Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Guldize part 2

Harvest Home

The garden has had the hedges trimmed, the lawn mown again now that we're properly in autumn and it's time to review and give thanks to the Landalfar for the Harvest, which is what Guldize is all about. After a cold, slow spring things turned out all right really and here's my review of the year. Was it all worthwhile? In financial, physical and spiritual terms...

  • Sweet Peas - have been disappointing this year, the cold weather early then the dry warm weather seems to have just held them back
  • Beefsteak Tomatoes - were slow to ripen and have finally all ripened now in mid-Oct. They've been a revelation in making tomato sauce. They cook down perfectly including the thin skin into a wonderful pasta sauce. I've had at least 5 pound of Tomatoes
  • Potatoes Charlotte - first earlies have been good a nice crop of new potatoes
  • Larkspur - the seeds came up, were a bit slow growing on and then we went on holiday and the Hedgehogs uprooted most of them. A plant survived, grew well and was even attempting a flower when a slug ate the whole thing in a night!
  • Chard - have grown well and provided quite a few meals mmmm
  • Leeks - are growing well and hopefully will provide a decent crop in a couple of months
  • Lettuce - were good they all grew well, despite our holiday in July, providing a month of filling in our lunchtime sarnies
  • Cherry Tomato - these grew late and have ripened late like the Beefsteaks. In flavour a bit disappointing. My neighbour gave me a taste of her Tomaberries which I think I will grow next year
  • Courgette - have, as ever, been a great crop when we started getting fed up of them I let them grow into Marrows. Stuffed Marrow, in various forms, has been another cooking revelation
  • French or Climbing Bean Cobra - a disappointing crop but I think going on holiday for the first 2 weeks in July meant I had to plant them out earlier than I'd liked as spring was so late. They did taste nice though
  • Runner Bean White Lady - also a disappointing crop, ditto to the Climbing Beans, but they are a good Runner Bean for flavour and mostly stringless
  • Sunflower - the ones planted out grew slower but produced more flowerheads. The ones in pots were a bit disappointing but that was location based
  • California Poppy - no seeds germinated
  • Nasturtium - have grown well in the front garden but they are better in the hanging baskets, so next year
  • Marigold - did their job well, plenty of colour in the veg patch and slug food saving the other plants
  • Cerinthe - self seeded in the gravel, but I must get more seed this winter
  • Apple of Peru or Shoo-Fly plant - still flowering and looking great. The speed of growth when it starts is quite astonishing. Gave plenty of seedlings away and more than enough for the garden
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli - after weeks of diligently getting the Cabbage White Butterfly eggs of the plants I went away for a few days and came back to fat caterpillars. The plants are a good size though and should recover (I hope) to provide a decent crop next April
  • Pumpkin Jack of All Trades - 4 good sized pumpkins are almost a nice ripe Orange colour. Perfect timing I hope for Samhuin
We've had a good summer and a great late summer fortunately which has meant that the Tomatoes and Pumpkins have ripened.So financially I think the crops have paid for themselves as well as the flowers seeds, so a big tick there with the Squashes and Beefsteak tomatoes being the stars. Physically I think this is the max I can cope with in time terms with all the the other things to do with the family. Spiritually it's good year on year to see the changes and influences the weather and natural world have, it deepens my knowledge and connection to this land. The summer has shown that I am just a caretaker for the land and my success should be measured in nature.

The garden's natural world has had the Hedgehogs, bless 'em, who do move things around. They are very cute and seeing them regularly over midsummer has been a highlight of the year. Then there have been the birds nesting - Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds are in the garden now the cats are too old to hunt. The Wren fledglings were a delight and as ever the Slow Worms and Frogs hopefully keep the slugs down. The Evening Primrose and Honeysuckle have kept the Moths well fed. Next I will be getting the garden ready for winter, tidying up all the herbs, clearing the greenhouse out and putting the pots inside to over-winter. Then I will be ready for Samhuin and the dark half of the year.

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