So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Harvest time

P1280311Today, the 24th September, we had our first frost. It’s been such a damp summer that my geraniums are already in the greenhouse drying out ready for the cellar and winter. The Dahlias copped it, but that was expected.

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Today I put the last of the produce in the cellar, sweet pickle, yet another attempt to be Branston for sandwiches, never got it right yet. It all feels like the seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness poem written in my home city of Winchester.

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Despite the cool, very wet summer, the majority of plants have run amok, and we’ve now got a freezer full of peas, broad beans, runner beans, parsnips, sweetcorn and carrots.  In the cellar are, strawberry, peach and blackcurrant jam, the aforesaid pickle, pickled carrots and cucumbers, a couple of marrows, onions on a string.  I have Plums in wine and schnapps,  Mus or compote. In the garden are still leeks , curly kale and some rather pathetic sprouts.

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In the garage I have plum, peach and red currant wine on the go. I’ve made plum, peach, blackcurrant, Elderberry flower  and berry liquor. I’ve still two bottles of the precious Elderberry wine I made last year, and my original Elderberry and apple from last year- still not really drinkable (!).

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The elderberries this year have suffered from the lack of sun and while black, are mostly tasteless. The plums caught up ok at the last minute though, with a huge glut, I think I’ve been given about 20 kilos!   BUT not a single ripe tomato, they’ve gone green into the chutney. Aubergines  were munched by something in the greenhouse. What  a year!

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I even found some Japanese anemones in a garden centre in Karnten, hope they they survive the winter, they will be well wrapped up!   I’ve been searching for them for ages. Such lovely late colour.

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We’ve finally got the pavillion for the garden and removed the old tree stump that was in the way.

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On Sunday, I was at harvest festival with the Trachtenfrauen, and sat in the church, I could give a real thanks to God for his fruitfulness, and it came to me, the stupidity we have in not co-operating together as Christians, under the dodgy label of dogma.

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Harvest party after the service!

The devil is chuckling at our own stupidity. When someone knows Jesus, loves him through whatever church they’re in, who are we to judge? Yup I have issues with Catholics, and I’m looking forward to a talk the local Priest is doing on that there are no differences between Catholic and Anglican could be really interesting!  But most of all, I’m so thankful for the harvest, his richness in our lives, I could feel the love around me as were in the service.  Thanks!

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So how has your garden grown?

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Following a warm and damp winter, we’ve now had a warmish and damp summer. The neighbours are blaming us, saying it came from England – and some of it did!!!!  There was one time in late spring when temperatures got to the low 30s,and today, August 30th, we have all the signs of an early autumn. We’ve harvested the carrots, as the tops were turning, but what a crop!  The parsnips are looking good, but they need to wait for the frost to sweeten them up. We also had loads of peas and broad beans. The courgettes and Okaido pumpkins haven’t liked the colder nights, and have slowed right down in growth, and the strawberries were lousy. The sweetcorn may not ripen with the continuing rain, we’ll see.  BUT loads of redcurrants for a first attempt at wine, and blackcurrants for jam and liquor. Such a difference form this time last year when the whole valley was drying up.

The geraniums haven’t liked the damp and cold, and have reacted by going nuts in their flowers, here another example of a white plant bearing a red flower.

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Next year we’re planting less sorts of veggies but more of them, carrots, peas, broad beans, Okaidos, strawberries.

The summer has still gone too quickly. Some of the sycamores are starting to change. I don’t mind a early autumn, if we get snow in November and the crisp dry cold, rather than the soggy dampness of the past few years that went straight to Dave’s chest.

But it’s been an unusual summer. The hay crop has been rained off several times. Cold nights in August.  Sooo much rain. So how has your summer/winter (for those in other climes) been?

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