The overwhelming size of the autumn harvest can come as an unexpected challenge for new vegetable growers. Everyone I know who is a serious food grower like me, dedicates almost as much time to harvesting crops, cleaning them up, storing them and preparing them to cook, as they do to growing them. And right now it can take up masses of time. There is the fruit to get in now, with a huge crop of fabulous apples. To be a food grower requires dedication, determination, time and energy.

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Food arrives in my kitchen

Every available shelf and space is pressed into service for food storage. Winter black Spanish round radishes are in an old enamel bread bin, main crop potatoes have been dried and put into cardboard boxes.

Many of my squashes are not ripe yet, so I picked them and in the summerhouse I hope they will ripen up there in the warmth.

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Pumpkins and squashes gathered in

My gratitude for all this food is enormous, and as winter approaches I can see that my larder is full. I am happy to cook while listening to radio four – yesterday I made squash soup, today I made tomato sauce. The freezer is full, and I give away my surplus produce to friends. We have a willingness to eat whatever is available in abundance. The earth gives all this to us, but I am still always in awe of how it happens every year here – we are so blessed.

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Tonight’s dinner of pasta with tomato sauce and stir fry


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