Some may argue that fall days aren’t ‘green’ precisely, what with all the gold, orange, and red leaves. But they are amongst some of the greenest to those of us with a large garden. Not so much in color, I’ll grant you, but in lifestyle. At least if green = tired!
Every moment I’m not at the day job seems full of squirreling away food for winter. Shelves in the cellar are groaning under the weight of more and more full canning jars every week. In addition to tomatoes and peaches (long our family standbys), our shelves sport homemade pasta sauces, ketchup, relish, jellies, and pickles. The freezer has jugs of cherry juice and many ziploc bags of frozen cherries, peaches, pumpkin and raspberries. Usually there would be strawberries, but this year’s weather did not produce good local berries, so we’ll do without. The dehydrator has crisped up cherries, peaches, tomatoes, plum, and assorted herbs (including some for tea experiments). Buckets of honey from our own bees are tucked under the stairwell.
We’re in full swing, looking for spots to keep dozens of squashes warm and dry to enjoy over the winter. Small house, no basement (just the aforementioned damp cellar), no attic, leads to some creative solutions! We tried this great Apple Acorn Squash Soup and have declared it worthy of the acorn squashes and some canning jars so we can enjoy it a few more times over the winter.
Joel and Jen picked off all the tomatoes ‘with color’ yesterday, leaving us with another six or so boxes of tomatoes ripening in the corner of the living room. Still to come: salsa, ratatouille, roasted tomato sauce, more pasta sauce. And more bacon and tomato sandwiches!
We haven’t started with apples. Juicing is another week away, and some apples will find themselves in the dehydrator as well. I also haven’t started with canning soups. Probably next weekend.
Soon our grain share will be ready for pick up, granting us wheat, rye, and oats for winter use. The freezer is packed with beef, pork, and lamb. The chickens we ordered from a local farmer will be ready for pick-up soon, and the guys hope to bag a deer or several yet this fall for our families to share.
Wow, you’d think I wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping all winter! But of course I still darken the doors of my supermarket at least once a week, notably for milk, cheese, yogurt (sensing a theme here? lol), fresh produce, coffee, baking ingredients and pet and cleaning supplies.
Still, there’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that we’ll eat well this winter! Once the frost comes (killing all the tomatoes still on the vine) life will settle down and we can catch up on some much needed rest, enjoying, literally, the fruits of our labors!