I love this time of year. The canners are busy, the knitting needles are busy, the kids shift gears from outdoor fun to quiet, rainy days inside with books open. Leaves are starting to turn and fall; emitting “that” smell of the season. We anticipate fairs. We stack wood.
Life is good. Quiet in a sense of returning routines. We are so very aware of what a blessing this routine is.
Plant: I am trying a little experiment in the new garden this fall. We have tilled up the space. I have planted spinach and will be planting garlic and Egyptian onions soon. But there will still be plenty of time and space for weeds to move in. I usually plant some winter rye as a cover crop. But I have yet to get any. So I decided to use some of the organic hard red winter wheat I had in the cupboard. I was thinking that I would let it grow and go to seed next summer. After it is harvested then I will plant a succession crop in its place, maybe kale or other season extending crop. I can use the straw as mulch in the garden.
Harvested: tomatoes, basil, acorn squash, apples from our own trees. I am using these apples for preserving. They are pretty buggy and some have scab. I plan to go to an orchard for long term apple storage
Preserve: chicken stock, tomato puree, tomato salsa, pear butter, dehydrated apples
Local food systems: I bought bulk tomatoes from my local farmer for salsa and tomato puree. Local chicken, local milk,. Local beets. Local butter, local carrots from the health food store.
Eat the food.: I am immersing myself in the book Nourishing Traditions right now. I have made a beet Kvass which will be ready tomorrow. It is a tonic for general well being. I made homemade yogurt and yogurt cheese. I have used the whey from the yogurt cheese in the kvass. Local chicken dinner. I then made chicken stock from the left over bones. I add vinegar to the water as I boil the stock. This draws out the minerals from the bones. Another reason I love this time of year is the time I spend in the kitchen. All our meals are from scratch again. If it is a chilly day I get most of my canning and baking done later in the day so that our home is cozy warm in the evening.
Waste not: using up those bones, using the whey from the yogurt cheese. We are using up the emptied boxes from moving in our sheet mulching of perennial gardens. Recycling, stuff to the thrift store.
Want not: I pulled out winter clothes and clothes I stashed away for Evan to grow into. He only needs a few things for the coming season. I am writing up my to-do list for our handmade Christmas and checking to see what we have available for materials. Stacking wood for standing dry wood that Mark is harvesting. Well, tis mid-September and I had the hardest time finding regular sized canning jar lids. Finally found some and stocked up on a few boxes. But I think that next year I will try to get some reusable lids.