Ya know what? This girl's tired. I ain't even gunna try to hide it.
As our growing season comes to end, I can't help but feel mixed emotions. I am sad in the fact that I will no longer be able to gather side dishes from the garden. I am sad that it will be another year before I will taste the warm, oozy deliciousness of a ripe peach and it will be another year before I will gather a basket full of goodness in all it's garden glory. Collecting and eating the bounty of the summer is not only entertaining, it is downright wonderful.
That being said.
I am also happy. You see, for the past four months, I've done nothing but dry fruit, pickle beans, freeze and slice a variety of produce, and make chutneys. I've concocted berry syrups and tomato purees. I've shucked and blanched corn and dehydrated herbs. I've filled a chest freezer and closet full of summer goodness to be enjoyed year round…and that's a lot of work!
Here's our list of stored & preserved food for the winter (in no particular or organized order) thus far (we still have applesauce, dehydrated apple slices, kale, more green beans, and onions to go!):
6 quarts pickled asparagus
11.5 pounds frozen berries
5 bags frozen kale
12 quarts canned cherries
Dried cherries, 1/2 gallon bag
Dried peaches, 1 gallon bag
4 gallons frozen cots
Dried pears, 2.5 gallon bags
18 quarts canned cots
2 quarts frozen chives
2.5 gallon bags of frozen peaches
1 gallon bag of peach nectar, frozen
29 quarts canned peaches
4 gallon bags frozen green beans
1 pound frozen jalapenos
2 quarts pickles
8 pints canned banana peppers
2 pints pickled beans
3 gallon bags of frozen, sliced peppers
1 quart frozen green onions
5 gallon bags of frozen corn
2 gallon bags of carrots, stored for winter
1 gallon bag of beets, stored for winter
12 quarts canned pears
4 pints pear butter
4 gallon bags of frozen tomatoes
1 quart dehydrated tomatoes
3 quarts canned tomatoes
I. Am. Tired.
I am fully embracing the shorter days of fall and am enjoying the chill in the air. I am enjoying sitting down with a pot full of tea at night, with my fuzzy socks on, and snuggling up with a blanket as I type my blog posts. I am enjoying the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that bring their warmth to baked goods this time of year and I am enjoying the brisk walks through the orchard.
You see, I believe God designed the seasons to be just this way. We are happy to see them come and we are happy to see them go, each one bringing with it new treasures for us to enjoy. Sure, by February, I can hardly stand it – I am so anxious to get back in that garden!
But for now, as of October, I am ready to call it for a season.
This past Saturday, I spent the morning out in the gardens, pulling up the majority of leftover plants. I pulled the last of the green tomatoes, all the eggplant, most of the onions, kale, green beans, peppers, carrots, potatoes, basil, and beets.
I'm officially closin' up shop. Sorry caterpillars, but you're going to have to find someone else's cabbage to destroy.
Now, I've just got to hunker down for a season, in my fuzzy socks, and really work on this danged e-book. So many projects to do- so little time!
For now, however, I choose to do nothing except for sit in my big brown, comfy chair and drink this delightful cup of raspberry tea my husband made me me. Because that's how I roll.
What are YOU doing to enjoy the beginning of fall?