I remember when starting our journey into homesteading that everything was new. Each season held a new foray into learning, and of course I continue to learn daily. What is different now is that the rhythm of it all has settled for us. The rollover from completing the last processing of food, which is upcoming in the form of squashes, and pumpkins, becomes the time to focus on covering the greenhouse for Fall and Winter. It’s definitely time to get the basement ready for starting up the wood stove, and for hubby to bring around wood, for the fire, to the back door. During the Winter it’s time to look at indoor projects, of which I have a few on my mind! Right about end of February early March it is tree tapping and seed starting time, followed by planting and well, you get it. It’s cyclical like all else. The rhythm is comforting, expected and each part is enjoyed.
The last month has been busy with harvesting, canning, drying and freezing things. After thinking I planted too late and buying some bulk tomatoes from a nearby farm, suddenly it got warm in September and in came my tomatoes with vigor!
We have loads of tomato sauce, tomato basil soup, bbq sauce, ketchup and loads of…
The rest became salsa!
Anything after that became…
…tomato chips! Great for munching on or crumbling and sprinkling on salads and other dishes.
The Goji’s came in beautifully this year. Since they are sweet juicy but always with an odd bitter aftertaste, I thought I would make a jelly that is a mix of Goji and Blueberry, the sugar changes that bitterness. Two super foods rolled into one! There is great nutrition in these red berries. I also picked my MIL’s Aronia berries. That is another incredible super food! Mine have been stunted in growth by the hungry deer around here. I have to cage them to keep the deer away, but that is another project.
The Elderberry liquor turned out quite well. I thought maybe I had a cold coming on the other day, so I indulged in this and…
…Mint tea with Pineapple weed and some Mullein also all of which were gathered this Summer. The Pineapple Weed takes a long time to collect a jar’s worth! I don’t know if I was getting a cold or not, but I felt comforted that night, and better, for whatever reason, the next day.
A recent Fall day’s collection. Love how the palette changes as the season progresses.
We tried straw bale gardening this year, on a limited basis. I didn’t do the 12 day prescribed routine on the bales quite right but we did get some potatoes, beans and carrots out of them. My carrots in soil are stunted and bent due to the soil being hard but the three larger carrots came out of the bales and they are the best and straightest carrots ever, from now on, all carrots go in bales. I will have a large carrot harvest next year, based on this finding!
The cattle are acclimating nicely to the cooler weather, they couldn’t be happier. Highlands like the cool. We have three little ones now, and the cool weather has had them running and playing together, so cute.
First really cool night, I had popcorn on my mind. Still using up the last of the popcorn our neighbors grew and gifted to us. Looking forward to many more cool nights this Winter.