A Mediterranean Summer

12th November 2016
ragged-robin
The first half of our summer was exceptional and the croft erupted into life. It was fantastic to see leaves on the trees for the first time and investigate the diversity of wildflowers growing here. We were happily surprised by how the species rich the croft is! To maintain these areas of species rich grassland we cut at the end of summer, allowing the flowers to set seed, and removed the grass cuttings to prevent enrichment. This also meant birds could enjoy feeding on the grass seed all summer long.
Moth trapping continued all summer long with impressive hauls. In our first year here we have recorded 181 species on the croft. We were thrilled to trap the magnificent Merveille De Jour in late September. We had both hoped to trap this species for a long time and were not disappointed. This moth is incredibly well camouflaged on the lichen here and is a truly beautiful moth, worthy of its name. It turned out to be the first record of this species on Skye!
We had a bumper crop of apples, potatoes and onions – and found rhubarb and chives appeared too! We harvested raspberries, brambles and worcesterberries and enjoyed many crumbles. The worcesterberries were a surprise and new to us! We had expected gooseberries when we discovered the plant, with its long spines, back in March. We found the skin to taste sharp, but cooked (in crumble!) they were excellent. We also used leaves from the mint we’d planted around the house to make tea in the evenings. We hope to build raised beds this coming winter to plant a greater variety of vegetables and herbs and our hope for the future is to have a polytunnel that can withstand the winter gales! Our daughter Effie’s first tastes of apples and potatoes were home grown here on the croft.

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