At last, now it’s September, I can confess my undying love for autumn. Summer, yes you were nice of course, and there were some lovely hot days brilliant for growing; but during July and August there is so much to do in the field and polytunnels that I end up only being able to concentrate on the job in hand (usually fighting the bloody weeds), and the millions of jobs still to do. It gets rather depressing when you see the weeds reclaiming patches almost as soon as you finish them. As soon as it’s the 1st September however, things seem to pause for a moment: the bulk of the urgent weeding is done and the weeds aren’t growing so quickly, plus the veg crops are bigger so can out-compete them better; and smaller jobs can be attended to, such as sowing winter salads, turning the woodchip pile, planting out the last lettuces, sorting out the messy module tunnel. Summer can leave me feeling a bit bleached out and faded; but September’s cooler mornings mean more shadows and depth, being able to see the bigger picture, and plan ahead again.
I also love autumn veg. September is the time to start picking my fennel (huge!), squash (huge!) and leeks (plentiful!), and the smells of trimmed leeks mingling with kales, parsley, coriander and fennel fronds as you carry your haul back to base is amazing. I hope we have a nice warm, sunny autumn, with just the hint of woodfires, roasted butternuts, and leek and potato soup to partner the chillier starts and evening. Love it.