Saturday 17 April 2021

Byland Abbey, Egg Sandwiches and Mushrooms .

So how about taking a walk through our fields and coming out at Byland Abbey. As guests you have the use of your own fridge, so you could make and take your own picnic. Eating it in the grounds of Byland Abbey pictured here. Or if you are like me I would have to start nibbing on the way and I doubt if I made egg sandwiches they would get there. There is something about egg sandwiches which I always relate to going on journeys. As a child I suppose we had only egg sandwiches when we went away, so it has stuck with me. Having hens on the farm always meant we had plenty of eggs. As Jack used to say we grew up 5 fields apart as he was brought up at Abbey Farm at Byland Abbey. So not a long walk, will take you half an hour as a brisk walk or dally along the way. Well, you are on holiday . As far as we know Byland Abbey is still offering free access to people . But don't worry if they are now charging as we have a special treaty that was signed many centuries ago for our farm so when I tell you more you can get in for free in any case. Jack says it is the best cricket pitch as a lad he will have played many a game in the grounds. If it is that you come when it is the times mushroom are growing ,we will tell you exactly where to look for them as they grown on the way to Byland. If you dont like to eat them raw, you can bring them back with you. Having them as a snack later with some toast .Yes there are toasters too in your room to use or if you would rather I will cook them for your breakfast. We quite like to pick them when the dew is on them before the sun gets to dry them out a bit. These are the freshiest and some times a few strands of grass get into the frying pan too. As you can find them just coming through from the warm earth and pushing through the grass. Due to land managementnow a day, we do not see as many puff ball mushrooms as we did when I was a child. We use tractors rather than horses working in the fields and mushrooms were very plentiful where the horses were turned out after their days work. So maybe mushrooms like horse muck as well as rose bushes . But here is a beauty that I took for Antonio Carluccio a few years ago. Soon it will be the time for St Georges mushrooms as they magically seem to apppear around 23rd April - St Georges Day. I fear with the very cold nights,early morning frosts and it being so dry they may not come this year. So unless the weather changes, their spore will stay well underground. The weather at the moment is a nightmare for our gardens as during the day I can be out at the front of the house in my shirt sleeves,but come first thing on a morning there is ice on the car wind screen. Recently I bought a peach tree and it is in and out of the houe like a yo yo. I take it out during the day for the bees to come and pollinate the blossom and bring it in a night to protect it from the frost. I have bought 5 peony plants this week and it will be intersting to see how they grow but for now as they have very tender shoots. I have planted them all in one big pot and placed them in the porch . As I have with 2 climbing sweet pea plants and a climbing jasmine . I have always admired these sweet pea climbers and managed to find some locally last week. The only house I ever saw them on was the porch at Eb Sunleys in Ampleforth. They had a farm at the bottom end of the village. They didnt have a flower garden as such, but every year without fail the sweet peas appeared.