I cannot yet bring myself to embrace Autumn like I once did. Here in Sydney, the only signs of the changing seasons are bursts of torrential rain, moonlight on the drive home, and a sickly browning of the deciduous trees in place of the usual coppers, auburns, golds. But Sydney does have one distinct advantage over the Northeastern United States when it comes to Autumn: the garden is still green, still abundant.
Without the threat of impending frost, we plant dwarf green peas and drape our late tomatoes over the balcony edge. Once plucked of green caterpillars disguised as stems, the fruit begins to warm in color, too late perhaps for the taste of summer’s first tomato. But that’s the price we pay for waiting until February to plant this year’s crop (February–once the time for picking seeds out for the coming year, now a time for greenery, and the hottest nights you could ever possibly envision).
It’s been a tardy summer, filled with other things. But here, finally, we managed to grow more than we thought we could in tiny pots, full of store-bought soil. We have discovered that most things will grow in closer proximity than the seed packets claim, and while the results are occasionally cartoonish, like our French Breakfast radishes below will attest, they are still finer than their store-bought cousins.
Thinned out greens (young radish, kale, pea shoots, arugula, cilantro) make for memorable salads, accompanied only by good olive oil, a splash of balsamic, pepper, a dash of salt. And now that our sourdough starter is alive again (our newest pet), perhaps some homemade sourdough bread is in our future. Autumn is, after all, the start of baking season.
Time to go buy some flour.