I've noticed that the underlying theme of most of my posts is food - animal or vegetable, but always edible. I hope it's because this is harvest season, not because I am overly obsessed with eating. Or food. Or because I read and re-read cookbooks and our next meal is always on my mind. I'm wondering if I need to seek out a support group.
I might as well admit now that I went blackberry picking again, and made another 5 jars of jelly. I was doing some puppy training and it seemed efficient to multi-task as Spud needs less of my attention on walks. She used to look like this -
Just a fast moving blur. But she's beginning to look like this -
Although not usually that wet. But she's just worked out that she can fit her top half into the water bucket. I guess the tastiest water is at the bottom.
The weatherman has predicted a possible ground frost for tonight - our first - so I cleaned the greenhouse of the last of our tomato crop.
What a mess. Every year I promise to keep a tidy, disease-free crop of tomatoes and every year I let it run rampant. We had an excellent crop considering I failed to feed or water the plants regularly.
Once I stared pulling out plants I found examples of water staining, splitting, blossom end rot, blight, and a virus which was mutating the shape of the tomatoes. Oh, and a rat hole to round off the pest parade.
But no matter. There were plenty of tomatoes -
And the greenhouse is now clean for next year -
For the first time that I can remember, I enjoyed gardening again. They say never make your hobby your life's work and when I was head gardener, gardening was nothing but work. Growing my own tomatoes just for me, and tidying my own (albeit tiny) greenhouse felt really great. Different than gardening for a paycheck. It's revitalised my love of growing things.
Dakota agrees. She always keeps watch from somewhere where she can see if anyone is coming up the driveway, and it's comforting. She's excellent company as well as an effective 'early warning system'.
The greenhouse will get a final cleaning from the chickens. I left the door open and the chickens were already investigating, eating a few fallen tomatoes and hopefully any nasty bugs that may be in there. Chickens are both a blessing and a curse to the gardener. For all the good they do in the greenhouse now, they are also the reason I can't grow flowers in pots - once that was a Clematis, now it's their personal dustbath.
I also found a tub of potatoes that I forgot to dig up lurking behind the greenhouse , so I have another harvest of Pink Fir Apple potatoes to cook with. A good excuse for looking in the cookbooks again. I also have to find a recipe to use up my harvest of green tomatoes - anyone have any suggestions other than my 'fried' or 'chutney' options?