I can feel it in the air, smell it on the breeze, and see it in the hedgerows. It’s a time to harvest and preserve the things I’ve grown, or collected from the wild spaces.
Over the last weekend I began to dry my small but beautiful onion crop, turned beetroot, and plums into jam and chutney, and cooked lovingly shared meals with beans, tomatoes, potatoes, chard and blackberries.
I’ve had a hard year growing. I moved to a new allotment plot and the earth was very tired from years of intense growing. In all my efforts to start things growing and prevent giant slugs from eating plants before they even got started I forgot to add organic fertilisers, mulch or manure! Thankfully I received precious gifts from fellow growers who had abundant harvests. Over the last few weeks I was gifted beetroot, courgettes, cabbages and spring onions.
But this is not the end. As the season turns I’ve begun feeding the soil in preparation for next year’s crops by sowing green manure. I’ve also planted shallots, and spring cabbages. I still have hope for the winter scarlet kale, and that a few squashes mature.