Editorial Autumn 2011
Written by Judith
It has been a funny old year. Cold, hot, dry, cold, windy and then hot again. Sadly the Indian Summer proved to be all too short and kitchen gardens all over the country are starting to wind down for the winter.
But there are still plenty of jobs to do, as Behemoth reminds us in his garden calendar entry for October. The race against time to turn the last remaining produce into tasty sauces and chutneys continues unabated, if several recent forum threads are anything to go by.
The hedges and woods are still full of food too. Mushroom season is still upon us, there are blackberries, elderberries, crab apples and sloes still to be picked. The Downsizer Foraging forum is a wonderful resource if you need help with preliminary identification or ideas on what to do with a big haul of edibles. And there are some great ideas for making jams and jellies too.
If you are lucky enough to have an oversupply of apples, then thoughts may inevitably turn towards cider (or apple juice for the more abstemious). Either way you will need something to press out the juice. Blacksmith’s article on building your own fruit press may just be the information you need.
Loath as I am to utter the “C” word before 1st December at the very earliest, the advancing dark nights do provide a great opportunity to start making gifts. Sally-in-Wales' article on soap-making safely guides beginners through the process. Or why not use some of those hedgerow finds to make fruit liqueurs. If you start them off now, they should be ready for drinking by You-Know-When. You can also make your Xmas cake and Xmas pudding now so that they have time to mature before the festive season.
The end of the Summer can be a sad time for some people, but keeping busy helps. With the wealth of ideas and information in the Downsizer archives and articles, there is certainly no excuse not to do that!