Here on the farm the seasons come and go with a regular rhythm. As we near the end of summer and the beginning of fall comes a strange mix of busy rush while at the same time things begin to slow down.
Some crops are finishing up or slowing down, the days are getting shorter helping us to quit earlier in the evenings and relax a little bit more, and the mornings are chilly enough to put a sweater on.
This is also a busy season of gathering and harvest as we prepare for winter. There is firewood to bring in, chop and stack, there are herbs to gather and tinctures to make to help keep us healthy during the winter, there is sauerkraut, pickles and apple butter to make and put up for the pantry.
More bulk crops are ready or almost ready to harvest. we have lots of beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash to harvest, sort and and sell. We are still working on getting the rest of our garlic cleaned and soon it will be time to plant next year’s crop. I have been busy canning, freezing and drying fruits and vegetables for the winter months ahead. Most of my canning and preserving happens near the end of the season because when each crop first comes on there is a lot of demand at the market but later there starts to be more extra as the plants grow more abundantly and after most everyone else has done their canning. I also enjoy gathering both wild herbs such as mullein leaves, elderberries, and rose hips, to be made into tinctures, teas, and cough syrups; and herbs from my little herb garden to add flavor to our soups and meals all winter.
Along with all of that, this year I am excited to be starting some homeschooling with our oldest son, David. He is eager to learn and I enjoy teaching him. He loves me to read stories out loud to him, learn simple math problems, practice writing letters, plus lots of fun coloring and some games. This year I am planning to start teaching him to read. Of course Matthew likes to get invovled whenever he can, too.
I always enjoy the changing of the seasons on the farm, each one brings new delights. While I enjoy them all, autumn has always been my favorite season. I love the longer evenings and the hint of chill in the air, I love the smell of spicy apple butter cooking down in the crockpot, and I love the colors of pumpkins, apples, and changing leaves.