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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Say goodbye to the tomatoes

And to be honest I am glad to see the back of them. Regular ramblings readers will know I stopped preserving them a while ago, and we have been using what we (and the chickens) need from the plants. They don't have too much flavour now and are rather acidic for my taste. It's awful to see them dropping off the vines but I am heartened to notice the (Bulgarian) people at the back of us had the same problem. Far too many! Dave is, at this very moment, pulling them all up. So all that is left to get rid of are the peppers, aubergines and okra. Dave is a hard work junkie, and although a lot of the weeds could have been ploughed in he has hand weeded everywhere. It is getting near to finished, the hens have a bit n more fresh space and we need to decide where we are going to plant the garlic and onion sets next month.

Wonder if Jordan wants all his stakes back (that's him on the new chook shed roof above)
Dave couldn't bring himself to throw out sound tomatoes, so these will go in the cellar to ripen slowly.
He had a touch of nostalgia when he was pulling up weeds. He originated from Kent and in his youth was surrounded by hops at this time of year. When he came across this one he missed earlier in the year he couldn't resist bringing it in and it is now adorning the corridor upstairs.

 Stained his hands though

Went shopping yesterday, something I am liking less and less. We saw a dead jackal on the side of the road, and I am still having difficulty getting my head around seeing animals I usually watch on Africam or other wildlife programmes from Africa! There is a definite change to the scenery now. Although there is not a lot of autumn colour, the leaves are dropping and a lot of trees are suddenly bare. There are bright berries and hips everywhere, as well as all the different seed pods hanging from the trees. But some of the fields have been re-seeded, possibly winter wheat, and are turning green again. The few showers we have had recently will help. But we still have very blue skies.

This is coming into our village, very pretty.
But some cloud before the sun has risen can be very pretty.
The swallows are gathering in force now. I thought they had moved off a while ago but it seems they were just going further afield for insects, it has been so dry here but by the stream there will be more food for them.
I am continuing to preserve our surplus eggs in cakes for the freezer. Dave worries about eating cakes, but rather that than chocolate bars and greasy, salty snacks. I tend to cut down the sugar on most recipes, and use recipes which have yoghurt in them rather than lots of fat. Something must be right as we have both lost weight. Lemons are cheap at the moment, so I have made lemon curd too. They have a strange perfume, these lemons, and I couldn't put my finger on what it reminded me of. But it is like one of the citrus fruits we get around Christmas, don't quite know what. Nice though.

The seeds I sowed last week are all through, helped by a little rain and warm ground. The roses are still blooming well, and I have been able to freeze herbs for winter stews and soups. Had a very nice soup yesterday, caulies are in season and cheap, so made a healthy, light soup (because I can't get cream!) and some cheese and walnut rolls to go with. Yum.

The dogs are enjoying having more space in the garden as well as cooler weather. They still come in during the warmest part of the day, but enjoy a bit of sun bathing before relaxing on the sofa! We have dug out a lightweight duvet as the nights are cool by 2am and sheets not enough. I could shut the window but I like the night sounds.
So, still enjoying everything, but not sure if there will be anything to waffle about much longer, we'll see. We still have the excitement of the builder at the end of the month and then the fires can go in.

Interesting moth. Anyone know what it is?


  1. The memories of the hops were that my father worked on a farm when i was a kid. Mum used to be out picking hops and dad used to work nights in the oast house drying the hops.

  2. My Aunts used to work in the hop fields when they were younger as we all came from Kent originally.

  3. I'm looking forward to the winter blogs. I think this will give the biggest insight to what life will really be like there.

    1. In a curious way I am looking forward to winter too, though the rest of this month looks like being hot, and most of October hovering around 20. However, if Dave gets confined to the house there will be tension!!!! Thank goodness winter doesn't last 6 months (and the rest) as in UK.