Chilly nights and frosty mornings are still adorning my part of the world.

Horticulture-wise it’s hard to get much done, but we do little jobs here and there, where the soil isn’t too hard, or too water logged to work. And there are some benefits to these clear and cold days…

like the hundreds and thousands of tiny white jewels dressing the seedheads…

…and the warming sun glares beaming through my work room.

By the way, the outcome of my birthday, which was spent with near and dear, was lovely and sweet (in many a sense) and included several exciting little explorations to the near countryside as well as a quicky to the centre of London. And thank-yous to my sweet fella for all his efforts to make it such a special day!

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Autumn has definitely struck here now and I am taking a moment to ponder back at the growing season that has gone. We have had an utterly strange summer here in my parts this year…to say the least, with almost no summer heat to speak of and heavy downpours alternated by really quite droughty conditions some plants have come through fine and others have stood sulkily in a corner all summer, either doing not much at all, or worse, succumbing to miscellaneous diseases. Tomato blight struck early, but better has it been for my courgettes (Am. zucchinis) and brassicas which have done well without much care at all. The latter of which I have still a lot to look forward to over the coming months; purple kohl rabi, swedes, cavolo nero, red curly kale, turnips and purple sprouting broccoli, amongst others, are all competing for there space in our forest garden at the moment.

Here’s one of our brussels sprout plants growing away next to potatoes earlier this year (although you can‘t really seen the actual sprouts because all of the greenery). We have been harvesting brussels sprouts for a couple of months already so it is good that I actually find them delicious no matter what any runny nosed school kid would call their ~hate food~. If you ask me, the secret to these is DON’T over cook; it’s that easy. During the winter one of my favourite quicky-meals involves stir frying these in olive oil with lots of garlic and something nutty that fortifies the nuttiness of the sprouts themselves, like sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds. It’s ready in minutes and so delicious. I’ll make sure to post a recipe later on for the few of you out there that actually understand this fineness that is the sprout flavour!

Another thing that has gone well is the Kiwano, of which we have had plenty this year. They normally seem to be compared in flavour to a melon but my palate tells me it’s a cucumber, only with a much nicer shape when sliced of course..a bit like a star. Beautiful!