It is harvest time, there are several harvest festivals around these parts.
We are having a heat wave, 95 high and 64 low. Some plants know what to do and some are just confused.
How is your fall going?
This always amazes me that I live in a tropical country but the temps here are usually lower than back in the U.S. Definitely lower than Detroit at this time of year. Must be due to living in the mountains. That being said, it's also apple season here in Guatemala. So far this week I've made apple pancakes, applesauce, and apple crisp. But I do kind of miss the cider mills back in Michigan...
I always snap to attention when the solstices and equinox hit......my life ticks along to that clock and in the kind of work I do (did) ((still do, but not for a living anymore)) I notice the subtle changes in light weekly.
It's a nice autumn here, but way too chilly this early. The few things left in the garden, and my flowers are loving it however. Rain.......plenty of glorious rain all summer and still coming. Not flooding type rain, but the kind of rain needed to ease perennials and trees into a good winter dormancy. Mornings with fog and the cinnamon smell of wet woods and leaves. My body is confused however with regulating temperature. I'm cold until I start working and then shed the wraps, and when I stop to rest, put them back on. Oh bother.
Hearing the geese now honking their way across the sky in vees. Occasionally smell woodsmoke and my heart zooms back to Missouri and the cottage industry charcoal factories back in the hills. My apples are gathered, and my spouse is working up black walnuts now. Tedious and messy and so worth it.
Quinces on one tree are turning golden, and that means soon I shall be working them for to mix with the apple juice for jelly. A friend has a particulary pungent crab apple tree we are toying with using this year for jellies. I can feel my mouth puckering just thinking about it, and the quince would make a good companion to it. Only big job left in the way of putting by is pumpkin. It's not my fav way to spend a couple days, but the pies are its own reward and I'm starting to crave them now. Also craving some good homemade minced meat. fats and carbs. Yep, stoking up food.
My little rhode island red pullets are starting to egg now, and that means I'll have a good supply of eggs, even in winter this year. I'm letting my flock shrink down and the rest of the gals are way too long in the tooth to egg in winter. But when they do produce they're so huge you can't shut the cartons.
They coop needs mucked and hayed in good before it gets cold, and the poop is really deep this year. Not looking forward to that. Gonna remove a whole wall of nesting boxes I don't need anymore too. Can't believe I used to keep a hundred hens!
Three weeks ago, I decided to knock down a few cobwebs in the kitchen, and you know how one thing leads to another. Decided to do my winter housecleaning now instead of later. For years I was seriously into growing poinsettias by now and busy with them until Christmas eve. I don't think I'm going to miss that at all. I have ONE pot of them up in the g'house now.
Yep..........think I'm OK with fall and hope it lasts until January.
The pear tree has been dropping green pears for the past month; it's just begun to drop pale golden [almost ripe] pears. The dropped pears are bruised and/or half-eaten by big bees, but fine for burying in the garden; compost on site. Those big bees are a bit scarey, being about 4 inches long each with a wicked-looking stinger, but they ignore us in favor of eating fresh-pear-on-a-branch. DH picked about ten 5-gallon buckets of nearly ripe pears just from the bottom-most branches -- our next year's supply without even getting on the ladder. At his age, I prefer that he not go ladder climbing so I'm grateful for the tree's bounty. We're trying to talk neighbors and friends into coming over and getting as many (or more) as they want. While the squirrels seem to consider pear blossoms their springtime entree, they ignore the fruits. Yesterday put up 6 jars of diced pears (for a pear dessert DH favors) and will put up another 2 dozen over the next couple weeks; then plain slices, a pie-filling, pear honey and pear jam. I'm considering a different recipe for the jam, one that uses dried cranberries as well as the pears. I wish the apple tree had grown as happily as that pear tree.
The Purple Dome asters are a mass of blooms in spite of being sadly overcrowded; like it or not, I'm going to have to do a major thinning next spring. I hope it's my imagination, but there doesn't seem to be as many goldenrods or wild fall asters along the roadsides this year. Even the chicory is/has been scarce. Our trees shouldn't color until mid-late October, but as always, a few are turning yellow early.
More acorns are dropping, these are larger than a man's thumb and you *don't* want to be hit by one! The vehicles are being parked streetside until the trees cease and desist. Some years ago I parked my brand-new car under those oaks, overnight the car's top, hood and trunklid acquired a dense constellation of dents 1/2" deep and acorn shaped. I muttered imprecations about new cars not being as well made as old cars -the old Mazda never even dimpled under the heaviest acorn drop; but we now practice pre-emptive prevention, starting with the first drop of the pin-oak's tiny fruit until the last of the giants has fallen; that's about 10 weeks we don't use the driveway (sigh, but the summer shade is worth the inconvenience).
I'm looking over the pantry shelves, and must admit to this year being notable for the fewest jars of anything put up -- only the year I had a broken wrist followed by a badly sprained wrist [other one] during summer/fall saw October in with fewer jars. I'm glad that having so little preserved doesn't mean that we have to do without this winter! Well, we will do without some things -when the pizza or Creole sauce is gone, it's gone- but that doesn't mean hunger, just different menus.
I forgot it was the first day of fall. Now that I think about it, planting two dogwood trees for a friend on a drizzly, wet day was the perfect way to celebrate. Man was that clay heavy and wet. I removed it all and filled the planting hole with a combination of one part peat, one part manure, and two parts topsoil.
Just finished making a batch of concord grape jam, have enough left for a pie and maybe some to freeze for a pie later on. It is a drag preparing the grapes but the results are worth it. The house smells divine.
I am starting the divide, discard and give away mode of the garden. It was a great year for perenials, and they need whipped into shape. New young neighbors across the street, she is always working in the yard. I have probably done an evil thing - gaver her bearded iris, siberian iris and day lilies. Gave the same to DD's beau who just bought an old house with a BIG yard. They were all gifted to me nany years ago. Spread the joy.
Last week Christy was home on vacation. It was quite cool and fall-like. This week it warmed up but last week gave us notice that fall was coming. It's been quite rainy this week, even though it was also quite warm. I didn't get much canned this year either. I was too busy making and eating all the heirloom tomatoes as fresh pasta sauces, and chili. In honor of Fall I did open a pint of sour pickles. They came out great. Maybe opening the pint will let me hold off on opening a quart until later on. I only grew a bunch of basil plants and bunch of containers of tomatoes. The basil is slowing down. As you'd expect the only tomatoes to still produce like crazy are the Sungolds. Prolific little buggers.