I see from the papers that your tour with Leaf & Tree is getting glowing reviews across Canada. Hopefully this letter will reach in Halifax before your last performance there. (I know I can email you anytime but I like old-fashioned letters as do a fair number of the Kinrowan residents. I think it’s ingrained in the warp and weave of the Estate community.) I’m still surprised that medieval Swedish music is so popular among the older, more affluent Classical music audience.
Gus has been co-opting the Several Annies this past fortnight to help with the immense amount of late summer garden work (and grounds work as well) as the weather forecasts generally, according to his sources, agree with Tamsin, our hedgewitch in residence, that is going to be a brutally cold and rather snowy Winter. That means that everything must be checked and rechecked to make sure there are no nasty surprises, say slates coming loose in high winds or a barn door coming open because a hinge failed.
Tamsin indeed asked if there was a sheltered space that could be made ready for the many owls if need be. Gus said the big barn could be made so with just a bit of work by making entry spaces under the eaves. He noted that he didn’t know if the owls would take advantage off it so he will also add myriad shelter boxes in the woods around her cottage as well.
Mrs. Ware, despite the Estate now having reliable electricity thanks to the small hydro power station The Steward agreed to, still believes in root cellars and canning as much as possible. Pickles, relishes, fruits in honey, various vegetables, and even some meats get preserved for Winter use. And of course, lots of different sauerkrauts from the traditional cabbage ones to a decidedly quirky beet and carrot one.
Lastly there’s the matter of pumpkins and squashes. Either as part of a meal, in dessert forms say as pumpkin tarts, or in pumpkin ale, we use a lot of them and they must be harvested carefully so they’re not damaged. Gus has the Several Annies working with some of his lads on getting them harvested in the next two weeks which would be just after a light frost which helps mature them.
I must leave you now as a shipment of books awaits my attention. I’ll see you here in just over a week and I have a pleasant surprise for you!
With love, Iain