Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless,
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
John Keats - Ode to Autumn
There is a definite sense of Autumn falling around Plumfield House this last busy week; the wind is becoming cool and blustery and the leaves are slowly losing their lush green colour and gently dropping with each grand shake of the wind. We have been harvesting, stoning, chopping, processing and freezing. We have quite a bounty at present which is posing problems due to time constraints! Still we are awaiting our crop of Roma tomatoes which everyone is waiting for with great anticipation! I have found a great recipe online for Tomato and Basil Soup, which I cannot wait to make!
Brian has been busy loading our hay, straw and silage into the shed ready for the winter to ensure our 'girls' are warm, dry and well fed! As with the fruits and vegetables, we seem to have an over-supply of nearly everything this harvest which is in stark contrast to last year. Brian laughs that we have enough hay and silage to last us about three winters! This next week we are preparing to have one of our young bullocks sent off to a small local abattoir for processing...which fills us with anticipation and great excitement thinking of home-reared steak and shin beef winter roasts!
The children and I have been enjoying a more routined approach to our schooling, with which we took a rather relaxed approach over the summer holiday period. Amy is going at her book work at present with gusto and is even approaching her mathematics with a smile! She is currently studying decimals which I was worried would send her into 'a tizzy' as it is so similar to her dreaded subject of fractions!...but it hasn't, so for that I'm pleased! We are hoping to take a more 'immersed' approach to nature study with our learning and I am interested in any helpful articles and advice we can get...so I am gleaning the internet for articles and ideas for us to do with the children at this glorious time of year!
As you may have read here I am feeling the need to begin to get organised for our coming blessed arrival and for the Christmas time festivities! I have ordered most of the gifts for our extended family and am waiting for the delivery to complete before I begin wrapping and labelling. We usually always buy our nieces and nephews books or audio books as we feel that it is important to encourage them to read and what better time of the year than to present them with a wonderful storybook! I usually always order them through Amazon who usually have the most fantastically reduced prices at this time of year, so in purchasing early we always make a large saving (we set a budget per child also depending on age) at an otherwise very expensive season.
So we do have alot happening at the moment, there are many chores and activities that must be completed before the coming Winter. Still we must also try to keep some sense of balance and try not to let ourselves become over-worked and exhausted!