This time of year is always an outstanding point in the growing calendar here at Eden. Not just because this morning during the daily round of feeding the chickens letting them out of their house and then checking on all the other animals, I plucked and ate fresh ripe peaches from one of our many peach trees.
Also because this is the peak of the growing season for all the other produce too, we have harvested the main crop of potatoes Fiona and one of our interns are picking and preserving in one way or another every day of the week at the moment.
Peaches are halved and bottled, made in to jam or dried for later use, or we eat them fresh off the tree, cut up and eaten with yoghurt for breakfast or made in to a desert like peach crumble for dinner.
Tomatoes are eaten fresh, used in cooked dishes, bottled ,roasted and bottled, or made in to sauce and bottled. We will still be eating these bottled tomatoes well in to next year, sharing them with our apprentices and students as they arrive throughout the year.
Courgettes, aubergines ,peppers, onions and more tomatoes along with fresh garden herbs are combined to make ratatouille, some for immediate consumption and excess bottled ready for the long winter evenings, when summer abundance is both a memory and an anticipated future event.
With most of the pumpkins yet to fully ripen they are still only used fresh from the garden in soups, stews or roasted along with potatoes for dinner. Later they will be steamed and bottled, roasted and bottled or made in to soups and bottled.
With yet still more produce to mention chard, cabbages, kales, beats and carrots, some for now and some for later.
Oh and did I mention the apples? we should never forget the humble apple in all its varieties and variations of flavour and colour, just one a day will keep the doctor away.
The bottled abundance of Eden, Fiona has been bottling for many years now and since arriving in France we have been collecting second-hand jars to fill with the summer gluts of produce that good design provide. This year Fiona and the interns have exceeded present jar capacity of 150 litre jars so we have been out buying yet more pre-owned, adding another 30 jars. Looking at the garden this morning its telling us clearly we should keep on looking and buying if we are to store its abundance this year and avoid wasting any.