Our market garden (or patch of paradise as I like to think of it) rests on the rise of a gentle hill and as a result of this open, sunny position, we're yet to see first frost leave her snail trail of silver icicles over our property. That doesn't mean winter isn't well and truly here though and with the colder months comes a welcome slowing down to our usually busy lives.
As learner-farmers winter has become a time to reflect on all the things we could have done better last season and to plan for future seasons to avoid missing out on opportunities. Autumn brought us a delightful delivery of wild pine mushrooms and later, on walks around our local area, we discovered countless public spots littered with pine needles; ideal conditions for these culinary jewels to grow. However, by the time we noticed them, it was too late and the season had passed. Next year we'll be ready and on foraging duty from early Autumn.
The harvest has slowed down too. It seems only days ago I was picking up to one hundred kilos of heirloom tomatoes a day and spending hours in the veggie patch clad in sun hat and sunscreen. Now the early morning pick is relatively brief and we're harvesting mustard greens, collards, silverbeet and salsify while we wait for our cabbages and broccoli to mature.
My writing has also reached a natural lull. After the output used to finish my second novel I find it necessary to re-fill my creativity by reading, walking and spending time with the friends I wasn't able to see while I was waist-deep in the writing process. But the light is never fully extinguished and even as I haul mulch to protect the latest additions to the orchard I'm thinking about ideas for book three. I adore my herb garden and want to explore the restorative and magical properties of culinary herbs. But before I tell you more I'll wait with fingers and toes crossed for good news from my editor regarding my second book. Wish me luck!
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