What's in Season - October

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I write this following a busy afternoon harvesting squashes and marrows in the late summer sunshine, with the sun on my back it is hard to imagine November is but a fortnight away with shorter daylight hours and freezing weather almost upon us.

Autumn Squash

It is days like these that should be made the most of, the trees have turned their autumnal shade, the sun casts long shadows over the fields and our summer pickings are at an end. I have cleared the polytunnel of the chillies which are now drying or pickling ready for the winter, the tomatillo plants have yielded three kilos of perfect fruits and the chard planted in early summer continues to supply me with a base for soups, gratins, risottos and pasta.

October sees the arrival of delicious autumn fruits such as quince, apples, late pears, medlars and sloe berries. Also from the wild larder there are still plentiful pickings of mushrooms (pleurottes, wood blewits, hedgehog fungus and the last of the chantrelles.

The game season is in full swing with plenty of wood pigeon, mallard, grouse, wild goose and snipe. For seafood lovers there are landings of brown crab, oysters (native and rock), lobster, mussels, sea bass and wild salmon.