We're slowly wrapping up the harvesting season. I was able to put by quite a lot of food in the past two months, some from our garden, some from the farm stands and I was gifted 70 pounds of beautiful roma tomatoes from my good friend, Diane. I made a lot of sauce, diced tomatoes, salsa, pizza sauce and even tried my hand at home made ketchup. The fruit ketchup I chose to try had peaches and apples in it as well and a kick of some jalapeno peppers. It's a delight and will be great to light up some winter dishes. I never appreciated that condiment until I made it for myself. It is a real load of work! Next time you put the squeeze to the Heinz ketchup, be thankful that anyone is willing to take on that task, it's a time consuming one. Along with the ketchup and tomato products, I was able to put by zucchini salsa, chicken broth and soup, waxed beans, pinto and cranberry beans, 3 types of jelly, and big vats of sauerkraut (which I'm fermenting for the first time!) and we've still the full apple collection to get through with apple sauce, butter and pie fillings still to come. I would also like to try my hand at canning a bit of venison if Music Man happens to get a deer this year. I did manage to dehydrate some foods as well including zucchini and cherry tomatoes and a bit of beef jerky.
This is the view of the garden in the distance, now dismantled except for the kale, which has gone strong all spring, summer and now into the fall, the sweet potato vines which have small roots on them and many voles. My entire potato crop was lost to the voles save for a few of them, and it looks like they've discovered the sweet potatoes also, not sure we'll see any ourselves. One of my friends told me to put Juicy Fruit gum in the holes and it drives them away. Worth a shot, I guess so I'll be picking some up the next time I'm out. When I have to compete with the voles, they seem to get the upper hand, every time. My sunflowers, which you can also see from this picture were just beautiful until the gold finches decided to pull every last petal off of them! Not sure why they are so offensive to them, but this is the third time I've grown them and every time, the gold finches do their damage.
I've got the indoors decked out for autumn, as well. Upcoming in a couple of weeks I will be gathering the women in my family for my annual tea. This is our 7th one and a day I really enjoy and look forward to. The men in the household go to their annual trip to visit with Little Red's godfather and his family, they live a couple of hours away. They visit and bang on drums for a while and I get to have some much needed female bonding time with my family. A good time is had by all.
I guess I will wrap this up here. Wishing you all a wonderful, fruitful, thankful, blessed autumn season. I know it's my favorite time of the year, and I hope you will find the joy in it that I do.
Harvest wishes to you all, ~Peacemom