Saturday, October 4, 2008

October ...and visitors.....

My Dad visited us for a week, much to the delight of Peggy.

The weather has remained mixed but we have had aother visitor this month....who we think is about to lay her eggs any day.....

Our wood is piled high, and we will soon be lighting the fire at night, routing out our slippers and getting all cosy…....but there's still plenty more work to be done yet in the garden.

October is another month with weather that can be unpredictable here and we have to work when we can, dodging the showers and cold spells. Remembering to keep wrapped up while working outdoors. At this time of year the sun can be deceiving and it is often not as warm as it looks.

In the veggie plot winter lettuce will be seeded out now and transplanted later next month and it’s also an excellent time to review the placing of our strawberry patch and to make a new one for next year.
Mid October is the best time for planting garlic and onion sets. In past years I have found for best results to make sure the latter are firm and about the size of a cherry, otherwise they can have a tendency to split as the grow.
We will be splitting and re planting our raspberry and blackberry canes now along with some new tree saplings.

In the flower garden I have started taking up all our delicate bulbs and tubers like Dahlias before the frosts begin. As they finish flowering I am taking them up and place them in sacks or boxes in the basement, remembering to label them for ease in the spring.

We have found ourselves with surplus amounts of Rakia this year and so we will be looking out for the Sloe bushes again.....
remembering to wait for the first frost improve the ripeness and therefore flavour of the berries.

I use this same recipe as is given for Sloe Gin, for every empty 1 litre bottle:

1) add approx 400g sloes (to occupy about half the bottle). Remember to cut or prick the sloes before bottling.
2) add approx 150g ordinary white sugar.
3) top-up with Rakia.
Shake gently everyday for two weeks to help dissolve the sugar and allow the berries to work their magic. Then set aside in a cool place and leave at least 2 months before drinking.

This has to be one of the most delicious drinks I have ever tasted. If you make it now it will be ready for Christmas and I guarantee this will definitely keep you warm!

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