It’s nearly the Autumnal equinox. We’re still harvesting lots – courgettes aplenty, along with French beans, runner beans, broccoli (the sprouts after we cut the main head), lettuce, carrots, beetroot, onions, potatoes, more courgettes. And fruit-wise we’re giving away apples at this point, as the tree that’s abundantly ripe at the moment bears apples that are not storers.
I’ve been surprised by two people in relation to our apples. The first was by a neighbour, who, when I asked if she liked apples (while holding a shopping bag full in my hands), replied ‘No, not really.’ My face must have borne how taken-aback I was, as she quickly replied that her parents did and she’d love to take some…now, in hindsight I asked the wrong question, and the question itself must have appeared very strange, coming, as it did, out of the blue as she parked up after work. Happily, she took a few and I learned that I should work on my sales technique, even for stuff I am giving away!
My second surprise was a little girl, one of Alice’s friends. We were all in the park on Saturday, adventuring. Usually I see this little girl with sweets – and I mean, every day, more than once. But I had a bag of apples, and I offered them, and she took one, and ate it, and asked for another…and later again asked for a third. All were eaten, so I gave her the two leftovers also and promised her some more. In fairness to her, she always tries any of the vegetables or fruit I offer. There are often things like peas or tomatoes in the front garden, just for fun, and she always wants to try, and usually enjoys them. I have a feeling she would be a real foodie if she was given the chance.
And so, as September passes and the daylight diminishes, I feel drawn to tidying up our outside space. Unfortunately for me time is not working with me. I am working quite a bit in various schools, or spending mornings teaching the children. Other times I am needed at home or elsewhere, not including the allotments, despite our best-laid plans. I have other work commitments also. Much of me would love to pass the next week outdoors, just allotmenting, but it doesn’t look likely. I will have to continue to juggle.
After that, well, annual blackberry season madness will take hold of me and I can’t guarantee I’ll do anything except pick free food and make nice stuff out of it. After the success of my first attempt to make wine in the early summer with elderflowers, I imagine I will repeat the process with elderberries, possibly including blackberries. Otherwise we’ll be living on blackberry and apple crumble. So much for the ‘healthy eating’ side of growing your own!