We have an unheated utility annex in our house where we tend to keep produce; a kind of nature's larder if you will. Yesterday our neighbour Ged passed a big pumpkin over the wall to us as a gift; a great Allantide/Halloween offering which no doubt will end up in a pot over the course of the next week or more (they keep so well). I added this to the developing pile of produce in the utility and suddenly realised how much we had and, even better, that most of it had been free!
The apples were a present from our other neighbour Pete. He has an apple tree in his front garden but doesn't tend to pick them. Not wanting to see them go to waste I asked whether he would mind if we picked some over the coming days and he agreed wholeheartedly. The next day, and before we had managed to pick any, we found a basket full of apples outside our back gate. A few days later we found a bag with the cauliflower in hanging on the door handle of our back door. This again was Pete, who had been out doing a bit of work in the local cauli fields and brought back some of the fruits of his labours.
The nuts are from Phil's recent foraging activities locally and the long squash and herbs from our garden. The only thing that was purchased was the Crown Prince squash (the greyish one) that Phil got in a local farm shop recently for £1.50.
So the nights may be darkening and the air becoming slightly crisper (although what an amazing autumn so far), but nobody can deny that this time of year is wonderful for filling natures larder whether that be from the garden, local countryside or a friendly neighbourhood gesture.