You've probably heard me talk about my seasonal clock and how it seems to run a step ahead of the conventional annual cycle and, although I gladly welcome any new season, I appear to have this eternal affinity for autumn and winter. Astronomically the equinoxes and solstices tend to mark the start of a new season. Meteorologically, autumn starts on the 1st of September. I'm unsure which one I prefer to go by because both seem profound in their own right, but, personally, I think the first sign of autumn on the way is fruit picking. Since this week marked the first major harvest of fruit for us, I thought I'd share the joy of it with you and give you an update on the vegetables and happenings on the farm.
We're very lucky to have an abundance of fruit trees where we live. We're able to stock up on apples, pears, plums, quinces and greengages, and this summer the trees a positively booming with fruit.
We're not the only ones after the fruit, so we've been going out as it starts to get dark so we don't get ambushed by ravenous wasps. They're very eager, especially this year since the recent water shortage we've had left them gasping for water and sweet, sticky fruit juice.
As we're trying to make a conscious effort when it comes to food waste and healthy eating, we're going to be taking great advantage of the produce this year. I'm planning on crumbles galore (as per usual) with a new addition of homemade apple butter. I tried it while out eating pancakes with my sister last year and would implore anyone to give it a try, so I'm looking forward to making my own.
Out in the garden I've finally got some tomatoes on the way, as I was a little bit late planting everything out this year. They're plumping nicely but are still bright green jewels while I wait for them to ripen. I decided to try "Alicante" and I can't wait to cook them in sauces (I'm not one for eating them out of salad bowls, sadly). I tried a Martha Stewart one pot pasta recipe last night with some of the tomatoes my boyfriend's mum has grown. She's been considerably more hands-on with hers. I enjoyed Martha's recipe (it's pinned on my Pinterest profile if you want to try it), but I put a little too much chilli in it for Denis's taste.
Speaking of which, I've also been furiously pinching out my cayenne chilli plants, which
I'm most excited for the sweetcorn though, whose tassels are sprouting in long, luscious blonde curls. These are my second attempt, which I managed to plant and nurture just in time after my first batch died in the extreme heat of May. I won't pretend I'm much of an attentive grower, but my mission to successfully grow sweetcorn promptly gave me a good kick and I watered them solidly while we went for weeks without rain, occasionally giving them a satisfied squidge with my fingers to their thickening stalks as a sign of my affection for them.
My other mission was to grow garlic, which started off well but a week away then ensued in them some kind of shock. In a desperate attempt to improve their welfare, I planted them in the ground hastily but it was too late. Lesson learned, I'm going to give them another shot but will plant them this year in mid-autumn. I figure that planting them in late spring was a bad idea. For now
On the farm the harvest flew by with not a moment to spare. In my free time while I was on summer break for the last few years I was able to hop on the tractor for a while and not get off it for hours. With my copywriting business taking up most of my time, I only managed one proper afternoon of tractor riding this year, but there's plenty more to be done out there. Ploughing has started, an excellent advancement compared to last year when the harvest was delayed extensively and cultivating didn't end until the very beginning of November.
I hope you enjoyed this post. It's definitely a lot more casual than most of my posts have been as of late. I've been doing lots of thinking about blog content for the next few months. There's a potential domestic trip in the pipeline and business development blog posts will still be plentiful, but I will always have a soft spot for lifestyle and journalistic writing, so I'm gradually working that back into the schedule.
I also just started writing over on Medium. You might have noticed the new link to it on top of the pages of my website. A lovely friend on Instagram introduced me to it and I quickly discovered why it's so well loved in the online writing/reading community. There's a wealth of material on there written with the reader in mind, not advertising or big business, so check it out for some enlightenment. I'll be posting exclusive content over there and already have a post written about slow living and it's compatibility with entrepreneurialism, which is something many of you might be interested in reading. If you'd like to have a read, please check it out.
If there's anything you would