October can feel like the last days of summer and the first nights of winter.

Looking on the happy Autumn-fields, and thinking of the days that are no more.

Alfred Lord Tennyson
Morning sunrise over a meadow in October, light shining through a tree
October Sunrise over a meadow

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Notable Dates in October

Mid September to November (TBC) – Matlock Bath Illuminations

6th October – New Moon

TBA – Melton Mowbray Food Festival

9th October – Golden Spurtle

10th October – World Conker Championships

20th October – Full Moon

October seasonal Foods

What is seasonal in October.

Greens and leaves: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cavolo nero, Kohlrabi, Kale, Lamb’s lettuce, Lettuce, Pak choi, Radicchio, Salsify, Swiss chard.

Roots and other veg: Aubergine, Beetroot, Celery, Celeriac, Garlic, Globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, Leek, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Pepper, Pumpkin, Quince, Radish, Runner bean, Spring onion, Swede, Sweet potato, Tomato, Turnip.

Meat: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Grouse, Goose, Guinea fowl, Lamb, Pork, Venison.

Fruit: Blackberry, Chestnut, Cranberry, Elderberries, Pear, Plum,

Seafood: Crab, Mackerel, Mussels, Oyster.

Exotics: Banana, Date, Fig, Pomegranate.

In nature

Autumn gales and first frosts

For more inspiration see the Nature Blog

On the Farm

Continued sheep maintenance, dipping and clipping about the rear.

Calved weaned and cattle fed.

Potatoes and beets harvested. Last of wheat harvested if wet or late harvest.

Maize harvested for silage.

Ploughing and harrowing continues, setting of winter cereals.

Corn sales and transport – either to factors or stored locally.

Ivy flowers a late bounty for insects and bees

Things to do in October

In the October garden

What to plant and sow

Gardening hints

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Out and about

Also see the Out and about Blogs

Days and nights draw even.

Autumn colour on a rural track in October

Recipe of the month.

Pumpkin Pie

I am not a fan of wasting good food, and this includes Pumpkins. However, if you insist on carving up a pumpkin, pie has to be the best way to use up flesh left over from carving Halloween pumpkins, however, you can also make it with butternut-squash flesh, or even an unmolested pumpkin.

I love it, it’s a lovely, tasty torte type treat.


For the pumpkin pie:

300g all-butter shop-bought shortcrust pastry (Or you can make it).

400g peeled, deseeded pumpkin or squash flesh

85g caster sugar

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

3tbsp dry sherry

1tsp cinnamon

5 medium egg yolks

150ml double cream

Icing sugar, for dusting

For the syllabub:

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2tbsp juice

100ml dry sherry

2tbsp caster sugar

285ml double cream


23cm quiche dish or tart tin with a removable base

Greaseproof paper and baking beans

Liquidiser or stick blender

Rolling Pin, if making pastry (no need for pre-made).

Mixing bowl


Separate eggs

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/mark 6.


Unfold pastry (or roll out if homemade) and line dish or tin. Patch up any holes with pastry offcuts and prick the base with a fork. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Chill for 30 minutes.

Roughly chop the pumpkin or squash flesh and put into a saucepan with 200ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for about 20 minutes for pumpkin or 40 minutes for squash. The flesh should be very soft and most of the water should have evaporated. Liquidise into a purée.

Place the pastry case in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Mix the sugar, lemon and orange zest, sherry and cinnamon into the warm purée. Beat the egg yolks and cream together, add a small pinch of salt and stir into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes or until just set.

For the syllabub, place the lemon zest in a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice, sherry, sugar and cream. Whisk until it forms soft, floppy peaks. Chill, covered, until needed.

Serve the tart at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by the syllabub.

For more inspiration see the Food Blogs

Evening sunshine over a field of un harvested corn

Activities, things to see and do in October

With shortening days there are fewer opportunities to get out and abou to see what is happening in nature and the countryside.

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October in pictures

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