What do we expect from Autumn? Leaves, nuts, fruit, fungi, colours and storms!
We’ve already experienced Storm Ophelia (or ex-hurricane Ophelia) which was one of the strongest storms to hit Ireland and caused a lot of damage in the south and south east of Ireland. Some homes are still waiting for their electricity to be restored. It is hard for us to imagine a week without electricity, though our parents and grandparents would have been well used to it (our own area being electrified in 1951). Today, Storm Brian, is passing through, he is not expected to cause as much damage as Ophelia.
Many large trees were felled by Ophelia. This year, we are told is a good seed year for oaks and beech. So it seems appropriate to try and set some seeds to replace some of those that have been lost. We’ve collected some beech nuts from some impressive local beech trees. We’ve also collected some sweet chestnut seeds but only found a few acorns so far.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if one day one of our collected seeds could look like this (we will of course be long gone!).
The autumn winds and the rain are here, the leaves are coming down fast and furious. We are just left with a few remnant, fading flowers and seed heads, storing the future.
Joining in this week’s one a week challenge – shadow
We woke this morning to blue skies, but also white encrusted grass. The sun soon had things gently steaming and the frost quickly disappeared. It was just the confirmation of what we already knew – autumn is here. The frost wasn’t sharp enough to do away with the beans – so we may get another couple of meals. But the squash and pumpkins, which didn’t have a good year anyway, are gone for another year. It is the cycle of seasons, but this one is always one I am reluctant to let go.
We are definitely having an early autumn this year. Leaves are already beginning to turn and blackberries are ripening. While the summer seems warmer than last year, these last few weeks have been showery with very few dry or really warm days. In the garden, we’re enjoying the first plums and apples but like last year the pears have a very bad case of scab and are splitting and seem inedible. Not sure if this has been exasperated by the damp and often humid weather.
The weather has definitely brought on the potato blight, which we get each year. But this year the potatoes did go in on time and those we have harvested are a good size. Cabbages too are appreciating the plentiful rain and where not ravaged by slugs, snails and caterpillars are getting big.
Runner beans have done much better than last year too. Not sure if it is because I got them in early and they had a couple of warm, dry weeks in May to get well established.
Interestingly the courgettes outside are doing better than the one in the polytunnel or greenhouse. The older plants have established much better.
Carrots again failed to germinated well and / or were eaten by slugs! The same with beetroot, which last year I grew in modules before planting out. I must remember this for next year! Squash, are small and will probably not come to much. I feel that each year you need to grow a variety of vegetables and then hopefully something will do well!
So is growing your own vegetables and fruit a sign of “thrift” – defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully”?