Gathering

Last Friday on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray interviewed Shetland poet Jen Hadfield about gathering at the Autumn equinox. “I really feel that urge to gather in the autumn time” revealed the poet, who at this time of year line fishes for mackerel and picks porcini mushrooms from a secret hill.

September veg patch
September veg patch

I cannot match mackerel and mushrooms, but I took advantage of the weekend’s September sun to pick a marrow produced by a courgette plant which I had given up on, and two squash – one large and green, one small and yellow, produced by my rambling pumpkin plant, as well as the final crop of runner beans. I am planning a ‘garden stew’ for dinner, cooking up my little harvest with olive oil, tinned tomatoes, chilli and herbs.

Harvest
Our first harvest

For lunch, I am enjoying our own cucumbers – their spiny skin removed and salt added to bring out the flavour of the green flesh beneath.

Cucumbers
Homegrown cucumbers

Meanwhile, luscious pears are still dangling from our tall pear tree, holding the promise of pear crumble, which I much prefer to the apple variety.

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Low hanging fruit

Speaking of apples, I still have two baskets of our own, which I have yet to decide what to do with. I think an apple cake or two, then take the rest to be pressed for cider at our local Octoberfest. It’s a small harvest, but it’s the first from our new garden, and that’s good enough for me!

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Apple bough

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