The season of tomatoes & peppers etc is drawing to a close, some are rotting with all this rain, but we have been beavering away making sauces, pickles & jams. It’s a mixed blessing when we get the first frost, both an end & a relief. We’ve been digging up some of the spuds, the Ilam Hardy didn’t do very well but the Agria & Old Blue have cropped OK. Have yet to check out the Kumara.

The pumpkins have done well, the Mini Dumplings are delicious, we’ll definitely grow them next year, also the Butternuts have been prolific (20 pumpkin off one plant!). The rain will probably finish off the Raspberries & figs, they both go mouldy. Still have apples on a couple of trees & plan a cider making session very soon. We have 3 patches of root vege, the first are ready to harvest, the second are growing really fast & the 3rd have just germinated, so hope that will keep us in carrots, beetroot & turnips, Kohlrabi, parsnips, Celeriac & Fennel.

It’s lovely to change diet as the seasons change, going into warm colours & rich stews & curries for the cold nights. We’ve cooked up a big batch of Moussaka which is in the freezer, along with tomatoe sauce for pasta etc & ratatouille, which is a great way to use up all those spare eggplants & zucchini. We’ve picked up sack loads of walnuts & dried them, now it’s sweet chestnuts & feijoas in abundance. Watch this space for recipes next time I write!!

Photos below L-R Seedhead of Japanese Anemone, Pineapple Sage, Root Vegetables, NZ Spinach, Broccoli under netting & Rosehip Syrup.

The Rosehip Syrup is a new recipe I’m trying. It’s very simple, just layer hips (with skins broken) with sugar & leave on a sunny windowsill for 2 months, not sure how this will go, could ferment? will have to wait & see. It will need careful straining when it’s done to remove all the little hairs around the seeds. They can irritate the stomach.

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