It's fall, and I'm not ready for it. You'll have to drag me into autumn kicking and screaming, because I want to hold on to the long, hot summer days of the past two months.
Alas... It's getting darker sooner, and the rains have started. I know the earth desperately needs water, and I know it will be nice to physically slow down in fall and winter, but... but... but... I. Love. Summer.
Everything has ripened early this year, so much so that we've harvested most of the garden already!
The boys helped harvest garlic and onions, and we've had a beautiful crop of them.
We harvested boxes and boxes of potatoes, and I'm glad that I had the help of my sons and one of their friends, and later on for another garden bed the "help" of my little daughter and two of her friends.
The girls' showed unending enthusiasm for finding the buried treasures, and I had to intervene several times when they were so excited about grabbing the taters that they forgot to take turns.
The garden is looking quite bare and was neglected weed-wise, until I went out on Sunday and pulled out three large wheelbarrow loads of weeds. They came out like butter after two days of hard rain.
I love weeding because it connects me with the Earth, gets my blood pumping and me sweating, embeds dirt in my fingernails (yeah, I'm not a diamond ring kind of gal, I'm a dirt under the fingernails woman), and it makes everything look pretty and tidy (that's the German in me).
There's still beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, some beans, tomatoes, kale, collards, chard, cucumbers, zucchini and winter squash in the garden, but all the rest is harvested. The orchard is loaded with apples, but we already harvested the pears (and love eating them with whipping cream).
A few days ago we drove to the East Side towards Winthrop and picked elderberries. We scouted for them in the spring, when they are covered with blossoms and easy to spot, and now was the time to strike. We picked two large grocery bags in a matter of minutes, which the next day I made into elderberry syrup, a potent medicine to ward off colds and flu.
I made the kids help me pick the berries off the stems, which they weren't happy about because it's messy, and bugs kept crawling out, but I reminded them that sometimes, you just gotta suck it up and help. Period.
I have a tutorial on how to make elderberry syrup here, and you don't even need fresh berries for it but can order dried ones online.
I made a total of six quarts of elderberry syrup (with more berries to spare, waiting in the freezer for a later date in case we run out). Considering that 4 ounces of this sells for $12 at a health food store, that means I made about $600 worth of elderberry syrup.
I will leave you with two images of things I love.
One is Raka, our puppy who isn't a puppy any more, and the other is our brand new porch. We have a PORCH!!! I am elated because I've wanted one ever since we bought our place 14 years ago, and now I have an easy-to-maintain concrete porch.
What's going on in your life right now? How are you feeling about fall arriving?