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8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cut flowers cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood floristry flower essence flower garden flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs Looby Macnamara lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Manda Scott Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm Midwest Permaculture mimic mindset mitigation money Morag Gamble moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig novel November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic flowers organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salads salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade shamanism sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban urban gardening veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year round year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Topics

8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cut flowers cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood floristry flower essence flower garden flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs Looby Macnamara lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Manda Scott Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm Midwest Permaculture mimic mindset mitigation money Morag Gamble moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig novel November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic flowers organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salads salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade shamanism sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban urban gardening veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year round year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Celebrating the Seasons: Autumn’s wild edge – September to October

Glennie Kindred shares how we can connect with Nature through Autumn, exploring the wild foods to forage in the hedgerows and how we can prepare for winter by sowing a selection of native winter greens.

The Earth’s energy is settling, the outer growth cycle is finishing and it will soon be time for the Earth and us, to rest again. There is a shift in the weather, a wildness blows in on colder winds and there is a sense that summer is over. We begin to feel the pull to prepare for the winter months as new possibilities begin to reveal themselves.

The life force goes into swelling the fruit and the seeds within the fruits. It is a time of nature’s wild abundance and a natural time to give thanks for all the abundance the Earth has given us this year. We give thanks for our personal harvest, our friendships, the adventures we have had, all that we have loved and appreciated, honouring our losses too as part of the whole.

Out on the land

It is time for wild blustery walks on the land, picking fruit from the wild edges of the fields and lanes. At this time of year never set out without plastic tubs for blackberries and elderberries, paper bags for sloes, rosehips, haws, seeds, nuts, wild apples and wild plums. At this time of year there are always new treasures to gather, and finding edible mushrooms is always a treat. Remember to step outside often to keep your connection to the land, especially when the day is dark. It is always much lighter outside and once out in the elements a fresh vigour and happiness fills you.

This is the time of the Autumn Equinox, when day and night are equal length, and light and dark are in balance. As you walk reflect on where you feel you have achieved a greater balance this year. What areas of your life do you feel are still out of balance? What do you feel you need to change in order to encourage more balance?

It is time for inner change as we go into the dark cycle and we assimilate and learn from our experiences of the summer. Like the plants and trees, we can shed the old leaves of our year’s outer growth and send the roots of our future happiness down deeper into the dark fertility within us. This strengthens us from the inside and brings us lasting stability.

A balanced approach to autumn

There are two approaches for the wild gardener at this time of year. One option is to do very little in the garden, let the plants die back naturally and compost the soil with their own leaves. This leaves seed heads for the seed eating birds and leaves the ground undisturbed for the wildlife to find where it wants to burrow into and hibernate. Everything eventually dies back and composts of its own accord without our intervention.

Some plants and bushes will benefit from being cut back. It helps hedges to thicken and stops garden trees from getting too big. When the buds begin to form during the winter, they will then be putting their energy into next year’s growth. Tree and hedge trimmings can be piled along the edges of the garden for wildlife to hibernate in.

I take a balanced approach to autumn and walk the middle way. I tidy up parts of the garden, shutting down some of the empty growing beds for next year by spreading them with a layer of manure and compost mix. All the little creatures that live in the soil pull it all down during the winter and it improves the life and energy of the soil ready for planting in the spring. I let the edges stay wild, leaving plenty for the birds to eat and creating plenty of places to encourage safe hibernation for all the wildlife I love to share this garden with.

Sowing native winter greens

Cleavers, Corn Salad, Salad Burnet, Winter Cress

It seems crazy to be sowing seeds at this time of year, but this ensures edible greens you can pick in the winter and early spring. You need to get the seeds in by early September so the plants can get started while the weather is still warm. Some can be sprinkled directly in the ground, others benefit from being sown and planted out in a cloche or in tubs up by the house where you can keep an eye on them.

Cleavers

Pick the sticky seeds and sprinkle them in large pots for an early spring crop. If cleavers is treated like a crop and picked frequently, then an endless supply of the delicious tips keep growing. The plant is contained and doesn’t get the chance to ramble all over the garden.

Corn salad

If you haven’t a dedicated bed for self-seeded plants then sow the seeds now for early spring crops. They can be sprinkled in cloches for added protection or in any bed that remains largely undisturbed from now on and will catch the winter sun.

Salad burnet

Sow these in pots for an early salad crop next spring. They keep growing throughout the winter. The more you pick, the more fresh leaves appear.

Don’t put them in the cloche as they don’t need it and take up too much room in the spring.

Winter cress

Sow now for plenty of fresh winter and spring leaves.

This is an extract from Glennie Kindred’s Letting in the Wild Edges, which inspires us to celebrate the bounties of our wild native plants and find a richer relationship with the natural world around us.

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