Friday, 14 August 2009

Nature's bounty

One of the things that I love about August is the productiveness of the kitchen garden. In a temperate climate such as ours, with a quite a short growing season, it seems ages to wait for all those glorious Mediterranean vegetables. I eagerly anticipate tomatoes in June, and become impatient in July, but with an unheated greenhouse and polytunnel, and the early cold snap just at sowing time, it is unrealistic to expect a copious crop until quite late in the summer.

But late summer has arrived, and look at today’s harvest: Discovery apples, to be eaten quickly, for they don’t keep or store, courgettes, patty pans, runner beans, French beans, and tomatoes in all shapes and sizes. We bought all sorts of interestingly-named varieties such as Amish Paste, Latah and Rose de Berne from the Real Seed Company this year, and the mixture of colours and shapes adds to the sense of profusion when we pick them.

There is basil with large leaves:

and small:

and still we have lettuces, red:

and green.

I love this time when the nights begin to draw in noticeably and make one think of autumn, yet the days are still full of sunshine, we are overcome with nature’s bounty in the form of frantically ripening crops, there are flowers yet in the garden, and I can hear the distant hum of the combine harvesters from morning until late at night, as they march majestically across the fields of golden corn. Now I am thankful that there is no rain – it is important to get the harvest in, and the Ploughboy is working fifteen hour days to that end.

This year some of my sunflowers have grown so tall that I can’t even see if they have blooms – I had to reach up to photograph this one – and it's one of the shorter ones.

Elderberries and brambles are ripening in the hedgerows, we can start to pick the Bramley apples, and it is the season for thinking about gathering and storing for the long winter.

One morning soon we will wake up and feel a certain chill in the air in spite of the sunshine, and see a heavy dew; someone will say that it is a real hop-picking morning, and then I will know that autumn is on its way, but for now I will enjoy the sunshine and the tomatoes, sitting outside every evening, drinking pink Discovery apple juice, and pretending that it can go on forever.


Lulu said...

lovely tomatos, love the lettuces also..

Pipany said...

hello Pomona. So behind on blogs, but I am catching up a bit just now. Yours have been like a lovely breath of fresh air. Love this one about the harvest as it is my most favourite thing to do - preparing for autumn and setting the stores to rights. Also you have my favourite poem by Yeats. Bliss x

Menopausal musing said...

We are having wonderful tomatoes at the moment too. Some have blemishes but somehow that makes them all the more "real" unlike shop bought ones. Plums are ripe for picking today, I love the things, such a short season though. That first morning when I go out to the car and the windscreen is wet on the inside heralds autumn, and then I know I can soon start to light the burner and smell woodsmoke again....... sigh........... x

meplusmolly said...

Great post! love all the gorgeous home grown produce, can't wait to have my own proper garden one day...! ;0 x

Michela said...

Hi Pomona! What a fantastic harvest! At the moment im my kitchen garden there are lots of tomatoes, different variety of peppers, peaches and figs..and we give fruits and vegetables to everybody comes to visit us!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

marigold jam said...

Now you know why you continue to plough your own furrow and march to your own drum! It all looks absolutely delicious and I love that it is not uniform in shape and size like the supermarket stuff. When we lived in France we used to have peaches in their hundreds and I tried peach and lavender jam. Certainly was different!



Mrs B said...

oh thats just how I am feeling...tho sadly it is not my own harvest. I was looking at corduroy longingly today thinking of the 'autumn' dress I am going to make myself! lovely post x

Tabiboo said...

What a fantastic bounty and I know exactly how you feel about Autumn approaching. I love it dearly and is my favourite of all seasons, but somtimes I do feel I wish it on too quickly.

Have a lovely rest of the weekend,

Nina x

Sal said...

That's a wonderful store of delights!
There's nothing like a kitchen garden,is there?
The colours are fabulous and the taste even better!

Love Honor Disobey said...

What a beautiful, amazing and abundant harvest you have...I'm really impressed with those tomatoes! Absolutely stunning pics!

Cottage Garden said...

A lovely post on your bountiful harvest! We too had masses of basil and rocket and our tomatoes are just coming on now. I enjoy each season but especially summer to autumn. The weather has been fairly dismal here recently but it was warm and sunny today - to be enjoyed while it lasts!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Country Bliss said...

You have done well, it all looks delicious. I've had to pull up 24, outside, tomato plants this week as they starting rotting, I think it was all the rain that we had.
Yvonne x

Floss said...

How wonderful - the harvest is such a special time of the year. We have some stunning 'black' tomatoes this year (more dark brown with red and green) which are the sweetest, richest tomatoes I have ever eaten. We tend to slice them in half and grill them on the BBQ, and they turn into a kind of ready-made tomato sauce as they soften!

Enjoy the weather and the fruits of your labours, Pomona!


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