Autumn is well and truly here. The cooler days are somewhat of a blessing, spurring us on to the jobs that would have been unpleasant in the heat of summer. As the weather worsens and our need to get on the fields lessens, we find ourselves shifting focus. Shifting our energies from the crops themselves to the land as a whole; cutting back hedges, felling trees, repairing fences and the myriad of other projects we've accumulated over the last months. While there is still plenty of weeding, seeding, planting and harvesting to fill our time, the change in rhythm is already noticeable.
To usher in the autumn season, and to celebrate 16 wonderful weeks with our volunteers, we had a small harvest meal laden with the vegetables they have helped us nurture. It is all too easy, this time of year, to give in to the seasons fatigue and slow down prematurely, and so little celebrations are a necessary little indulgence to help sustain the next month or so of work. The wonderful thing about growing in this climate is the ability to spend the late autumn and early winter enjoying the fruits of the summers' labor. Crops sown and planted in July will be harvested in December and January, and other than in the polytunnels, most crops (and weeds!) stay in a sort of dormancy from November allowing us the freedom for lie-ins and finishing early.