Thursday 27 October 2011

Signs of spring - in October

The weather this year has been very odd. We started the year with the worst winter for 40 years. The spring was the driest on record for 400 years. The summer was a damp squib. And now, in autumn, the warm spell has resulted in many plants thinking it is spring.

Yellow gorse flowers are a familiar sight in May, not October but I took the following photo just three days ago.

gorse flowering Oct 11

Yarrow flowers in the summer but here it is flowering in Octoer:

yarrow Oct 11

I have also found that nettles, dandelions and other edible weeds are growing. I took a bag with me yesterday to pick the new leaves on the nettles. I steamed them last night and they will go into the freezer shortly. I'm going to pick another batch this afternoon to use in a flan for dinner tonight. We will use our own eggs for this. I've never seen this sort of new growth so late in the year so I'm making the most of it.

In the spring, I make salads from edible wild leaves and flowers. It looks like I'll be able to have an autumn version as well.

One of the other effects of the mild weather is the bees are still active. The hives are still buzzing and the bees seem to be bringing back quite a bit of pollen. That means there are lots of larvae needing to be fed, and that means the queens are still laying. Hive 2 in particular has been very busy. This was the colony we nearly lost a couple of months ago. The queen was missing and had not been replaced by the colony itself. We therefore had to put in a new queen. She is clearly laying. Hopefully, we will have three strong colonies ready to provide us with honey next year.

1 comment:

Astra said...

I noticed a tree in our garden budding in october las year too, very odd! I like your blog by the way - its really cool to see how you make the most of the free food there is around, I know about lots of it but never get round to harvesting it... I did use wild garlic last year though :)