Wow, what can I say, it seems like everything has decided to flourish and be ready for harvest all at the same time. Although, if I'm being honest, not one of these harvestable plants/trees was actually something I had much of anything to do with. Of course, that might be why they are flourishing, but I'll leave that one right there! Just this last week we canned quite a few quarts of apple sauce, from the wonderful old and gnarly looking apple trees in the yard. I forget each year that they are an early producer, and it is not until all these apples start dropping to the ground that I realize we had better get a move on before the pigs become overly fat and our winter supply diminished. Each year I promise myself I will be better prepared the next year..... only to be in exactly the same place again.
Our dear lonesome pear tree, as sick as it has looked this year with browning leaves, has managed to produce some pears, along with some that our neighbor kindly gave us, we have quite the pear harvest waiting to fully ripen on our kitchen table. Now all I have to do is make sure our somewhat, rather large, puppy doesn't realize that pears are actually food, before the said pears have enough time to ripen. We then hope to can pears, pear sauce and maybe even some pear and raspberry jelly, if I'm feeling adventurous!
At the same time, I happened to peak at our grape vine today as our dogs madly rushed round it, under it, and through it chasing one another. Needless to say, I was met with abundant bunches of grapes. Now if they can just hang on one more day or two, then I can juice them and put away some grape juice for the winter months.
A couple of our actual vegetable plants, that we raised from seed, have actually made it to our kitchen table. Our Swiss Chard continues to be an over achiever, which is great. So far, we have had it fresh in dinners and have dehydrated some to add to soups and stews in the winter. We also got to harvest some plump ripe cherry tomatoes yesterday. I had forgotten the absolute rich, complex, juicy flavor of home-grown tomatoes. They are absolutely delicious. Now I am even more hopeful that they keep producing and that we get to harvest them before the critters realize they are ripe for the taking.
As we are trying our hand at harvesting our produce we are also preparing for winter and have almost reached the end of our pile of wood to move for the year. A few more wheelbarrow loads, a few more tunes cranked out while the children and I hope to reach the end of each pile, and we will be done and ready for winter.
I learnt something new this week too. Another thing to try our hands at if we get bored with moving wood, canning apple and pear sauce and fighting off hungry critters as we harvest the vegetables from our garden. I learnt that you could make a very health beneficial tea (so google says) out of corn silk! Yes, you heard right, corn silk. Not the dried-out bits that turn brown at the end of the husk, but the soft, moist silk inside the husk when you peel your corn. Now don't take my word for it, as I just read about it the other day and have just saved some to try it out, but hey if you are intrigued - try looking it up. You may be pleasantly surprised by all the things these discarded parts of the corn have to offer.
Well, that is it for our garden/yard update for today. The animals continue to do well and the next couple of weeks will see us have the vet out to give the goats a checkup before we start breeding season here on the farm. It is an exciting time, and we look forward to baby goats come spring. In the meantime, we are (shhh don't tell anyone) working on getting our Christmas products ready to make an appearance on our website, as we know some of you are early shoppers and we don't want to disappoint. We also have a returning fragrance making a reappearance here over the next week, and I must admit our home is smelling wonderful right now!
We hope that your garden, however big or small, be it a container pot of cherry tomatoes on your porch, a herb garden on your windowsill, or an acre of pumpkins on your farm, is doing good and that this meandering of a Brit on American soil finds you all well.