Goldenrod flowers – for dyeing
There’s so much to do right now : harvesting and processing garden produce, building maintenance that calls for full days of dry weather, cutting grass, keeping the borders tidy(-ish), foraging for natural dyeing materials. And then there’s serving customers and hopelessly straining to replenish our fast-depleting stock of hand-spun or plant-dyed yarns, knitted garments, crochet articles …
But it’s not any of those things that cause us to linger in the evening sunshine, to take every task out in the garden that might be more conveniently done indoors, nor why the cats come in for the night (if it’s not raining) at the very last moment possible, after I’ve taken Tilly for a walk, and just as they know I’ll lock the door and turn out the lights.
With the currants and gooseberries down to the last pickings, our organized efforts have turned to harvesting the peas and, since a day or so ago, the broad beans too. That’s is how we know that summer’s early has given way to late (if there was a mid, we must have missed it!), and the year itself from waxing to waning. From here on, every moment counts – it feels we’re on borrowed time.
The cats know it. The sheep do, too, and of course the birds of the sky, the countless varieties of wild flowers, each and every blade of grass, and even the mites and earthworms in the soil. All of nature knows it!
Already, there’s that unmistakable scent of autumn in the air.
Goldenrod flowers harvested for dyeing wool. The Hebridean Woolshed, Isle of South Uist
Trays of peas ready for podding and freezing.
Drying onions in the sunshine, outside the dyehouse.
Denise podding peas for the freezer
Goldenrod over Alum, on Cheviot
Drying onions in the sunshine
View from Ludag, South Uist, across the Sound of Eriskay and the causeway, to Eriskay.
Peak Summer Salad: Homebaked bread, everything else home grown.
Goldenrod flowers – a natural dyestuff.
Leaves from Lemon Verbena, ready for drying
Lemon Verbena leaves, dried and stored for winter
Lemon Verbena in the sun and warmth of Greenhouse 2
Jonathan and Denise >
So many things to do, not enough time. Life’s a blur!
Denise and Tilly’s lunchtime walk.
Shalotts pickled for our winter stores.
Beinn Sgiathan Hebridean/Cheviot blend, 50g
Evening walk, Boisdale machair and beach. Jonathan and Tilly
M10 stainless steel bolt resined into rock as tensioning anchor. One of many!
Grounds maintenance. Eight Askernish 2017
Ewes, ewe hogs and this year’s lambs in Bothy Field.
View from Beinn Sgiathan across Rudha Ban, Isle of Eriskay
Sea Rocket on the beach.
J Towing 25kg tub of ‘lick’ up the hill to High Field.
Buying clothes for our grandson-to-be.
Life’s a blur!
New Zealand flax flowers.
Weeds: a plant in the wrong place? Aqualegia amongst the potatos.
D’s latest reading, picked up at the Thrift Shop.
Sweet Gooseberry Jelly – and Esieabhal. On the garden wall.
Just made: Sweet Gooseberry Jelly and Lemon Curd.
Lambs at the top of High Field
Queenie’s fleece being sheared
Sorrel and Buttercup on our croft in Eriskay
Evening walk, Boisdale machair and beach. Denise and Tilly.
Evening walk, Boisdale machair and beach.
First clearance harvest of 2017 – Shalotts. Some for pickling, some for salads, some for cooking.
Cheviot lamb orphaned when mother killed by Eagle. Beinn Sgiathan, Isle of Eriskay
Making Sweet Gooseberry Jelly.
Keeping the Buff Orpingtons supplied with green weeds.
An Garradh Mor Hebridean sheep, on Beinn Sgiathan, looking over to Eiseabhal South Uist.
Evening walk, Boisdale machair and beach.
It’s not all about food! Pelargoniums at the front door.
Oops! nicked the pipe supplying a garden tap.
Late yesterday, a customer bought a couple of jars of marmalade, and when I went to the store cupboard to find stock to replenish the shelf in the shop, I found just two jars left. OMG! It seems just yesterday that I had a whole cupboard of them!
After our evening meal, I drove to our local co-op at Daliburgh for oranges and lemons (marmalade is the only preserve we make which has no home-grown ingredients at all) and then quickly back home and set to work slicing up the oranges and setting them to soak overnight.
This morning, once J was away in Eriskay until lunchtime – fencing work on the croft, I got on with a double session of marmalade making. Result : 29 jars to replenish the store cupboard. But more will be required again soon!