Foraged blackberries at the campsite

Summer seems to have quickly turned into deep Autumn. Worse still, Winter feels very much as though it’s looming just around the corner. As the days get cooler its easy to yearn for the warmer and brighter days of the Summer months. But, we’re doing our best to revel in the darkness of this time of year and all of the magic it brings! 

Harvesting nature and the garden

We are celebrating the end of harvest season and the tremendous abundance that the hot Summer and October rains have brought. We’ve been gifted a bag full of fat chestnuts, we’ve dried masses of mushrooms and frozen bucket loads of hedgerow berries. We have stacked the firewood and bought the pumpkins and squash in, just before the frost, dotting them around the house for decoration. They look mystical.

We have a local expert Jane, who turns this produce into fantastic pesto, sauces and pickles as well as cordial and oils and next year we hope to be stocking some of her bounty.

During November we pick the last of the apples while dodging those that spontaneously fall from the tree. Eventually we all lose our battle against gravity! We will be using our gathered foods to make all sorts of delicious concoctions to enjoy through Winter. Rosehip syrup, apple crumble, pumpkin soup, blackberry cheesecake, penny bun risotto, elderberry syrup are all on the list.

hanging apples at the secret campsite

But, of course, a few boozy treats such as cider, sloe gin and pine vodka too!

Who is moving around?

The harvest season may be nearly over as the first frosts arrive but, there is still plenty to see whilst we are out and about.

Keep your eyes peeled for the last of the active creatures who will soon hibernate for the Winter – or ‘brumate’ if they’re reptiles.

The hardiest butterfly and moth species are still active, including Peacock, Red Admiral, and Small Tortoiseshells. Not forgetting the aptly named November Moth. If you don’t spot any of those, there are always the beautifully coloured Autumn leaves to enjoy.

Peacock butterfly at the secet campsite

The other treat at this time of year are the numerous bonfire nights taking place, especially here in Sussex. Make sure you chse out any hibernating hedgehogs before lighting the fire. Its also that time to light a log fire in the evening and read a good book. Try Wonderland by Stephen Moss and Brett Westwood it will inspire you to get out and encounter nature.

Here’s to a cosy Winter!

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