From the minute the cold autumn chills remind us that winter is on its way, gardeners are plotting and planning for the following year. The reality is a tad more complex. In winter we think of high summer, in spring our heads are in autumn, in summer I wonder what I will plant for colour and food in wintertime, and finally in autumn we are planting bulbs for spring. It’s a constant evolution for our gardens.
While its immensely tempting to rest every single bed under a thick layer of mulch, cardboard or black plastic and head north to the sunnier states for winter, I try to rest one bed and plant lovely greens to enjoy for winter suppers.
In many places throughout the world, autumn can feel like a clear ending. Visiting Europe during autumn in the past, it seems so clearly defined that when the season is over, there’s nothing to really look forward to for awhile. Local gardeners tell me ‘that’s it, I’ll be covering up the beds and hunkering down for the winter”. And why not! Leaves fall and crunch underfoot, evenings turn crispy cold, harvests wrap up and days get dramatically shorter. Not that much in a vegetable patch can surv
While I have grown potato onions and spring onions widely at times, the Negi onion is the one that remains outside my kitchen door and never dies off. Happily this year, they self-propagated (perhaps from the east winds swirling around the place), so now I have three pots outside the kitchen door.
One of the best motivational and inspiring leaders out there, Kerryn Vaughan, asked me to chat with her on her podcast, which is all about motivating people to get up off the bench and achieve great thingsShe's had so many amazing guests, and is an amazing person herself. Add her podcast to your listen list. I really enjoyed laughing and chatting with her and I hope you enjoy her podcast.
So here it is, jam drops for everyone, even those with coeliacs disease. The recipe is fairly simple, with the addition of almond butter and flax meal, the biscuit crumb is a little denser, crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle, and less powdery than usual. I used homemade mariposa plum jam for the middle. Needless to say, they were gone in a couple of hours!
This year planting a diverse range of flowers has never been so important for pollination. The choice of flowers in our gardens is just as important as our choice of vegetables. We noticed increased pollination yearly as more butterflies, dragonflies, bees and long beaked birds take to the garden. The presence of moths and mantis insects have increased also. The more pollinators that visit the front garden, the more vegetables have thrived around our edible block.
Not just for dinner, we spend much of our time picking them and eating them straight from the pod. This is the very reason that we decided that we needed more than just a trellis in the vegetable patch to grow them on.
The shortest day has arrived. It was memorable and beautiful and I can’t remember a Winter Solstice quite like it. We woke up to a pink, purple , blue and apricot-tinged sky. The sun was enlarged by the misty fog, becoming a gigantic round ball of light that beamed across our winter flowers, which were glistening like jewels under the magical glowing light.