Sunday, 28 August 2011

Change of seasons

The nights are drawing in, dark at 8.45p.m. Soon winter will be here, the season of Crafts, .

During the day, while the rain pours down outside, I can knit on one of my many machines, or make some patchwork using a vintage treadle or hand crank.

I have never been a winter person, I like hot days and summer sunshine, but since I have lived in a small village in Leicestershire, I have grown to love the change of seasons, each with it's own occupation.

Crafts in the winter, snuggled indoors against the cold, sitting knitting or crocheting by the fire, drinking tea from porcelain cups. Hand quilting while watching TV. Hearty stews and soups to warm you up.

Planning the vegetables for the allotment and greenhouse in early spring, frantic planting of seeds in the greenhouse and watching them shoot up, back breaking work down the allotment to get everything in in time, if the soil is dry enough to dig.

Then the slower pace of summer, hoeing and hand weeding, picking the first harvests of lettuce, radishes, baby carrots and rocket. The first taste of new potatoes fresh dug and brought straight home and into the pot. The glut of runner beans and courgettes, sweet corn if the weather has been sunny enough, you can't beat the taste of a raw cob picked from the plant and eaten straight away. Raspberries and strawberries picked and eaten there and then, full of juice and flavour.

Autumn, the final preparations to bed down the allotment for winter, clear out the greenhouses and batten the hatches for the long dark nights with rain, gales, snow and frost. Getting the rabbit and chicken sheds draughtproofed so the animals stay snug and warm in the worst of the winter cold. Last year we didn't have chickens and the sheds we have will need an extra layer of either bubble wrap for warmth or plywood to keep out the draughts. Fortunately chickens are hot creatures and huddle together for warmth.

Time also to make  preserves, elderberry syrup for winter coughs, wine to drink next year, jams and jellies for my son-in-law for Christmas. Maybe even to try my hand at cider making. Soap making for the winter orders in the posh shop in London.

No comments:

Post a Comment