…could be viewed as a list of chores but when the weather is as glorious as it is at the moment then being outside and working on the holding is anything but.
First up – a nice compact job of cutting down the autumn raspberry canes. We only grow primocane varieties now, (Polka, Autumn Bliss and Joan J), as I think these are the best-flavoured berries, plus All Gold for the yellow fruit. In the past, I have left this pruning job until the tail end of winter, so I’ll see how things fare with this change of tack. I did have a go at double cropping but found that too onerous to keep on top of, though looking at the stands I could have beena bit more rigorous with cutting out the weaker canes.
As I cut, the lovely OH shredded and carted the whole lot off to the compost bays.
This year’s canes of the hybrids, tayberry and loganberry, will bear fruit next summer so have been left. Job done and cup of tea time! Next up – pruning the soft fruit and clearing suckers from the pears and medlars.
Whilst we try to keep on top of pruning and clearing in our productive areas elsewhere we are very untidy, as the wildlife wouldn’t thank us.
My favourite tree at the moment is an unknown apple variety in the ‘old orchard’, still laden with yellow gold fruit. Next year I may try to find out what variety this is.
Going into winter we still have good things for eating, plenty in the stores plus red and savoy cabbage, kales, chard, celeriac and parsnip in the kitchen garden.
Reading this week: The Making of the British Landscape by Nicholas Crane.
The wonderful thing about living in a temperate zone is that you experience the transitions between seasons. The truly hot summer weeks have been few this year – a fleeting 10 days in June, possibly a number of weeks in August, fingers crossed. In the growing patch some of my favourite vegetables have been harvested for storing or are bulking up, ready to be lifted for glorious feasts later this year…..
The lovely OH did a roaring trade selling our excess garlic at a local agricultural show whilst supporting our smallholder association. The onions have been lifted and are drying before stringing….
Cabbages and kales are often underrated, but I love red cabbage with bacon served alongside loin of venison with a red wine sauce , (Rosemary Shrager does a cracking recipe).
This year I have sown, for the first time, celeriac, (makes a delicious soup), and quinoa…
and of course, the pumpkins and squashes are starting to swell…
so much good food to look forward to!