Strawberries: Our strawberries are ripening a good 10 days earlier than last year. They taste absolutely delicious - lots of customers comment with amazement how nice they are, but I really dont know why they taste so good! Only thing is, we seem to have a smaller crop this year, unfortunately.
Windy and Dry: Wow this month is a windy May. After an unbelievably calm (and sunny) April, it seemed the wind never stopped blowing this month. We had one extremely windy day in particular - I think it was a record for May - which really battered the fruit trees in the orchard. It didnt actually blow the little fruits off the trees, as they are still small of course, but it tattered maybe 50% of the foliage on the trees, which will probably set them back a bit. It's also been unseasonally dry. After the really dry April weather, the ground is drying out further in May, with little rain, and the drying wind making matters worse. Some local vegetable farmers are in difficulty, and we've even had to irrigate the orchard to prevent the trees from becoming too stressed.
Cherries: We have a couple of trees of early cherry types in the Cherry Tunnel, which have been ripening since mid-May. We're reserving them for the family table! Our main crop looks like coming in maybe mid June. They are so delicious.
Feast for the Queen: It was a great thrill for us this month that Chef Ross Lewis of Chapter One restaurant, who was given the task of preparing the State Dinner for Queen Elizabeth's historic visit to Ireland, chose to use our Balsamic cider Vinegar in the menu. He made a point of using only Irish produce, and only the best he could find! Our Balsamic was used in the strawberry and Merringue dessert. I must try and get the recipe from him!