Late Harvest

It’s been the mildest October on record. A walk along the Exeter canal a few days ago yielded sweet blackberries – even the devil hasn’t got around to spitting on them yet - and a heavy crop of hawthorn berries, but also fresh green growth of yarrow and plantain, nettles and sneezewort. With the blurring of seasons, plants that normally would have been knocked back by lower temperatures are still making new leaves. It’s too soon to harvest roots, because the growing season has been extended.
It’s good news for most wildlife, unless they rely on a particular food being available at the right time for them. And it’s good news for growers of tender plants in the UK; it should be an excellent year for British wine. Herb cultivation should benefit too. Perhaps as other kinds of farming get less profitable, we’ll see an increase in the production of home-grown herbs.

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