I write this as we pivot on the autumnal equinox, leaving those long sunny evenings, where I could work outside after dinner and enjoy watching the sunset, moving into the idea of snuggling around a fire and wearing my knitted jumpers and thick socks.
How do you find it? Which do you prefer? I admit that, although I like the aspect of snuggling down, I do prefer the warmth and sunshine of summer and so this time of year is quite mixed for me. However, this time also brings with it the major season of harvest, where I gather in what I have sown and preserve it to use throughout the winter and beyond. This aspect of food prep I really enjoy, as the jars fill and the shelves and freezer fills.
This year has been quite a parable for me, as my big house move has meant no established fruit shrubs in their soil, so nothing frozen there (I am just on the last box of frozen fruit from last year, used every day, so it is usually a good sized harvest). I have been growing in a raised bed and some pots, which means I have a jar of pickled beetroot and hope to have another before the end of autumn, but my 1 tomato plant which survived has only green tomatoes on it (never knew 150 miles could make such a huge difference to growing) and everything else has suffered too. So not only is this time not good, but there are precious few reserves to keep me going. So I look for another way ahead and plan for next year.
This photo shows some of my a beetroot growing by some huge parsnip leaves I have. I am hoping that what is on show above ground will be matched, size wise, by the depth of the work going on below the surface. Likewise, I have found some which looked a bit weak on top to have actually put all their effort in below the surface, so the result is really good. Are you like a lettuce, all top growth and very little root? You can look great for a short time, but if not able to use your skills at just the right time, then they are pretty much going to waste, best time been and gone and just left for compost. Or are you far more like the parsnip, or even more like a fruit bush or tree, where there may not seem to be much going on, but there is growing and developing happening to bring out the harvest time and again?
What about me? Knowing that my workshop would be turned upside down (and out and boxed) during this year I had planned to use my time to burrow below ground, learning, planning and building something which can be far better for the long term. I didn’t know that we would have all fairs and events cancelled, so I am not meeting people face to face and much of what would usually be “on show” to draw people to me would be gone too. This means there is very little opportunity for others to see lettuce leaves. However, 1 thing I have worked on throughout the year is the back end of the website, looking to add and improve. There is still a long way to go, but I have learned much and you will have the fruit of that. The Instagram posts https://www.instagram.com/fionasunago/ also show hints, tips and the latest creations, as does https://www.facebook.com/SunagoUniqueCreations/ so pop in and let me know what you think.
Just like trees, we are able to keep growing, developing and changing direction. For that reason, you may see some other changes happen here and I am really looking forward to hear what you think. Let me know how your growth has been growing this year and if you are now choosing to do anything different. I may even tell you something else I have been learning this year!