Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Gathering and Gleaning


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It’s that time of year again, when everything seems to need to be done at once – oh wait, it always seems to be like that!  But it is also a good time of year, seeing what there is to harvest.

Today had been booked to pick up some sheep for some friends of mine and entailed a trip to near Limoges, a trip of 2 and a half hours each way.  And as often happens, at the last moment, (in my case 7pm the night before), something happened.  I was just hitching up the trailer and readying it for an early start the next day when a car pulled up.  The wife of the farmer who’s been helping me with my soya explained that her husband had just finished harvesting a field nearby and wanted to do mine.

So the said combine turned up a short time later and harvested until 10pm when the machine was full.  I’d arranged with the farmer that he would finish in the morning while I was away, so tomorrow I need to track down where the soya went and how much was harvested.

Having got back from the sheep pick-up I took a wander out onto the field and took a look at the hedgerow at the far side and within a few minutes I collected the above.

To the left is a wild form of sorghum which the chickens like.  At the top are few hazelnuts; this year the nut harvest is not one of the best due to the summer drought.  In the middle are some of the soya beans that I gleaned.  I’ll collect some more over the next few days but I’m also going to let the chickens out onto the field too so they can take advantage of what has been left.  At the bottom are some rosehips to the right, and sloes to the left.  Not many of either but by the time I’d got to them I’d filled the pot I had and couldn’t carry any more.  But….

here are some I picked earlier.

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The sloes are nearly over, and many of the sloes on the bushes are shrivelled, again due to the drought, but I do have enough for one bottle of sloe gin.

The rosehips are destined for rosehip syrup; I don’t have enough yet for the syrup so will spend the next week or so collecting the necessary amount.

It’s also harvest time in the garden.

P9280005 tiny As you can see the butternut squashes are tiny but I’m really pleased with the giant pumpkin I’ve grown for Halloween.

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And finally for this post, my first almonds, all of them.  At the back are some quinces I had to take off a branch as there were far to many and the branch was in danger of breaking.  They are beginning to ripen and turn yellow, then it ill be quince jelly time, one of my favourites.