IT IS the time of mists and mellow fruitfullness again. And yes there’s some fruitfullness, but because of the hot dry summer the plants did their thing in super quick time.
However, if they weren’t well settled in the ground before the dry and hot period started, the yields were lower than usual.
One of the crops I just didn’t get in well on time were my pumpkins and winter squashes – always a colourful, delicious and versatile favourite of mine. They have done okay, surprisingly so, but the yields are down from the last few years.
The fruits look mostly the same size – they will be very tasty, dense and sweet but the numbers are down. Anyway, the seeds for next year’s crop are already on their way and I’m planning to grow the usual weird and wonderful collection as well as the old favourites like butternut and crown prince, which are both excellent for storing over winter.
Celeriac and leeks are still in the ground, both very much appreciated winter veg and will be dug up as and when needed.
Everything else has been harvested, the ground is cleared and either mulched or sown with a green manure mix.
The only things going into the ground at this time of the year are the garlic segments – and boy, I have quite a few of those to find space for.
Hopefully by this time next year they’ll be dried and braided into beautiful plaits. Onion, garlic and shallot braids will be something I’m planning to pay particular attention to in the coming growing season, as they have proved to be in high demand for people to take home after their stay in Swanage.
This autumn/winter I’m planning to add a few more perennials to the Kitchen Garden with an eye to finally moving my hives closer to me.
It’s a good excuse to plant some wonderful flowering herbs and berry bushes, don’t you think?
It’s a long term plan this, but there will be rows of rosemary, lavender and sages as well as elders, sea buckthorn and tayberries. Old favourites like globe artichokes and cardoons will of course be part of the new plans as well as borage and some other annual flowers and herbs. Luckily I have been able to collect and safe some seeds and take cuttings.
The rhubarb patch will also increase in size as I never have enough to satisfy the demand for this welcome vegetable in late spring/ early summer.
I’m planning on putting in some year old crowns of different cultivars as well as growing some plants from seed.
As the days are getting colder and the evenings longer my hankering for substancial puddings grows.
This one is just so comforting and warming and easy to prepare in advance. It’s a rather rustic recepie,which means it’s easily adaptable to personal preferences.
Serve ‘apple in nightgowns’ with some hot custard and a nice mug of tea and you’ll be in heaven!