There is this wonderful scene from Pooh’s Grand Adventure (persevere through the advertisement!) that perfectly captures my feelings about this time of year.
“Hot chocolate-y mornings and toasty marshmallow evenings indeed!”
Summer is hot and bright and the day is filled to the brim with endless tasks on the farm. After the sogginess of spring it is a warm and welcome relief to be planting, weeding, and eating the early harvest of new greens and sweet berries. Seems that there just isn’t enough daylight for the tasks before you.
Autumn brings the fruits of your labor. Like the ant, endlessly preparing for the winter to come I am grinding through canning and preserving. Right now the harvest is in full swing, canning and pickling and freezing and butchering and storing. About the middle of October someone will mention putting something up in jars and I think to myself that I just can’t do one more batch. Just can’t. Lost my will to can. Do not have to fill EVERY jar.
Then it is done. The frost hits the pumpkins, rain starts and harvest is finished. The endless trips down the stairs to the basement canning pantry with full jars and the commensurate number of trips upstairs with boxes of empty jars – wide mouth quarts for pickles, peaches and tomatoes, narrow mouth for grape juice and apple cider – it just stops. And then, a reversal happens and suddenly the full jars are coming back upstairs – two, three, four at a time – to make stew, soup, chili and other warm, comforting meals for cold, dark, winter nights.
Autumn is also a busy time for local farm with pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Great article in the Sun the other day about Kenneth Jensen’s B-17 Corn Maze in Poulsbo. For a list of other harvest related activities in Kitsap check out the Kitsap Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Harvest Festival Page! Farmer’s markets will all run through mid-October. Bainbridge and Poulsbo markets have extended winter seasons through December for holiday shopping so even if you didn’t plant a garden you can still enjoy the bounty of the season!