|The last harvest from the summer potager|
Day six, Wednesday 4th November 2020
Into the garden
It might not have been the first frost this autumn, as we often get light ground frosts in September, but last night was certainly a clear, cold night and the ground was crispy with frost this morning. This prompted me to get out and do the last harvest from the summer potager, filling my basket with the baby squash that won’t now get the chance to grow and ripen, and the last of the chilis that will be just as nice green as the vibrant red I’ve picked all summer. I also picked up about a kilo of small windfall apples, despite believing the apple-picking to have finished. I think these might have been considered too small to bother with when there were still rich pickings, but now the tree is bare, I scavenged in desperation for every last one. We still have the Jerusalem artichokes to dig up over winter, and I’ve stored a crate of butternut squash, but the weeds have taken over and the potager already has that abandoned, scruffy look of winter neglect.
It is a sad sight to see, but my freezers, that I cleared out and organised back in March at the beginning of confinement, are still nicely ordered with a place for everything and everything in its place. More importantly, they are full to bursting with this summer’s homegrown fruits and vegetables, as well as homemade pork bone broth stock and packs of leftover meals that will become soup starters for winter lunches. I couldn’t be in a better place to head into winter.
Despite the cold this morning, the sun was shining from first thing, so the washing was hanging out not long after breakfast. Sitting in the warmth of the lounge with my morning coffee, watching the steam rising from the clothesline outside the window brought a smug smile to my face and made the cold, tingling of my fingers from hanging it out worth the pain.
|Raking the fig leaves|
As the sun warmed the garden, I raked the fig leaves, as they are mostly all down, and started on the first of the Gingko leaves, although I am hoping for a bit more colour on the tree from them before they fall. I contemplated mowing the grass, but it was still damp after lunch, so to mark the changing of the seasons I moved the table that sits in the shade all summer, down to a sunny spot close to the house. Even on cold days, over winter it is important for us to sit outside for coffee or lunch, whenever the sun is out.
|Lockdown loop within 1 km from home|
To celebrate the end of the course Adrian was running, we devised a bike ride for this afternoon. Using all the roads in the village and heading out and back along the entry roads, we managed thirteen kilometres, all within an hour and keeping to a one-kilometre radius of home. It was great to be out in the fresh air but cycling into the wind from the east wasn’t much fun.