic for some unknown reason, it seems like it’s a good year for the apples.
So I’ve been making my particular brand of ‘Shelley’s Jellies’ as the kids call them. Jars of clear jewel-like concoctions in magenta, apricot and amber line the windowsill. I treasure them -but a bit too much; so each year I find a few I’ve saved rather than eaten and they’re busy fermenting and growing mouldy at the back of the cupboard. Their end is an undignified binning – being cleared out of their jars to make space for this seasons efforts. Daft.
So this year I’m going to eat them, share them, and give them away. Including jam made from the peaches in the nearby walled garden greenhouses, hedgerow jelly and my husbands favourite - Damson Jelly - which is like satin and the most glorious glossy deep purple colour.
I’m taking part in the Devon Open Studios again this year – come along to the Old Game Larder on either of the next two Saturdays (13th and 20th September) from 10-5pm. Just follow the yellow signs from the main entrance to Flete House.
Alongside some new bird portraits there’ll be cuppas and jam sarnies available.
Glorious Glorious September – Shelley Castle on making jam and the Devon Open studios this month CLICK HERE to read more…
The Flete Estate Office,
Haye Farm, Holbeton,
Telephone: 01752 830234