Acting All Autumnal

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! 

bikes in garage

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.  

Some welcome, others, like the Ileodictyon cibarium or basket fungus, less so

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

A home away from home, courtesy of Farm Girl and friends.

The time travellers arrived home full of stories, very tired and decidedly dusty.

Apparently early human spent a great deal of their day sliding down banks; who knew?!

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 🙂

go the black caps!



14 thoughts on “Acting All Autumnal

  1. You gave me a great idea–I picked up one of those devices that make noodles from zucchini and other veg. Tonight we dressed them with a lovely red sauce. But I have loads of pesto in the freezer so next time it’s pesto time. Thanks!

  2. Those basket fungus are extraordinary – never seen anything like them. The website I looked them up on said they are “edible, if unappealing”. I bet the day on Quail Island was a ton of fun. Certainly beats painting another side of the house. The hill sliding makes me think of the knickerbocker breaker that Roger slid down in the book Swallowdale, though probably far easier on clothes than Roger’s slide. And well done on stabling the steeds – very tidy. I usually love the cooler weather, I feel more energetic in fall and spring than I do in winter and summer, seem to get more done. I get all lethargic and lazy in the heat of summer and the dark of winter, quite the opposite of you! I looked up the cricket – playing Australia, I see, and then on to beat out England. Best of luck! What’s the difference between winning by x number of wickets vs x number of runs? Is one better than the other or worth more points or something?

    • Now, I had to consult The Bean Counter on this and he pointed out that if you win by wickets you batted second and if you win by runs you batted first. there’s no difference, the important thing is you won.
      Now, i must clear up this whole “on to beat England” thing. We’ve been there, done that…if we win this one, we’re the world champions. the Bean Counter would like to me point out that if this does indeed happen it will make us current world champtions at cricket, rugby and rugby league. Well…it means a lot to us 🙂
      I had never seen basket fungus before today…I also saw the whole edible thing. Suffice to say, it’s not happening here any time soon.

  3. A very interesting account of life as the autumn moves on, well illustrated. You were brave to have the adventure on Quail Island but most of all, all the best to the Black Caps.

  4. Fascinating how opposite our lifes can be…you getting ready for winter and harvesting and here we are welcoming warmer weather, longer days and cursing the squirrels for eating all the snowdrops. That basket fungus is extraordinary but I envy the time travelers! Enjoy the tea when watching Cricket ( you see..I know some of sports ;0))

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