Autumn harvest in the Kitchen Garden
Every year, it seems that summer passes more and more quickly. After the hive of activity in June and July the garden is finally mellowing in to Autumn. As the nights grow cooler, the gardeners finally adjust their pace and the weeds (thankfully) begin to slow their growth. The gardeners are always astounded by the abundance of produce at this time of year and autumn is a rewarding season indeed.
As September hits, the potato rows are almost all harvested and we start to keep a keen eye on the jungle-like squash and pumpkin beds. As the vines begin to slump, they reveal jewel-like colours and all the excitement of Halloween to come, where the pumpkins we grow will be used to decorate the house.
At the start of autumn there are many of the treats of late summer such as succulent figs and juicy raspberries, cucumbers continue under cover and tropical treats like Cape Gooseberries give up their fruits. It’s a busy but bounteous harvesting time with onions and garlic drying in our polytunnels, marrows tucked away in the mushroom house and into October, the rooty goodness of celeriac and parsnips start to head over to the Stables café.
Early autumn is also a time for pruning the pears and apples. As autumn progresses, we start to cut things back and gradually rediscover the more orderly geometric structure of the gardens design under the blousy layers of summer growth. October and November can be a satisfying time of tidying and mulching; an investment towards the productivity of next year.