Wife, writer, tinkerer, grower of food. I'm happiest outside our rambling farmhouse with a basket looped on my arm, picking dinner from the garden. That's joy right there. Please follow along; I'm so glad you're here!
I love the fall garden. I love the slumpy squash vines and the rotting tomatoes and the vacant spots where the cucumbers used to be: but I especially love those things for the contrast they provide against the triumphing kale, chard, calendula, beets. I love that things are soaring, even as we're all told to gird ourselves for the oncoming winter, all getting ready to hunker down and freeze. Even as so much in the outside world is faltering, giving in, closing up shop, those late-season crops just keep on keepin' on. I love their optimism in the face of shortening days.
Last weekend, I froze cauliflower, made pesto, blanched green beans and broccoli, and shelled a mountain of beans. Wednesday night, I shelled more beans. Yesterday, I spent my whole afternoon hacking up (garden) tomatoes, making yet more pesto, and drying herbs. Today, I will run aforementioned cooked tomatoes through the food mill, and add onions and celery seed, en route to ketchup. Still yet there is winter squash, carrots, beets, and always more broccoli, and beans to shell. It's the home stretch, though.
I love argyle and wool tights and hot cider and pumpkin beers and the autumn woods, but damnit, that exhalation of hooooome stretch! might be my favorite thing about fall. You get to let go. You are given permission to go easy on yourself, to be kind to yourself, to focus on self-care. In the spring, I ramp up my ambitions with more more more! and in the fall I give a gentle sigh, celebrate what I did get accomplished, and let the rest go with a whoosh. The front porch decking can wait. The cold frames just aren't going to happen this year. Soon it will be the season of not having to mow anymore.
Soon there will be a weekend in Ithaca, and weekend in Philly.
Oh yes. Just a little while now. Just a few more tomato marathons and a cubic yard of kale and chard to freeze.