Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September weather.

The average temperature here for September over the last 15 years has been 13.7 deg C.
This Septembers average was a fair bit cooler at 12.4 deg. C.

 Despite one wet day with 36mm the overall rainfall for the month of 56mm was below normal. Sunshine has been average.

September skies have been wonderful.

Zoe and Tivon running through the early evening mist settling in the field.

September vegetable garden.

 Borage, phacelia, nicotiana, sunflowers and corn.

Potatoes still holding up well, Corn is very late this year.

The path down through the vegetable garden. (Yes, there is a path there!)

 Sunflower full of promise, September 5th.

Sunflower, September 5th.

September 8th.

September 13th, covered in bees.

Onions drying in the small tunnel.

 Golden hops on the barn wall.

Blauhilde beans growing up sweetcorn.

A few scarlet runners, blauhilde beans and courgettes in the dinner basket one day.

One of the kale plants with it's self sown companions of calendula and fumitory amongst others.

A good year for apples and roses.

Almost all our hazelnuts have been eaten by the grey squirrels, Thankfully we planted sweet chestnuts too, still ripening at the top of the tree.

Honeybees on Corydalis, Eucryphia, Sedum, Roses....

Honeybees are on Sedum Telephium Karfunkelstein.

Spot the honeybees on Sedum Matrona.

Honeybee on Rose.

Honeybee on Eupatorium atropurpureum.

Honeybee on Corydalis ochroleuca.

Honeybees are on Chives.

Honeybees are loving the marjoram.

Eucryphia × nymansensis is...

a bee magnet for weeks and weeks on end.

Honeybees are also on the Borage, phacelia, Geranium, Dahlias, Asters.....

September garden.

Gladioli, melianthus major and echinops, September 5th.

I love the sheen on the emerging Paulownia leaves. This Paulowinia was a little baby sucker from our mother tree (now15 years old and 30 feet high). I transplanted baby this spring and this one we will keep coppiced just for the foliage.


Verbena hastata pink spires.

 Roses are back in bud for an autumn flush, this one is "Wisley".

Magnolia grandiflora, Bull Bay, after the flower petals have fallen.
Magnolia grandiflora, Bull Bay, beautiful brown downy undersides to the leaves catching the September light.

We have been moving soil again.

This is Alfie's favourite activity!

Having an apple break. We have a lot of apple breaks in September!

Tomatoe time.

Alfie picking tomatoes.

After picking, time for some painting!

On the left, Fat Toms and Brandywines, on the right Cherokee purples. The Cherokees may not look so ripe but see the colour of the passata at the end of this post.

 This one is a brandywine.

(A different batch of) Tomatoes about to go into the oven.

 We wait for a few cool cloudy days and then light the range, this gives the hot water a boost too. All the range doors were briefly opened for a quick photo.

 On the right Chereokee purples, on the left Fat toms.

After several hours in a warm oven the tomatoes reduce in volume, this makes a rich concentrated passata.. Tivon loves to use the simple hand cranked passata machine that separates out the skins and seeds.
It may not look as if he loves it but he's concentrating! Tivon and Alfie both love to help with this!

  Passata from the Fat Toms on top, on the left Cherokee purples and Brandywines on the right.
I usually just make one batch but thought I would compare flavours this time, conclusion... they were all good!

Recycled paper.

Tivon tore up a pile of his old dot-to-dots and other assorted scraps of paper. We added water and whizzed it with the kitchen hand blender to make a watery pulp.

The mould is a mesh covered frame, Tivon slips the mould into the pulp mixture and lifts it out, much of the water drains away to leave the new wet sheet of paper which is tipped onto a cloth.

We pressed the paper with a board to remove excess water and then hung it out to dry. 

 We do this and other crafts with visiting children too but I don't post photos of our visitors for privacy reasons.

September toadstools.

A few of the toadstools in the garden today.

Fly Agaric.
I think this one is Lycoperdon perlatum.