Country mouse enjoys a year of plenty

Making my way across the field to the blackthorn hedge groaning with sloes, I became sidetracked by field mushrooms that had popped up like pearls on a green blanket.

The fungi possess an ephemeral quality that demands attention before they disintegrate into a soggy mush. Gratification is also instant (sautéed with garlic and layered on home-made bread gently toasted and smeared in butter, if you must know).

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Then it was the ritual of bringing out the apple press given to us as a wedding present by my parents. Gun oil eased the turning handle, and after much chopping, crushing and compressing, we were able to sample our particular concoction-not as complicated as the witches’ brew in Macbeth, but with different apple varieties and even some pears (yes, the old pear trees also seem to have woken from a decade of slumber).

On the way to pick some more, I espied the glowing crimson of ripe strawberries acting as another beacon of distraction. When I stood up again, deep-maroon plums nearby made themselves known to me. Don’t even mention the massive marrows that started life as courgettes. Local vineyards are anticipating a bumper harvest. Is there anything that isn’t experiencing a year of unrestrained plenty in 2013?

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