Thursday, October 6, 2011

Autumn Harvest in Red

Autumn is my favourite season. Life seems to slow down in certain areas while kicking into high gear in others. The gardens put on a great display of bright colours - mine are mostly in yellows & the birds twittering in the bushes are finding bugs & berries to get them on their way for their winter travels.

I grew up in Ontario where the colours & smells of Autumn were bright & strong. I miss that. Here on the West Coast, we seem to miss all that. A lot of the deciduous trees simply drop their leaves while still green & they turn brown on the ground.

But I've found a way to ease myself through all this by harvesting my own crop of Autumn Red colours! This year is a great year for me. I've got red peppers in the greenhouse that are finally ripening & are wonderfully sweet. The cherry tomatoes are slowly ripening too but are much larger than anticipated - which is great as we can eat them on sandwiches! The raspberries are slowly plumping up & ripening - they are growing much better than the summer canes did & the berries are at least twice as large too. It was a difficult year for raspberries, but I'm grateful for these last few handfuls I'll be picking for another few weeks.

There are also wild 'reds' I'm harvesting too - rose hips! I'm not going to wait for that first frost to harvest them - they are just too perfect right now & I think they contain a bit more pectin while still a bit unripe which should allow me to make rose hip jelly this year instead of rose hips syrup (which I rather enjoy also - great for pancakes or marinades!).

So, I'm going to run out there right now & see what else I can find before the rains return...


Gaby said...

I've been following your blog for a while now and I was just wondering what are rose hips? you've stumped me

Michelle's Green Thumb said...

Gaby - hopefully you've seen the next blog entry that shows you what a rose hip is.

Essentially, when a rose is finished blooming, it will produce a seed head which is covered with a fruity layer - like an apple or plum.

Most people don't let their roses develop these hips as deadheading will prolong the blooming, but I find that wild roses don't receive the same care & by the fall, they are loaded with hips that ripen to red.

Check out what Wikipedia has to say: