As we’ve already mentioned (should that be whinged), autumn has arrived at Union Homestead. The nights are cooler, the mornings darker and the produce is slowing down. Where we were harvesting armfuls of courgettes-come-marrows to steam and slather with homegrown basil pesto just a few measly weeks ago, now we’re watching the pumpkins inflate and working on beating the bird-life to the fruit.
For the three of us who work predominantly outside, it’s been curious discovering how seasons change effects us. Full of vim and vigour, ripping into life just a few weeks ago, the moment the temperature necessitated the donning of another layer of clothing, we found ourselves lingering just a little longer over morning coffee. Contrarily, as our bodies are telling us it’s time to slow down and take things a little easy, all around us the end of season workpile is growing ever higher. That ticking clock, the one counting down the minutes to winter, is relentless.
“Just one more side before the weather packs in,” we tell ourselves as we grunt, groan and grumble, trying not to get too ratty at each other.
“Tomorrow,” we say about the buckets of peaches, pears and apples that await our attention. Currently we are employing the ingestion method on the bags of peaches that keep finding their way here. Although this will mean less peach cobbler in the dark months the lure is just too much to resist.
Some jobs won’t wait, though. As we welcomed our annual visitor, Mr CleanSweep the chimney cleaner, the firewood inventory and storage transfer rolled on; this week we actually cleared enough of the garage to allow the Homestead bicycle fleet to come in from the cold. As the old bikeshed/new woodshed gets ever fuller, we all breathe a little easier; bring it on, winter, we’re ready for you!
There was also no more stalling the resumption of the Continuous Garden Clock. While the ducks, chickens and goats welcome their participation in the clean-up, hauling out the overblown, worn out, frazzled and tattered vegetation is always a little sad although the buried treasure along the way eases the pain a tad.
This week also saw two of our number taking part in a “making the most of it while the weather lasts” outing. As part of the Kingdom of Nova’s exploration of early humans and their fundamental needs, Farm Girl and The Bean Counter jumped aboard the Lyttelton Harbour ferry and joined the happy throng building shelters, making tools and “acting early human” on Quail Island.
The time travellers arrived home full of stories, very tired and decidedly dusty.
Yep, this week we’ve been a little autumnal of mood but it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s crisp mornings followed by glittering days, the golden glow of the woodburner, and a plethora of soups, stews and casseroles lurking on the horizon.
Oh…and on Saturday: the final of the Cricket World Cup 🙂