It's November and I'm amazed by what bounty I still reap from my kitchen garden. Today I harvested the last pumpkins. They are not very big but that's okay, you can bake a decent pumpkin pie with 2 or 3 smaller pumpkins too. Before I use my pumpkins in the kitchen I like to distribute them all over my house and enjoy their beauty. Nothing says Autumn so much as pumpkins do. These 3 are now in my hallway where it's cooler and they will keep well there. In the background you see a cat ABC embroidered by me, fun isn't it? It took me about a year to finish it.
I also harvested another red cabbage today and in my Victorian greenhouse I found more things to harvest such as the very last tomatoes. For weeks I've been thinking: right that's it, those are the last tomatoes of this year but no, the next time I go looking for something to harvest I find more tomatoes. Great isn't it?
And my greenhouse had more to offer, there is still loads of basil (more pesto to make) and parsley too. The sweet black peppers are still going strong too, even though the leaves have been mostly eaten by some beastie or other. I picked one black pepper today and left the rest to grow a bit bigger.
Outside in the kitchen garden there's still more to be found like salad rocket (rucola) that I'd sown a few weeks earlier.
There was even a handful of strawberries to pick. They were not quite ripe yet so I'll put them in the conservatory to ripen further.
Last month I'd sown some radishes too and they are doing great as well. I think I'll put a cold frame over them so they get some more warmth and grow a bit quicker. I do so love to munch on organically grown radishes from my own garden, don't you?
The leeks are doing great too, I've harvested a few today and will leave the rest for next time.
My winter spinach is coming along nicely. I love to eat salads made with spinach leaves, especially this time of year where there are so very little fresh salad leaves about.
Here's the Winter Purslane (winterpostelein) that I've sown a few weeks ago and sprouting amongst it are some nasturtiums. The nasturtium leaves and flowers are great in salads too, the leaves taste a bit peppery. Waste not, want not. ;-)
Yesterday we put most of the tender plants inside the conservatory for overwintering them safely. I have a lemon, a lime, a kumquat and an orange tree. Here's a pic of the orange tree and as you can see the mini oranges are almost ready for harvest too. The thing I love about citrus fruit trees is that you can have fruits and flowers at the same time. The scent of the flowers is wonderful, that's why I always overwinter them in my conservatory. It's such a joy to enter the conservatory and be assaulted with this overwhelmingly blissful scent.
The limes are ready for picking too. Here's a big one and if you look closely you'll see a baby lime underneath it.
Another plant that was moved to the conservatory yesterday is the lemon verbena. I love this plant. I use the leaves to give my tea a lovely lemon-y flavour. Just put the tealeaves or teabag in your teapot, add a few lemon verbena leaves, pour the boiling hot water over it and let it brew for a few minutes and then pour the tea. The leaves of the lemon verbena are also great for stuffing fish with that you cook either in the oven or on the BBQ.
On Bliss a harvest would not be complete with a flower harvest of some kind. Here's what I think will be the last big bouquet from my garden. My house is now a feast for the nose as well as the eyes, as the roses are scenting the air in the living room while next door the citrus flowers are doing the same in the conservatory. Such Bliss!
copyright Y.E.W. Heuzen
As a perfume doth remain
In the folds where it hath lain,
So the thought of you, remaining
Deeply folded in my brain,
Will not leave me: all things leave me:
Arthur Symons, 1865-1945, 'Memory'