I just don't "get it" when people say "I love the autumn" - well up to now anyway. This year I am revelling in the wild harvest that Autumn is offering us, and I'm developing a new affection for this season!
I've been growing vegetables in a very old manure heap for a couple of years now, pretty successfully.
My Facebook page has been enhanced with various shots of me hiding behind giant vegetables.
There was the giant squash (dressed up like one of the kids from Southpark):
The giant broccoli :
The giant sunflower (I'm not tall enough to hide behind it) :
And now, Autumn 2011 brings us the giant mushroom :
These started appearing about a month ago, buried in the nettles at the back of the veggies. They're called Shaggy Parasol Mushrooms (a friend of Anne's identified them for me) and they are very edible and very delicious.
I was a bit sad when the original four died back, but lo and behold, they have gone forth, increased and multiplied! They're filling up a 15 foot stretch of the boundary at the rear of the veggies now.
|The little white spot is a silvermint to give perspective!|
|I stuffed the one on the right and "souped" the other two|
By the time I'd finished the carrots and the stuffed mushroom, I was a stuffed Martine with no room for potatoes.
There's also the odd field mushroom popping up in the paddock :
These are much more modest, and less shamelessly "mushroomy" in flavour. If I find a few of these while I'm skipping out the paddock, I bring 'em in and fry them up for brekkie. Yum.
Did I say I like mushrooms?
I mentioned spotting damsons before I went on holiday. Sadly, I never got around to picking them until today, and I reckon I was about two weeks too late. By dint of stretching enormously past my 5'3" limit, and using a forked stick to pull down branches so I could reach them, I collected about 2lbs of fruit, but a fair few of them were past their prime.
I went through the jam-making steps, noting that it smelled very alcoholic at the stewing stage, before I added the sugar.
Winemaking might have been a better idea, but I managed to make about 3lbs of fairly tart jam anyway. I bet Denis likes it!
There are still plenty of blackberries - I've been scoffing them as I walk the dogs most days. The dogs love them too, although Cookie had to be shown what they were. Now herself & Cinny pick the low ones while I pick the higher ones. Poor ol' Molly can't see them anymore, so I always pick a few just for her.