As autumn descends on us I always think of the title of a Louis Bromfield novel: "The rains came". In Finland in autumn the weather usually turns on a sixpence, going from beautiful clear and high blue skies to a total downpour and a dark greyness round the clock. It is as if someone turned off the lights and turned on the tap.
The vegetable garden has been slowly disintegrating since the first nights with frost, and by November it is a mess of dead and dying plant material. But since the rains came, I haven't had any interest in venturing out to deal with it.
For weeks I have been thinking of clearing the beds, seeing as all that is left is a soggy mess of decay, but each day is much like the next and so I defer it until tomorrow.
A bright and dry tomorrow never came, and so by mid month I decided to take the plunge and clear the vegetable garden for the winter. Out with it all!! The compost heap will happily swallow the lot.
The leaves off the globe artichokes are still beautiful, but our climate is so severe they will not survive winter. With a heavy heart they too are discarded.
Some carrots and onions have been left in the bed and forgotten, and now they are picked from the mud for a last few meals.
It feels good to know there is some consolation after todays work, and as I clear the bed I think of the wonderful vegetable stew I shall make for supper if I can get the mud washed off...
The sweetcorn was this years biggest fail, as not all of it matured in time for harvest.
It still looked ghostly and majestic in bed, but far too many cobs were small and inedible.
Still, some were of descent size and could still be picked to dry for popcorn kernels.
The beautiful yellow summer tomatoes have by now turned into zombie versions of themselves.
Eventually, most of the beds are cleared. The kale is left in for a few more weeks, and the last of the corn will come out in the end of the week.
And last but not least, I will leave you with a picture from the fields on the farm as they too go into winter hibernation. Not much colour left for the next six months, so soon I shall dig out my travelling gear and head of for winter adventures like the migrating birds!