Autumn on the Farm

This year autumn is somewhat similar, and yet vastly different than previous years for us.  The cool weather is arriving, nights are getting down into the 40’s, the wind has been picking up, and the shortening of the days is becoming more and more apparent.  No leaves turning yet, but I have a feeling it’s just around the corner.  Last week I heard the first sound that signals autumn around here – the bugling of an elk.  It was such a beautiful noise and it gave me goosebumps up and down my spine.  Then yesterday a huge flock of geese flew right over the farm, honking to eachother as they went.  I’ve also noticed the swallows are long gone – unfortunately that means there is no one here to eat the flies, and they are not gone yet, but the flies definitely wont be missed the way the swallows are.

The main difference for us this fall is the lack of garden.  Normally this time of year is packed full of harvesting and putting up the bounty from the garden.  We have such a short growing season that most things aren’t ready until this time of year anyway and it all comes at once.  But since we moved into the new farm too late in the season for a garden this year it is very different.  We have walked the property planning and dreaming of the garden(s) that we will have in the future, the first one next year.  I’m definitely missing it, but enjoying the hope of one next year and for years to come.

Despite the lack of garden I have been doing some canning.  I got some good prices on peaches and tomatoes and canned 33 quarts of peaches (quartered in honey syrup) and 27 quarts of stewed tomatoes.  I love to have the stewed tomatoes to put in soups, stews, and chilis all winter.  And the kids eat the peaches as a snack just as they are, or we pour them over shortcake and sprinkle them with a bit of brown sugar.  Mmmmmmm!  We might do some apples as well, but the possibility of that is looking a bit bleak this year, it hasn’t been a good year for apples in our area.  Which brings up another thing we dream about adding to the farm in the future – apple trees!  We shall see.

This is my first try at canning with honey.  I got a book for my birthday called “Putting it up with Honey,” and finally was able to put it to good use.  The peaches tasted delicious in the honey syrup and I love knowing that they are healthier for the kids than using white sugar.  I haven’t tried any jams or jellies, and I hear they can be quite tricky with honey, but at some point I will try and hopefully the book will help me be successful.

So as the sun heads for it’s hiding place behind the mountains I better get back to the kitchen.  I’m going to be making some butter and then using the fresh buttermilk for pancakes for dinner.  Yes, we enjoy breakfast for dinner at least once a week around here!

Happy Autumn!

4 thoughts on “Autumn on the Farm

  1. Night temps in the 40s. Say it ain’t so! I feel bad that we’re getting down to the 50s here in Northeastern Wisconsin (really, really hot summer) and I’m whining about that. Snow can’t be that far behind right?

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    • Thanks for commenting, I just started this blog and you are my first comment!

      I do think snow is in the near future, at least a light dusting that melts right away. I don’t think we will get out of the month of September without that happening. It looks like we will be getting down into the 30s at night this weekend.

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  2. We are worlds apart in climate (it never gets to freezing here in Sydney Australia) and in the way we manage our gardens (I have food crops all year round) yet still I sense there’s quite a bit of overlap. I’m very interested in how you can with honey. I have beehives and they are massively productive (the climite is heaven for them) so using honey to preserve things sounds pretty interesting. I’ll keep my eye on this blog and hope one day to see you describe your experiment in jam made with honey.

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    • We are definitely worlds apart. We have a TEN WEEK growing season. Isn’t that crazy? But I have found the things that I am successful with here and I just do a bunch of them and try to fill the freezer and the canning jars to use them through the year, knowing I will have to buy the things I can’t grow. We are planning to eventually put up a greenhouse at the new farm. That would make it so I had a longer season and/or could try hot weather plants like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc. Right now there is no way I could grow those things unless I did them in pots and brought the pots in each night and on the cooler days (and had somewhere to put them inside where they wouldn’t get clobbered by kids or the large dog – which I dont). So for now I watch for great deals on tomatoes and can them.
      I will be sure to share my jam with honey canning experiments when they happen this summer. Hopefully I will have success!

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