Sunday, August 31, 2014
We once believed when the last of summer's flowers died back that gardening season was over. We once ate what was in season during summer and returned to the supermarket in winter. Preserving was something we didn't do, no one we knew preserved fruit, no one we knew canned vegetables or dried herbs. We, like many of you reading this, did our bit of gardening through the garden centre. We bought bedding plants, perennials and even congested pots of sweetpeas. Then something changed. We can't put a finger on when it changed but we suspect it was around the time Andrew damaged his spine. We couldn't just jump in the car anymore, Andrew couldn't work full time and spent most of his life in our then three storey weaver's cottage called Drovers. Disabled and confined, Andrew started to fill our windowsills with seed trays to stop himself from going mad. It started with runner beans and soon our deep stone windowsills were crammed with every seed that tickled his fancy. Yet still when it came late autumn we thought it was all over and then we discovered the beauty of preserving food. Canning, smoking and drying became part of our summer days and brought joy to our winter nights as we consumed a little bit of summer in a jar. If you have a windowsill or cold frame, you can grow throughout the winter months. Here's a few things we are sowing at the moment.
Friday, August 29, 2014
There are some traditions that run deep. There is a drumbeat in our veins that we cannot account for in the modern world. It is something that does not often sit easy with us, it is often a source of great humour to some and derided by others as outdated. Yet, that drum keeps beating in our veins, aided by beer, the end of summer and the ritual of laying the rushes.