Bridget

October @ Prospect Cottage.

In Cooking, Gardening on October 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Asters or Michaelmas Daisy as they are known are the real stars of the flower garden right now. Don’t know the individual varieties…the labels are long gone but that does’nt take from the enjoyment of these gorgeous Autumn flowers.

Asters can be propogated easily by division of clumps in Autumn or Spring. Usually the centre of clumps deteriorate so only the healthy outer sections are replanted. They thrive best in a well drained situation. I love the colour of this purple one.

Tomatoes are still ripening in the polytunnel. The small ones are Mexican Midget, the larger ones are Moneymaker and the yellow ones are Amber which self seeded from our own compost. A welcome bonus. Tomato soup from this lot I think.

Parsley is a plant we grow lots of, it is a nutrient powerhouse containing beta carotene, vitamin B12, chlorophyll, calcium and more vitamin C than citrus fruits. In addition to providing essential nutrients Parsley stimulates and balances the energy of our internal organs and improves their ability to assimilate and utilise nutrients. Because of its high enzyme content Parsley benifits digestive activity. We use Parsley raw in salads, add it to mashed potato and put it in at the end of cooking soups and stews. A tea made from Parsley is said to be useful against cystitis and urinary tract infections. A true superfood.

To the north of the house the Birch trees have already lost their leaves. I suspect Winter is coming early this year. The Met Office is forecasting snow at the end of October! We have lots of supplies in the larder so are fairly well prepared. Hay is also stored for the animals plus lots of fuel to keep the house toasty. The nights are quickly becoming much longer so more time will be spent indoors. It is the time when I use the fruits and veg stored throughout the Summer to make jams and chutneys. Today we can see blue sky through the trees so there is still Autumn days to be enjoyed.

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  1. Your asters are indeed “jewels”. One thing I love about asters are the bright colors which fit so well with autumn. Here’s hoping snow holds off for as long as possible!

  2. Snow at the end of October, oh my! Your asters look so beautiful…love the name as well…sound regal and sacred.

  3. Fresh tomato soup sounds wonderful, it’s rainy here today, and that would go down a treat. Maybe I’ll see what’s still growing in our tomato beds this afternoon, if the clouds part long enough I’ve noticed some the trees here are losing leaves quite early too. Our rainy season started early as well. I’m afraid it might be a long winter for both of us!

  4. I agree with The Sproutling–I can’t imagine snow this month. I vote for holding it off until December, or even January…

  5. It will be truly wierd if we start October in shorts and suncream and end in in woolies, knee deep in snow. I’ll believe it when I see it (has become my favourite phrase re weather predictions!)

  6. I’ve never made soup from fresh tomatoes. But I can recommend using them in place of sauce for pizza. I cover the dough with tomato slices, chopped garlic and chopped basil (or dry basil). Then cheese and etc. Sometimes a layer of fresh spinach under the tomatoes is great if you have it too. I love parsley. I freeze it chopped to add all winter to eggs, soup, pastas…Happy autumn!

    • Happy days to you too! Had the Tomato soup for tea this evening…gorgeous. I’ve never made my own pizza…something to try…one day.

  7. We are enjoying those same asters here in California.

  8. lovely dasies and yummy food Bridget, I’ve noticed how much sooner I put the lights on in the evening, blue skies and windy days, Frances

  9. Lovely Asters Bridget – mine are young plants yet – I have both those colours – so if they survive the winter I shall be splitting them next year hopefully. I too have some self-sown tomato plants from my compost, they are only about 9in. in height though, so no chance of them surviving the winter – might try bringing them into the greenhouse though, and see what happens. We also have our log store full, plus the freezer plus the cupboards full of jam and chutneys – so bring it on. Although it is still really hot today but the weathers forecast is for change – oh well!

  10. Michelmas daisies grow wild here, although Canadians don’t call them Michelmas daisies, don’t know why.
    Jane x

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