Autumn clearance!

Mis à jour : oct. 3

Yes, it's the time of harvest and autumn clear-ups! Plenty of autotelic activity! There is still a lot to do – hundreds of tasty apples to harvest. 5 trees espaliered along the south facing wall and another 5 in the orchard.

The onions and garlic have done pretty well too.

Parsnips are massive and tough to dig out. I've enjoyed battling to get one third of the crop out and into the kitchen – 27 bags processed for the freezer (and for dishing out to friends and neighbours).

Every two days I pick the autumn raspberries – they will go on steadily for several weeks now. Same for the sweet corn – very sweet and delicious as a starter for evening meals!

Elsewhere in the garden there is still great vibrance – sweet peas blooming in profusion, the new olive tree growing fast and the broccoli doing all it can to burst out of the top of its vital netting! The thornless blackberry alongside the greenhouse has grown about 15 feet of new growth which will produce great quantities of succulent fruit next year.

Once the crops are harvested comes the job of tidying up, weeding and rotavating before the winter. Here you see one of the cleared beds – just a couple of hours digging and a good wheelbarrow full of weeds for the compost heap. Don't forget we have not weeded these beds since the first week in June – the occasional docks and couch grass present no real problems, but you can see just how long are the roots of the ever present docks!

There are still plenty of beds to be harvested – parsnips, carrot, beetroot, pumpkins and courgettes. We made our first 5 litres of cider with a new fruit press (from Latvia and powered by a simple 2 ton car jack!) together with 5 litres of white wine from the greenhouse grapes. You can see how autumn can be a busy (but very fulfilling) time of year.

About the John Seymour School

© William Sutherland, Alnwick, UK. -  Website created by Alterculteurs

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John Seymour came to live in Ireland in 1981 when he began work on developing his smallholding in County Wexford. A regular series of summer courses was started in 1993.     Will Sutherland joined John in running courses soon afterwards and continued to work with John until his death at the age of 90 in 2004.   Will continues to run courses and give workshops on the many and various topics covered by the Complete Book.


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