Gifts from Mother Nature
Autumn has just started, and today we finally had a sunny and warm day after more than a week of almost constant rain. It was so tedious. Really not for me! It seemed as if all the rain we missed in the four months of summer fell in this one week. From one day to the next, we can see the trees and shrubs changing color today. My ivy is suddenly red, and the pear tree at the bottom of the garden also has quite a few red/orange branches already. We spent the whole day outside and enjoyed all the beauty.
Not only is nature beautiful to see, but it is also very generous with food. What an abundance of tasty things we have found lately! There is a large pear tree next to the house I rent out, at the top of the vineyard. Every year, the tree was full of pears and I never picked one. No idea why. I didn’t even know if they were edible. Well, they are! It looks like they are Conference pears, and they are really, really sweet! This year, I suddenly decided that I could definitely make something with pears, and so I (read: my father ;)) picked a lot of them. On the internet, I found two easy recipes for pears in syrup and pear jam. So I got started! I have peeled and chopped a lot of pears in the past few days. I preserved one half in jars to use as a dessert with ice cream, for example, or a pie filling. From the other half, I made jam (marmalade). That’s going to be tasty!
In addition, Bine has been to the forest several times to pick mushrooms. There are currently a lot of parasol mushrooms growing. A light-colored mushroom on a long stem with a large hat. They are very tasty when you bread them and fry them in oil. So we’ve had a few of those too. Today, Bine also found Porcine mushrooms. I don’t like them myself, but he loves them. He cuts them into small pieces and fries them in a pan with onions and eggs. You can also freeze them and prepare them that way later.
Furthermore, there is a large walnut tree just across our property boundary from which we have now also collected a lot of nuts and Bine has gone to collect chestnuts further down in a forest. What a wealth of food from nature, free and for nothing and without having to do anything for it :D.
But of course, I also still have crops such as tomatoes and leeks in my garden. I have already used a lot of tomatoes in the past month to make tomato sauce and soup and put them in jars for the winter. I also had delicious cucumbers, zucchini, and even deliciously sweet melons. And there is also a whole crate of onions in the cellar to eat from for quite a while.
Another nice »gift« were some beautiful little deep orange-colored pumpkins. Last year, I got a pumpkin from a neighbor that I kept outside as decoration for a while. Once it started to rot, I threw it in the bio-pit in a corner of our garden, where we dump all the vegetable and fruit waste. In the spring, we suddenly saw a large plant growing in the hole, and we had no idea what it was. It looked a bit like a zucchini plant, but it wasn’t. The foothills grew meters long, and suddenly we saw that small pumpkins were growing on it :D. A super nice surprise. So this year I have a number of them on the table as decoration. Conclusion: if we are good to Mother Nature, Mother Nature is very good to us!