Friday, September 21, 2018

As We Near The Height of Fall

Autumn is here and I shouldn't been surprised, but I am.  Like always.
Monday we shucked and froze three dozen ears of corn.  Afterwards, as we were enjoying some Ben and Jerry's (vegan) ice cream, I was shocked to look outside and find it was nearly black.

Me:  "What time is it?!?!"
Matt:  "About 8:30pm.  Why?"
Me:  "How come its so dark already?!?!"
Matt:  "Because its Fall, Beth."

And so, it is.  So, it is.
Many years ago I decided that the Solstices/Equinoxes are usually a better indicator of the height of the season rather than the start of the season--at least in our climate in southcentral Montana.  I mean, June 21 is totally smack dab in the middle of summer, not the start of summer.  Conversely December 21st does not strike me as the start of winter here.  Not by a long shot.  And so on.  Using these dates as the relative peak of the season just makes more sense to me.
So, as the daylight hours slowly dwindle, the fall projects are all clicking into place in that satisfying seasonal rhythm I've come to hold so dear.
We canned a dozen quarts of dill pickles and froze about seven dozen ears of corn.
The garden is in full swing with my favorite late season offerings--peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes.  We've eaten so many cashew stuffed baby eggplants it is off the hook.  It my new favorite thing.  We planted a fall crop of greens and herbs that are just about ready to land on our plates.  I'm eager to try homegrown lettuce for the first time.  You know, now that I eat salad.
I made a bottle of The Hot Sauce That Matt Likes from the new pepper crop.  I'd actually had to buy some hot sauce earlier this year.  My peppers from last year didn't hold out quite long enough.  I can't really remember the last time I had to buy hot sauce.  It was years ago!  I primarily grow cayennes for my hot sauce though I've got two varieties this year--including a rather ginormous variety.
We've been grilling a lot this month--corn and onions, especially.  Though zucchini, pattypan squash, tofu, potatoes and others have made an appearance on the grill, too.
We pressed apples this past weekend--19 gallons of apple and almost one gallon of pear.  It was the first time we pressed pears.  We divvy the juice up with our friend Josh and his family since they're the ones who own the press and host our pressing party every year.   We actually didn't press apples last year.  We were too busy and the apple crop was poor so it didn't happen.  We all missed it though, as it turns out!
This year we picked from at least six different trees--and Josh picked from another five--so the apple juice is quite the melange.  We all agreed that the blended juice was more appealing to the palate than juice from just one tree.  Matt handed out a few bottles of fresh juice to his favorite co-workers (a modern day Johnny Appleseed, with a twist).  The rest we'll transform in to apple jelly and hard apple cider/wine.  We'll also bottle/freeze some to drink as juice over the course of the year--and to mull for a festive holiday drink.  There is something really special about a mug of warm and spicy cider on a cold winter day.
I am impressed that so many different flowers are still blazing in color through the cooling weather.  Of course, I don't know much about flowers so this might be absolutely normal.  The Cosmos and Bachelor Buttons are especially still on a roll.  I fell in love with the Brown-Eyed Susan that appeared  in one of our wildflower beds this year.  It quickly became my favorite--so bright and happy and lush.  As its flowers have withered I've cut several off to scatter around the property.  I'd sorta like them to take over.  The Chickadees are making short work of the Sunflower seeds.  I enjoy watching them come and go in their autumn busyness a great deal.  Busy, busy, busy.
I've had to break out the leggings for my morning commute--though I often don't need them for the return trip in the afternoon.  We had to slide the window closed the other night because it was just a bit too brisk, even tucked under a quilt.  We put a second quilt on the bed yesterday, in fact.
Ginger insists on staying out all night, savoring every outdoor moment before the snow, inevitably, comes.  I can't blame her.  I am savoring this fabulous fall weather myself.

2 comments:

  1. WOW!...you've been really productive...and your garden still looks beautiful!
    ~Have a lovely day!

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    Replies
    1. Fall really is our busiest time, especially the portion where were still trying to go camping/hiking every weekend, too! :) But, good (busy) times they are!! Have a swell day!

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