Here Too Soon
0 comment Thursday, September 4, 2014 |
The change of seasons tends to come in full colours, harvesting fruits of many kinds, and making loads of sirips and getting my fall-and-winter-cold medicine stocks up. I usually start this process late September.
But as the month turned into August, the weather started to turn. I noted the leaves dying on the chestnut tree outside and thought at first it was suffering from a fungus; the same with my cherry tree. But yesterday, I noted with shock that the sumac was starting to turn in the very interior of its fronds. I've also noted frost damage to some of my squash outside.
In August.
This is just so wrong on so many levels. The spring took longer to arrive, the winters have been colder to the point we've been snowed/iced in the past two years. I'm more glad of the garden now than ever, and of my plans to stockpile and the freezer I'll be purchasing next month to keep us in food for a while if things go pearshaped. I'm trying to provide for us by what nature gives us - things which people probably don't even realise is food; I'm also grateful for my sumac - I'll be harvesting the berries for sirips, as well as rosehips and blackberries, made into sirips or frozen to mix with yoghurts or baked items. There's apples which will be harvested and dried, and I'll probably freeze some for pies and cakes later on. I'll be bringing in some stores of honey for cooking and to make into hot drinks during the flu season, and I've got a few batches of cider I want to do for the winter months. The ginger I've grown is also being dried for using during the winter months, and the mallow root, while too young to harvest this year, is at least growing well enough that it will be ready for next year. This does remind me, however I really need to make a herbs order from my favourite organic herb company; I can get herbs in bulk and restock my apothecary.
I'm having to preserve in other ways than canning, as sprog just isn't remotely interested in preserves. A shame as crumbles really lend themselves well to canned fruit. But then, he doesn't eat those either. I've got an entire shelf in my freezer dedicated to frozen berries, and I'm hoping that will see us through. I've been using the oven to dry the peppers, and they're nearly ready now.
I thought I had more time...but then I suppose we always feel that way. There's never enough time to preserve and get ready for the winter. I guess it's one of those things where it's important to watch not the calendar, but what the seasons are doing. The fall is coming upon us much sooner than it should, I can feel it. And I had best be prepared.
So I've got some work cut out for me in the next month or so. I've got sirip and beer/cider bottling to do, freezing and drying fruit and veg to do, understairs area to clear out to bung in a large stock of winter stores from the local PYO (I've got corn, squash, pumpkins, broad beans and probably some beetroot I want to pick this year). The freezer will need filling and I want to have plenty of veg offerings onhand. I want to see whether I can have enough in store that if we're unable to get to the markets again for several weeks at a time, we won't be too hard up regardless.
We'll see how I manage to do!