December 28, 2022
There were serious doubts summer was not going to arrive in Tasmania this year, but with a few days left before we wave December goodbye there are signs of optimism. Warmth and sunshine also spells optimism for ripening boysenberries, raspberries – and tomatoes – all of which looked to be in serious jeopardy a few short weeks ago. For all it being a first world problem, no berries for Christmas would have been horrible to contemplate, and while the tomatoes will be later than usual there are encouraging signs they will be ready earlier than we first thought.
So for the next few weeks it looks like 5.30am starts to walk Della dog before a quick breakfast and then out to pick the berries in order to beat the worst of the heat. Just as well we’ve almost eaten our way to the bottom of the freezer. The winter months have seen it steadily emptied, and defrosted, so it’s ready and waiting to receive this year’s bounty in my usual collection of recycled and assorted containers.
There should be plenty of berries to share with friends too – even if I reckon the birds are not playing at all fair and stealing more than their share of the uncovered boysenberries. The wretched blackbirds aren’t at all fazed by the foil-wrapped used loo rolls strung up on the vines and swinging in the breeze that I fondly hoped might deter them. I may as well not have bothered. Sigh.
For all it’s supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation summer is always busy if you grow vegies, or have fruit trees that need harvesting. All this produce needs to be picked and processed, and some of it preserved for the winter months, so while I love the warmer weather and the extra hours of daylight, I cannot agree that summer is necessarily a time when the living is easy! Come winter though there is nothing more satisfying than knowing there’s a well-stocked freezer to rely on when preparing the week’s menu.