October in our Venetian Kitchen Garden

October is a transition month in Venice. On the one hand, you can expect summery days and at noon, you won’t find a difference to any balmy warm summer day. Yet the garden gets rather humid in the morning. Sunrise is getting paler while during the day, the lights are getting much stronger.

The colors of October take on a warm blue hue, which can become flamboyant yet look very azure in the early afternoon.

Harvesting sage, lemon balm, thyme, mint and lavender. They go into a syrup called “Lo sciroppo delle cinque erbe” so useful to fight off the first signs of flu.

After all, October can be considered the Month of Canaletto. All famous painters used the clear and crisp October morning light to paint. Read more about Canaletto’s summer lights in October in this blog post.

From mid-October, you may expect fog for days on end. It doesn’t mean you won’t see a ray of sun. Usually at noon, for 1-2 hours, it may seem that the sun has won the fight against the white fog cover. Of course, acqua alta can also be expected during the month.

It’s the time of harvest, and we love end-September and the first part of October to harvest those herbs we use to dry. Lavender and oregano is an example, and also rose petals. We never dry basil or mint, these herbs lose too much taste when drying.

Tomatoes still ripe, and so do zucchini. Yet we use them to make home-made passata di pomodoro, or make a zucchini-squash-broccoli minestra, flavored with a hint of tumeric, red paprika and mustard seeds.

This is our favorite cake for early autumn. Figs and blue grapes cake, flavored with a lavender-mint frosting. Of course, these ingredients come from our garden.

The leaves of the deciduous trees are still rather green. Our fig tree’s leaves are usually first to turn slightly yellow during the last days of October. Sweet potatoes still grow lush in our vegetable garden, and we can harvest raspberries until November.

Our olive tree. Too young, or perhaps it was too dry in summer to grow olives …