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.
These days, with many people staying close to home, we found that there are not many rescue dogs available for adoption. Some that we looked at did have very severe problems, they wouldn’t be suited to going home with a family that had children. Never having had a puppy ever before, we were resigned to the fact that we’d know when the right little personality came along. We knew it could be a few years.
This christmas we aimed to keep it simple, using what we already had, and making the most of nature and what was growing in our garden. Making gifts became important and catching up with people was extra special.
While both muesli and granola are a mix of grains, seeds, nuts and dried fruits, the main difference is that granola is sweetened with honey or maple syrup and is baked. Muesli is not baked.
They each are regarded as a healthy breakfast.
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.
A productive household is simply one that is working and productive for the good of the people that live there.
If our mortgages are the biggest expense of our lifetimes then why aren’t we producing more from our households?