Autumn one of the most awaited Season! the third season of the year, when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May.
Last summer was a very hot summer here in Malta and our farm needed a bit of rest from the shining sun, that is why we always welcome autumn with open hands. the sun effects the soil and the produce and also rain was a minor thing in Malta this year so we had to help the lands we water sources instead of taking the natural water from the falling rain.
Autumn brings a lot of colours and tasteful produce.
Autumn seasonal produce
The Pomegranate is a neat, rounded shrub or small tree that can grow to 20 or 30 ft., but more typically to 12 to 16 ft. in height. The trunk is covered by a red-brown bark which later becomes grey. The branches are stiff, angular and often spiny. There is a strong tendency to sucker from the base. Pomegranates are also long-lived. The tough, leathery skin or rind is typically yellow overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red. The interior is separated by membranous walls and white, spongy, bitter tissue into compartments packed with sacs filled with sweetly acid, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp.
The Olives are native to the Mediterranean region, tropical and central Asia and various parts of Africa. The olive has a history almost as long as that of Western civilisation, its development being one of civilised man’s first accomplishments. The olive requires a long, hot growing season to properly ripen the fruit, no late spring frosts to kill the blossoms and sufficient winter chill to insure fruit set. The graceful, billowing appearance of the olive tree can be rather attractive. In an all-green garden its greyish foliage serves as an interesting accent. The attractive, gnarled branching pattern is also quite distinctive. Olives are long-lived with a life expectancy of 500 years. The trees are also tenacious, easily sprouting back even when chopped to the ground.
The Grapes are actually berries that grow in bunches on long, twining vines that can produce up to 50 bunches per season. Grapevines can produce for up to 60 years or even longer. Grapes are one of the most important fruits. We are famous for our ‘Girgentina’ & ‘Ġellewża’ grapes, which are Maltese grapes. Crisp berries of a uniform size and colour are the best indicator of ripe grapes. When selecting grapes, make sure that they are fresh and plump and tightly connected to the stem. They should not fall off the stem, but yield after pulling slightly. Avoid grapes with brown spots, although yellow spots are not necessarily a blemish. The most brightly coloured grapes are often also the sweetest. Soft grapes with dark spots should be avoided. The very thin powdery layer of wax protects the grapes and is an important criteria for freshness.
The Pumpkins are members of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers also. The skin of the pumpkin is usually ribbed and is usually orange on colour although some varieties are green, grey, yellow or red in colour. Pumpkins are harvested by hand when the fruit reaches full maturity. The fruit is ripe when the colour changes uniformly and the rind becomes hard. Pumpkins should be harvested by cutting the stem of the fruit with a sharp knife. it is best to harvest the fruit with a portion of stem as the fruit will keep better.