I was surprised to see that almost all the vegetables we grew last year had been eaten up by myself, my kind and unassuming husband and some nameless little creature. This wasn’t particularly strange, but it was rather odd that the dark store shed was littered with bits of straw from the boxes.
It isn’t easy growing lots of vegetables, enough to store through the winter, but it is so rewarding. We often leave the carrots and swedes in the ground, protected by a layer of straw. And I love the smell of the sleeping apples and drooling onions in the shed. There is such an earthiness about the whole thing. However, I do moan about it at times.
I recently asked my kind and unassuming husband what he would like for lunch and he just disappeared down the garden path. How odd, I thought, but he soon returned, with a handful of vegetables, looking and smelling as fresh as when we picked them, months ago. He said he would like nothing better than homemade soup and some seeded bread, also homemade. So I set about cooking. There weren’t enough onions, so I strolled over to the store shed, which was just as well!
How on earth he managed to stay all this time without being traced, I will never know. But a rather full hedgehog slept peacefully on a small pile of hay in a corner. I will keep a careful eye on him!
Thank heavens our garden for waifs and strays has many safe houses for the amount of visitors that arrive, often un-noticed. But I do wish they would tidy up after themselves!
The soup and the bread were delicious! Just as well I made enough for an army, as we had more visitors (the two legged kind) and a wonderful afternoon followed.
DIGGING by Edward Thomas,
To-day I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
And the square mustard field;
Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;
The smoke's smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.
It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth."