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Harvest time at the Contini Kitchen Garden

Yesterday was an adventure. The universe had aligned in our favour – all three children, my mother and Victor and I got through a whole day with no tiffs! Helped hugely by a six hour shift in the garden thanks to a perfect day for picking our glorious harvest.

However, I’ve a confession to make. On Thursday I confiscated all the children’s electronic equipment – knowing we were going to harvest on Sunday. So with no chat with their pals and no games to distract the garden was a great adventure.

The polytunnel was packed with salad leaves – perfect task for Nonna as the beds are all raised and it was easy for her to help. In the shade, no drafts, a granny in her element having a wee potter.

Cutting back the rhubarb had Orlando in his element – he felt like a guerrilla warrior in the jungle. Complete with all the sound affects, our 14 year-old commando couldn’t get enough chop, chop chopping.

More gentile tasks were assigned to Arianna, our 10 year old, who got to work dead-heading the Marigolds. She’s been doing this since she was a tot! Gloves on, scissors to hand – she’s always in need of accessories so yesterday was no different to for our fashion conscious baby. Making the garden prettier is what she loves doing.

I was on herbs, my culinary jewels. Rosemary, sage, parsley, lemon thyme, chives, marjoram and a little lavender for the pastry team to make some shortbread petit fours. And my absolute favourite garden ingredients – fresh peas and broad beans. They just can’t be beaten.

As usual, Carla, middle child, was stuck to her Daddy like a wee slug on a lettuce leave. If you know Carla, she’s anything like a slug but wherever Daddy goes she’s never far away. Raspberry picking was this happy pair’s first task, followed by white currants and red currants. Our fruit trees are four years old now and the harvests that we’ve had this year have been incredible and there is still a huge amount more to collect so next weekend (weather permitting) we’ll be out in the fresh air again with sleeves rolled up and making memories.

Just so you know where everything is going. All the berries are delivered to Cannonball Restaurant & Bar for major jam-making and leaves, herbs and beans all head to The Scottish Cafe for lunch each and every Monday.

I just love this time of year!

Ciao for now,


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