Have you felt it yet? There’s definitely a change in the air as the seasons start to turn. There are hopefully a few more sunny days ahead, but here in Edinburgh the mornings have had a wee chill, and the evenings are starting to shorten. This Lùnastal time of year – halfway between the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox – is my favourite. I say that about every time of year, I know, but hear me out! There’s so much seasonal goodness to enjoy this month during this glorious in‑between time. Here are some things that I’m making, doing and celebrating this month.
The blackberries are beginning to ripen in the hedgerows – I’ve been monitoring my usual spots! When blackberrying you’ll need dedication, gardening gloves, maybe a ladder or tall person and a large box or basket to collect them in. For the best flavour pick at the end of a sunny afternoon, opting for berries that are plump and sweet. Be sure to leave enough fruit for other foragers and wildlife. I can’t wait to make a batch of bramble and bay jam.
Picnic by a Golden Field
… though ask permission from the farmer first! All around, the countryside is beginning to turn golden and soon the farmers will harvest their grains. An idyllic spot for a picnic with seasonal produce. Pack simple fare: dips, crackers and fresh seasonal fruit will hit the spot. Practice mindfulness to slow down and embrace the moment: watch the corn ripple like waves and listen to its gentle rustle in the wind.
Enjoy Trans-seasonal Produce
Late Summer goodness meets early Autumn produce at this trans‑seasonal time of year. The plums are ripe and ready for eating, while the first British corn is delicious cooked on the cob or simmered in a curry ‑ I love Anna Jones’ recipe in her latest book (pictured below). I recommend a trip to your local farmers’ market for the best of what’s in season where you live, to be kinder to the planet – and your wallet. I came away with five punnets of fruit for £10 last week!
Head to the Hills
August sees the heather in full bloom and hillsides transform with purple hues. If you’re lucky enough to have heather where you live, head to the hills to see the spectacle up close. I’m biased but it’s pretty special in the North of Scotland and I’m longing to go back to Skye. We had the most idyllic stay at Inverlonan last week – more on that soon – and passed breathtaking views along the way, a blur of forest green and dusky purple.
Late Summer blooms are still in full flush and many of them are perfect for preserving. Hydrangeas are a prime example, and look all the more beautiful as they fade. Pop a few stems in a vase with a couple of centimetres of water and leave them in a dark room to dry out and bring cheer all Winter long. I’m excited for a flower arranging workshop at Pyrus tomorrow – I’m loving how the shades of the flowers are changing with the seasons and the number of stems that lend themselves to drying out.
What have you got planned this August?