Sunday, October 6, 2013


This weekend was classic Fall, anyway you could possible define Fall. We had 48 hours with nothing on our schedule. No exaggeration, down to the hour.  It was the first time in a month, and it might well be the only time for next month. It was amazing.  We also got a lovely rain free weekend with a Sunday where temperatures snuck above 70 degrees.  Our Saturday morning began with a trip (our 2nd or 3rd this year?) to Bellewood Acres, where we rode the tractor train to pick apples, drank apple cider slushies, and played on a tire playground.

Andrew & Scout making some funny pumpkin head faces.
Scout's very excited face while riding the tractor train and eating an apple.
Andrew, while riding the tractor train.  Do you see those big wheels?
Scout eating an apple, her second of the trip.  The bottom right picture was the first one I took.  That's her cheese face.  The top right one is the second attempt; that's what I got when I told her that I wanted to take a picture of her eating an apple:  cheese face while taking a bite.  The picture on the left was my third attempt, when I told her just to look normal, no cheese face.
Except for a brief trip into Bellingham to say hello to some friends, the rest of our weekend was spent working in our yard and enjoying each other's company.   We had special breakfasts and watched cartoons in the morning, and snuggled up in the evenings.  Working in the yard in the Fall (maybe anytime?) always fills me with some regrets, a bit of kicking myself for not doing more.  I see the green beans that didn't get canned, that went bad on the vine and got tossed to the chickens.  I see the beets and other greens that went to seed that we never ate.  I'm desperately giving away the zucchini and other summer squash that has sounded terrible to me during the past few months of picky eating.  I think about all the herbs that grew fresh in our yard that I never used.  I see the raspberry starts that should have gotten a new row and the strawberries that are in dire need of a weeding and transplanting.  I see all the space for a fall garden where we never got seeds in.
Scout playing in the hay mulched garden, after we rototilled it and put some compost down today.  She thought we had made a bed just for her.
And then I remember that we are gardening because we enjoy it.  Andrew and I are constantly reminding each other of this; that we can make plans and want to do better next season, but that the garden shouldn't be a thing that causes stress and's something that we want to do, that we enjoy doing, that makes us happy.  And it totally did make us happy this weekend, it felt great to get out in the yard and work.  Scout helped collect rocks, spread compost, push the wheelbarrow, feed the chickens, collect apples, and dig carrots right along with us.
Scout sitting on a log round, with Andrew's large pile of split wood behind her.
And, this evening, I'm able to look around my house and yard and remember all the things that we did accomplish this season. I can find the quarts of applesauce already preserved, as I smell the batch bubbling in the crockpot and I know that there are many more to come before our apples are done. I see the jars of apple juice and the cubes of carrot juice in the freezer. I look in the chest freezer and see bags of shredded zucchini and carrots. Underneath of those I can find pounds and pounds of raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Enough to get us through the winter easily. I see the rows of onions, red and sweet, in the garage; as well as the garlic, braided and hanging on a hook. I remember the small harvest of potatoes that we eagerly gobbled up. I look out our back door and see our 5 pumpkins sitting on our picnic table, waiting to be carved.  My hands are still slightly pruney from the 4 gallon bags worth of carrots I scrubbed today and put in the garage fridge.  I look at our grocery list and realize that it's probably been a year since we bought eggs, as our chickens lay plenty for us.  I can smell the bundles of lavender strung up throughout the house.  I know that outside there are two new pear trees planted this year, along with close to 4 cords of wood that Andrew has been working on splitting and stacking to warm our house this winter.  I'm dipping cinnamon sugar tortilla chips in my fresh batch of raspberry freezer jam and thinking that really, we are doing a pretty good job of getting food from our yard, and that really, I should focus on all the things we do accomplish, instead of kicking myself for not doing more.

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