Autumn is definitely here

Returning home for Sunday night and Monday morning at the weekend, I took the oppurtunity to check up on how the greenhouse and my various brewing endevours are coming along. Today was certainly the most Autumnal of this year, the garden being covered with fallen Birch leaves, although I’m sure it will get much worse in the next few weeks.

The greenhouse and garden.. although positively baron compared to the wealth of plants in the spring and summer, is continuing to produce ripe tomatoes (albeit slower than i July and August), and the few plants we have left after having a blight outbreak and having to cull some, are doing a lot better than I’d imagined they would be at this time. The late leaks (All two of them) are coming along nicely, and in fact bigger than the ones outside in the borders which were planted probably 3 months before. The late beetroot again is coming along well, and hopefully we will have enough for some christmas pickled beetroot to be started before the frosts come in. The potatoes are taking over again.. I think a mid agust planting was perhaps too early for Christmas new potatoes, but then again I don’t know how big they are underground, and hopefully we won’t be disappointed when we dig them up on Christmas eve! We’ve also moved all the mini pepper and chilli plants into the conservatory to save them from the cold, and they all have lots of fruits, some of which are ripening, not sure if they all will before the plants die though.

As for the brewing progress, there’s not really a lot to report. The cider is looking a lot clearer than when first squeezed, and smells like proper cider too. I only hope it tastes a fraction of how good it looks and smells! I will be rebottling it in about a fortnight I think, to give it time to settle into new bottles for Christmas opening. The elder/blackberry wine isn’t looking too good. I have a feeling that I diluted it with too much water, and as such it will taste like weak, alcoholic blackcurrant juice, but it looks nice which is the main thing (!) and again, only time will tell. I am very pleased with the sloe gin. It has been given a good shake most days for the past three weeks, and the colour is beautiful. I am not sure what I will do with it, I am thinking of rebottling it into clear, square bottles that can be resealed to make it look nice, but am not quite sure how I will get all the bits of the berries out yet. Also I want to leave the berries in for as long as possible to transmit as much of their flavour  to the gin as possible. Walking on Sunday I found a few more sloe trees so picked a few to hopefully start a few trees for when we finish university and hopefully get our own house.

Luke

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