Monday, September 19, 2016

I knew it was coming...

This morning I woke up earlier than usual, roused from sleep by a persistent sound I thought was a mouse that had found its way into our bedroom.  Then I realized the sound came from another source: RAIN.  When I stepped outside later, I heard the distant roaring of creeks and rivers nearby that had been filled up by this hard rain for the first time in months.

Later I built a fire in the wood stove to ward off the chill, and even later, when I took the dog for a walk, I saw new snow on the top of nearby mountains.

It's fall.

I knew this was coming, but nothing quite prepares you for the shift of glorious summer to dark, wet fall, seemingly from one day to the next.

The vegetable garden is starting to look appropriately autumnal: empty.  There's still lots of kale, collards, beets and winter squash, but for the past few weeks, we've harvested the rest of everything else: beans, broccoli, garlic...

And tomatoes!  Tomatoes!  Thanks to our greenhouse, they produced gorgeously, and I've made tons of salsa.  As soon as I make a big bowl of it, it's gone.  Scooped up with corn chips by small and large hands alike.

Also, we've consumed pounds and pounds of Greek salads, thanks to a prolific cucumber year and my homemade goat Feta cheese.  Here is a picture of our dinner one night when it wasn't raining yet: Greek salad, homemade bread, my Cabra Al Vino cheese, beet kvass and beet wine we had made six years ago.

Another prolific food this year: apples and kiwis.  The trees in our orchard are loaded, and I already made tons of applesauce.  We still have one tree with late apples, completely bent under their weight, possibly producing so heavily because we buried our oldest son's placenta under the tree when we first planted it almost 14 years ago.  

Too much information?  Sorry.

Placenta or not, the apples are delicious, and we will press them into cider later on.  Eva and her friends tried their cider pressing skills at the Marblemount community market and loved the process, especially the drinking part at the end.

With the coming rain, we shall spend lots of time indoors, putting food by, preparing great meals, and making stuff like Kombucha mixed with elderberry syrup.

Are you disgusted yet by how healthy we are?  I am.  It's sounds way too PC - elderberry syrup kombucha - but it's pretty darn delicious.  You do know that I teach how to do this in my online fermentation course, right?  You can go at your own pace and start and finish whenever you want, while I virtually hold your hand.

What else  does fall look like on our homestead?

... Goats that are getting ready to be bred, in preparation for next year's milking and baby goat season...

... The garden is getting put to bed, with cover crops and floating row cover to keep birds from eating the seeds, which doesn't work because the deer sneak into the garden at night and get the row cover all messed up.  These deer and birds are in it together, I tell ya.  It's a conspiracy...

... Kids are jumping on the trampoline every chance they get, before it gets bogged down and soggy from rain...

... Soap making in preparation for Christmas season...

What's up in your neck of the woods?


  1. I'm so jealous. Of your rain. We had what I would like to think was our last 104 degree day yesterday. Noted on the calendar with hope. We've already had a preponderance of mid 90 high 80 days all this month and half of last month. Apparently June and July are the grueling temperature months where it's day after day over 100. Then a week ago we saw rain in the clouds over the Sierra. Next thing I knew I felt pat, pat and we had a few drops. Noted that on the calendar, too. Funny how natural things get to be so noteworthy on a homestead. On Friday it's supposed to be 79. Oh let me tell you I am going to get so much done. We need to put up gutters over the horse pens and a chicken wire barrier around the winter garden. Marty doesn't know it yet but I'm going to make him make that whole area into a hoop house as there is already a study fence to hold the roof supports. My horse manure is cooking into fine compost. That pathetic tomato patch is going to morph into a fine winter garden. OK so you asked!

    1. Hoping it will RAIN soon in your neck of the woods, I mean desert...
      Glad you have some awesome compost cooking!

  2. I planted 30 Roma tomato plants and have harvested 60+ pounds of tomatoes so far. I am hoping these next few days of sun will ripen the biggest of the tomatoes which are not quite ready. Beans, onions, winter squash are basically done for this year...just waiting for frost to sweeten the squash! I too am planning to start making my soaps for Christmas gifts, etc. Either today or tomorrow. Lavender and another batch of mint, I think. Love your blog!

    1. Wowser! That's a lot of tomatoes!!! Salsa? Tomato sauce?
      The possibilities are endless!

  3. I loved everything about this post. Moving to a new area,new house new everything and it feels like the possibilities are endless instead of overwhelming. Great post. Tell me how you fill the long winter and maybe some advice on how to wean an Internet addicted kid off of it.

    1. Oh, I could write a whole blog post about this! We fill the long winters by reading, creating things (I love to knit, the boys love to make music, write, and all kinds of other stuff), putting on raingear and going OUTSIDE no matter what the weather, playing games, cooking good food, doing chores, and sometimes we take off and go on a road trip.
      In terms of internet... that's a huge topic. I think it's important to see what the kids see modelled from the adults in the house. If you spend a lot of time on the internet, your kid probably wants to as well. Get the kids involved in other activities. Play games! I flat out restrict my kids' use of the computers. They are addictive, and they would spend a lot of time in front of them if I let them. I don't. They are not allowed to spend more than a certain amount of time in front of devices. If need be, we take them away...

  4. I love all the images in your post. It made me want to wander into your life with a cup of something warm and wonderful to sip on. Fall. So fantastic!
    I love the feel of "we fully embrace life here" in this one:)