Stodgefest 2013

So, admittedly, it has been a while. There have been a myriad of reasons for this, but hey, we’re not here to make excuses, we’re here to talk about food and growing stuff.

By way of reintroduction, I’m keeping today short and sweet. And so I thought it was time I talked a bit about my garden.

My garden is not perfect and I’m sure I do lots of stuff incorrectly, but it is my gym, my 24 hour therapist and my best creative outlet. It’s also my favourite room of the house. Since we moved here 18 months ago, I haven’t painted one wall or put up one curtain. Instead, all my energy has gone into creating and landscaping my very own little paradise. It has gone from a neglected. rubble filled wasteland to somewhere pleasant to sit, with some raised beds and some fairly even grass.

Thanks to a crap year last year and amazing weather this year, summer has been exceptional for growing things. And I am still reaping the benefits, even though winter is knocking. Here’s a quick snapshot of my autumn garden:

ImageIncredible borlotti beans. I’ve made some cracking, fresh, summery stews with these fellers (both in the pod and out of the pod), and still have loads to go.

ImageThanks to a whole winter of cutting back brambles last year I’ve been rewarded with a freezer drawer full of blackberries.

ImageSome rosy red, juicy apples are now in my fruit bowl and chopped up in bags in the freezer (with lemon to stop them browning).

In addition, I am also struggling to grow pumpkins, for the 5th year running. I’ve never got past the flower stage. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong (I’ve fed them regularly, they each have 1m square of soil) – any pointers would be very welcome.

So, with autumnal veg, come autumnal eats. As of this weekend, the slow cooker has been promoted from under the sink to the the counter top, I’ve stocked up on flour for cakes, crumbles and puddings, the freezer is crammed with stock, summer greens and berries. Stodgefest 2013: I’m ready for you, the garden’s ready for you. I can’t wait.

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