September signals the start of Autumn, and the hope of bright Indian summer days and a sense of calm. After the frantic pace of mid summer, things are slowing down in the garden and after lots of hard work throughout the year, harvesting is in full swing. Colours start to change with beautiful golds, deep purples and burnt oranges taking centre stage.
It’s a time for contemplation on how the year has progressed and for considering what the next year will bring. September is also a great month for the forager and for sharing crops where you have a surplus. Whether you grow your own, buy from farmshops, supermarkets or veg vans, there’s plenty of seasonal produce to enjoy.
Fruit in season
For those who are growing their own soft fruit in in abundance during September, plums, apples and pears to name but a few. Our Damson tree is laden with fruit and the warm deep plummy notes is a wonderful flavour. Damsons are at their best this time of year and unlike plums, don’t tend to be eaten raw due to the tartness of the flesh, however their intense flavour comes alive when preserved. We made Damson jam and vodka yesterday and It’s definitely putting a zing into our September stride! Other fruit in season includes: Blackberries, Bilberries, Bramley Apples, Loganberries, Plums, Redcurrants.
Vegetables in season
Just as we were about to harvest our sweetcorn Muntjac deers took a liking to it and nibbled our entire crop – judging by what was left they really enjoyed it! Potatoes and onions need to be harvested before the weather gets colder and courgettes will be coming to an end. For the kitchen gardener vegetables you could be harvesting may include beetroot, turnips and the last of the beans and peas.
At this time of year there is now an extensive range of commercially grown UK crops that you should also look out for: Artichokes, Aubergines, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chillies, Cucumber, Fennel, Garlic, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce, Marrow, New Potatoes, Onions, Pak Choi, Radishes, Rocket, Samphire, Spinach, Spring Onions, Squash, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Turnips and Watercress.
Natures larder overflows in September and delights to be foraged include, including Blackberries, Rowan berries, Hazlenuts, crab apples and Elderberries.
Lots of herbs are available to be harvested; Basil, Chervil, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Oregano, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme