I can hardly believe that September is just around the corner. The geese are moving through already and there is something in the air that heralds the changing of the season. Fall has always been my favorite time of year......and I really love fall on the farm. Apples, pumpkins, cornstalks, the thickening of winter coats on the livestock.....and the promise of a slight slowing-down of duties just around the corner. (One might hope!)
That being said, it really is one of the busiest times of year for a farmer's thoughts turn to harvesting, planting (if you can for a early winter garden or are overwintering with green manure) and of course- preserving. If you're lucky enough to have a bumper crop of something- you're probably researching ways to use it creatively in order to continue to enjoy eating it fresh or preserve what you have for winter stores. How many ways are there to fix zucchini anyway!?! (BTW- My family is sick and tired of the zuccs. So, I simply grate it up in a food processor and throw it in quart sized freezer bags. It's easy enough to throw it in a quick bread recipe in the fall and winter.....and those zucchini-hating kids of mine never know what their eating! Ha!).
I've always been a busy canner. The pantry is generally loaded by the end of October....and those full shelves are a beautiful sight for sure. We know we're blessed. This year we're lucky enough to have a crop of honey from our first beehives. We collected just enough for home use this year as very, very early in our season the nectar dried up. This was one of the most enjoyable activities we've done as a family as evidenced by the pictures below.
We're feeding our lovelies now actually, just to give them the best chance to overwinter. A neighbor approached us thanking us for the incredible crop of apples he had this year- all thanks to the bees. You're welcome!
We're grateful too- but truly the best thing you can do to thank the lovely bees is not to use chemicals. We're committed to have healthy pollinators here on the farm- but the girls do range and I worry about what they'll be exposed to as they work so hard to do their job. Please think carefully when using chemicals.
For now- we have much, much to do in preparation for the Harvest Festival, still loads of preserving to do and the start of tidying up the Veg Patch, collecting seeds and starts for next year......and a few lovely jars of honey in the pantry. How sweet it is....