Giving thanks

It’s deep into November. The sky’s default is grey and leaden. The rain has been fairly constant, falling on already saturated ground. The result has been country-wide flooding. Our local rivers, the Avon and the Leam, have spread impressively, alarmingly, over their banks. I went out to the allotments this past weekend to dig up some parsnips and fennel and collect sage and thyme for our Thanksgiving dinner. The rutted road’s puddles were mini-lakes, our grass so sodden that it squelched as I walked. The parsnips came out of the earth encased in a thick layer of soupy clay. So everything is wet, very wet, but not submerged, like on some other plots. Something to be thankful for.

I have no lovely photos to share of our turkey feast, though we did our best to celebrate with friends Jonathan (who read a poem for the occasion) and Phil, using vegetables from our allotment: potatoes, parsnips, fennel, swiss chard, garlic, and herbs (though the pumpkin was so bland and watery that it was left, unwanted, in the pantry – the pie was made with canned). We are thankful for what we were able to grow this season, and thankful, too, that we don’t have to rely exclusively on it! Most of all we’re thankful to have each other, our families, and our friends – both near and far.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sweet peas and cosmos, before the frosts.


Fruitful autumn

It’s cold and getting dark earlier now, so it’s nice to look back to early autumn and celebrate some late harvests.

Autumn raspberries

Our autumn raspberries kept cropping for months. We ate lots on cereal and out of hand and I made some (seedy but delicious) jam. The plants continued to produce over a long period of time, and even this week when I ventured out to the sodden allotment, I spied red berries newly dropped on the ground. Hurray for a fruit that the birds don’t seem to poach!

We were picking a small punnet or two regularly from August through October.

Our sweetcorn harvest wasn’t extensive, but it felt like a triumph to end up with any after such a dismal summer. (Still, our “homegrown” didn’t match the sublime cobs we enjoyed from the farm stands of central Massachusetts and Western New York.)

The last of the beans and zucchini, some carrots, fennel and the pie pumpkins. Soon after harvesting, the first frost of the season arrived.