Monday, October 03, 2011

ruffepeyre once more

the tower of Ruffepeyre
 It’s great being back at Nicholas’ tower.  I just fit back in and get on with stuff now, without any fuss or bother.  We get along well and have huge discussions about all sorts of things, the future of civilisation as we know it, healthy living, how to cook decent food, what is important in life how to live more simply.  Nic always has a huge list of tasks that need doing so I pick out the ones that I fancy, plus a few that he persuades me to attempt and life goes on.  

shelling beans for storage
I love that he doesn’t really like cooking as I get to take over the catering for a while.  It’s always a bonus at this time of year when there is a huge abundance of things in the garden and plenty of weeds and hedgerow plants to put together delicious meals.  We have been ploughing through giant marrows, although many have been transformed into delicious marrow and quince jam, liberally spiced with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  I’ve also been creating Ratatouilles for canning along with green beans, carrots, windfall apple and blackberry compote, pear compote and am tempted to try caramelised onion jam, although onions do store exceedingly well without any help whatsoever.

harvest time

Hazel nuts are falling again, they are left out to dry for as long as possible in the sun before being transferred to the loft to continue their drying until at least April.  Hopefully there will be enough to this year to take to the press to produce some oil.  The nuts have to be picked up every day which gets a bit tiresome, so I am hoping on a big storm to bring them all down at once.  Possibly the end of this week.

blighted tomatoes
The damp spring has caused chaos with just about every tomato plant that I have seen.  Blight everywhere, it seems to be growing through and nearly every garden that I have seen is clinging onto the hope that they will get some ripe fruit.  I would be worried that the plants will harbour spores and the longer they are left the more spores there will be to overwinter and attack next year.  The easiest way of knowing how the locals deal with such problems is to watch and learn.  If the village elders were concerned, they would have rooted out their plants months ago, but to reduce the risk here a large bonfire is planned and the whole garden will have a different location in the field next year. 

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