Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘larder’

Reflections at Samhain.

In Ireland, nature on October 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm

The trees are providing a wonderful colour display this year. Unlike other year’s we have’nt had the harsh winds that rip the leaves prematurely from the trees. Reds, pinks, greens, yellows and browns are the colours of the moment.

Some plants, like this Geranium, which are in sheltered spots,  continue to produce blooms as we head into the first days of the Celtic Winter.

Even the brilliant orange of Montbretia is fading, having decorated our gardens and roadsides for many weeks. 

The leaves have already dropped from the Rowans leaving the berries glowing like Christmas baubles. Soon the weather will become harsher and the birds will feast here.

Rosehips catch the eye as myself and the Dogs take our daily walk. Walking is done earlier in the day now…before the evening chill sets in. I’m not one for walking in the darkness…even on our quite laneway. From now on more time will be spent indoors. The intense activity of the Summer is past and the larder is filled with the fruits of our labouring.

Walking back up the lane this handsome black Cow comes to greet us. Friendlier than the rest of the herd she even let me rub her.  A small privilege that gave me such a lift.

I have often heard that Fairies have white blood because they nourish themselves by drinking milk straight from the Cow’s udder under cover of darkness. Maybe this girl will be visited tonight.

Happy Samhain!

Lughnasa.

In Garden, sustainable living on July 31, 2012 at 9:38 am

As we head into August we remember the festival of Lughnasa, one of the great Celtic cross quarter festivals. A time to harvest the offerings from the land and hedgerows. A time to reap the rewards of our work in the garden. A time of abundance, of preserving the bounty and stocking up our larders for the coming Winter.

For as sure as night follows day the seasons are changing too. The wheel of the year continues…the cycle must be completed. Already some plants are starting to show Autumn hues…

 

 while others are still full of colour and vibrancy. But very soon they too will move onto the next phase of their yearly cycle. As all life on this planet must… 

Here in Ireland we awoke this morning to hear of the death of Meave Binchy, a wonderful author and journalist. At just 72 it seems she has been taken too early, but obviously it was her time. Meave was an amazing individual who despite having massive success, she sold 42 million books worldwide, remained a kind and warm hearted person. Always appreciative of her fans she treated each and every one as a cherished friend. She could teach us all a thing or two.  

Here in Arigna we are revelling in the abundance of produce from the garden. The Onions in the bed above will soon be ready for harvesting, hung in braids in the shed for use throughout the Autumn and Winter. The flowers are self seeders from the compost that was dug in here last Spring. I must remember to pull the Poppies out before they spread their multitude of seeds everywhere. There are lots of berries to be harvested this year. This is ongoing as they are ripening slowly  because of lack of sunshine. That makes it easier in a way as there is less urgency about the harvesting. Blackcurrants and Gooseberries have given great harvests. I freeze them in 1 kilo bags which is ideal for making small batches of jam and chutney. This produce, as well as being for our own use, forms part of our income as I sell it at local markets throughout the year. Something to keep me busy during the long dark days of the Winter.

I seem to be focused on the changing seasons this morning. The dull grey, windy day that it is is not helping the mood. What has happened to our Summers? I’m off now to light the stove and warm up the house. No berry picking today as I just can’t bear that wind which is surely going to bring us more rain later.