The Last of the Greenhouse

Summer shudders to a close and the winds, and rain, clamber onto our hillside once more. It's been an odd summer, Andrew fell, I took over the garden on my own and in the end, Andrew decided to go part-time in his job to concentrate on his health. We strive to get a better life/work balance but with bills to pay this can often be hard, and scary for even us. This change in direction meant a distinct gear shift in the other garden Andrew works in, he decided to hand over the direction of it to his students, and stepped back to teach and consult on ideas with them. He set up two distinct partners for them, and now teaches the theory on the course and does the practical in his own garden; when he is well enough again. He can't even watch Gardeners' World, as he wants to get his hands back into the soil but can't at the moment. On a positive note, we've cracked on with the kitchen, it's so close to being finished that we have even started to fill the larder with some of the harvest from the garden, we're pickling cucumbers and runner beans even as we type this. The pans are on, the jars are in, sterilized and ready for their wonderful summer content.

The last crops of the greenhouse but there are plan afoot.

Andrew pottered in the garden today as I carried on painting the book nook, more on that soon, he came down with what he calls, 'the last of the greenhouse', the last summer breath, it fills a small wooden trug. A couple of cucumbers, some tomatoes and a green chilli. There are still chillies left but with a cool summer the harvest has been rather minimal, and we will turn to the market soon to buy some for our chilli jam. We may pickle these cucumbers with the heat of the chilli. Our cold cuts this winter need a bit of a kick and the chilli jam is wonderful drizzled over chicken or sweetcorn -- sadly though the season of the corn is dwindling away - summer is over but Andrew tells me next year he will sow winter crops in the greenhouse; something he couldn't do this year. At night, in bed, we whisper to each other so as not to wake the loudly snoring Little D who wouldn't wake up if a cow lowed in the field outside his window but will jump to attention at either of our voices, bolt upright he will immediately ask for breakfast. We lie there and whisper about pak choi, mustards and rocket to go into the borders next year, we have missed the boat this year but we can plan for the next one.

Pickling time


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