Tuesday, 16 October 2012

October holidays

Hello hello!
I hope this finds you well & enjoying autumn? Last week Hubbie and the young folks were home on their holidays. At this stage of final year of school the holidays don't resemble anything like the school holidays of their younger years - between school work & part time jobs they don't have much more free time than in term time. So this time with one young person at work & the other studying in her room Hubbie & I decided to take the dog out to enjoy the autumn sunshine in some local woods...

The next dry days were spent working in the garden. Here in the UK it has been a terrible year for veg all round, so I don't feel too dispirited about our poor results. We also have the benefit of previous years of experience to know that it is not down to something we have done wrong, it is just the effects of the bad weather. We are lucky that for us homegrown veg is a plus not a necessity, from two packets of seed this was the ENTIRE carrot harvest....
Rather pathetic! But at least it was totally carrot fly free... We have had so little sunshine that the tomatoes are only just starting to ripen - these are the first ones from the greenhouse along with the last two courgettes...
Now the nights are getting colder we needed space in the greenhouse for some of the tender plants that don't like our winters. We figured there was little chance of getting much more out of the cucumber plants in there so took them out & so these are the last three cucumbers for this year...
Not very big, as you can see the teaspoon next to them :/ They were a new variety I was trialling this year but I don't think it has been a fair year for judging so I might end up growing this variety again next year. The one odd thing we did notice with them was that they were prickly! Where you can see each little bump there was a short white sharp prickle like a cactus. They came off easily with a scrub in the sink but if one stuck you before that you sure knew about it!
I also decided it was time to call it quits on the beetroot. They are not getting any bigger now so I lifted them, boiled the ones that were worth keeping, & sliced them ready for the pickle jar. The rich beetrooty smell invaded the kitchen whilst I worked & reinforced the autumnal feel to the day.
Again the harvest was meagre this year, but we will have a few homegrown pickled beetroot to enjoy at Christmas...
On a brighter side the autumn fruiting raspberries have got off to a great start :) We had these ones with cinnamon waffles - yum yum!
Another bright morning saw us shirking more garden chores & heading for a different patch of woodland in search of autumn colors...


 Doggie was happy to come adventuring with us, we haven't been to these particular woods in well over a year so there were lots of new smells for her!
The richest colors were to be found at the far side of the woods where the farmland starts again...
 Then it was back into the woods on the path back to the car...

Another plus with these woods is their proximity to a little quilting shop, so we had to stop by there after our walk :) I bought three small fabric bundles, one of which I plan to use for making a Christmas present next week.
The wetter days were also productive, but I will save that for the next post...
I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful month whatever the weather brings!

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