Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More on autumn ripening

White butterflies appears out of nowhere to lay minute eggs under the leaves of the curly kale that was doing so well in the garden. I thought I was outwitting these white-winged flutterers when I tossed black netting over the plants. Not so! The next time I returned to the bach, I faced a row of skeleton kale. The few leaves that remained carried many fat green caterpillars, that hadn’t even bothered to hide on the underside.

What had happened? I decided that the netting, while not stopping the butterflies from getting through, had defeated the birds that came to feast on the caterpillars. I’ve whipped it off, removed those fat green feasters, and am hoping to see some new kale leaves on my next visit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Autumn Ripening

What a rich time this is, as under the sustained heat of the sun, fruit and vegetables ripen into sweet lusciousness! This year I grew acid-free tomatoes, a variety that produces quite small fruit, but oh so red and firm. And they last, there in a blue bowl on my kitchen bench. Beefsteak tomatoes however, so bulging and juicy from the organic gardener up the valley from my bach, turn to mush pretty quickly. Last night I gathered up a bag-full and cooked them on the stove with a big squeeze of garlic juice. My house filled with the aroma of autumn. Now this delicious pulp sits in jars in fridge and freezer, waiting to be used in whatever dishes I concoct with autumn’s courgettes, capsicums and aubergines.