September 14, 2010

Autumn Hodgepodge

The tiny fawns we've watched around our house this summer are getting bigger all the time. Wonder if their moms told them about the winter that's coming? Wonder how many of them will burrow down in our side yard and make snow beds after we've gone to sleep on cold nights? This little one is eating the wildflowers that grow around one of the many pieces of vent/septic/unknown-to-me equipment that sit alongside the house. Funny how cute the deer seem when they're not munching landscape and garden plants.

Rain is picking up again and we recently installed a gauge. I can see from inside that we had a half inch from the storm that day. We've been here for 4 years and have never really known our rain totals - which is kind of lame for people who have a big garden. Just another little tweak we've done since deciding to stay.

This is the farm field that connects to the back of our property. Each year we've been here, this farmer has grown either corn or soy. It's always interesting to watch his harvest and for the first time since we've been here, this field was done in hay. In this first shot, he's working up the cut hay into long piles along the length of the field - and there is probably a more suitable 'farmy' word for these piles - anyone? **This just in from my Dad and former farm boy - the rows of hay are called windrows!
Next the John Deere hay baler comes along and pulls the hay up into the machine, and when it's full...

... it plops a big round bale out the back. Reminds me a little of a digestive system! This was a great show to watch from our deck. This is the same farm that occasionally has a llama running around up there and where the runaway duck lives - he's the one who ended up in our backyard after he ran away over the hill during an ice storm and couldn't figure out how to get back home. We tracked down the phone number for this farm, and after several days, they came down with their duck-wrangling terriers and took ducky home - good entertainment from these folks!

It's also apple time here -yeah! These are Lurared Apples, from Berry Patch Farm, which we purchased through our food coop. I had never heard of this variety, or some of the others offered like Red Free and Chieftan.

As we normally do in the fall, we made some applesauce with these beautiful apples. I did a longish post about this process a couple of years ago, and you can see the step-by-step here.

I put my applesauce in freezer containers rather than processing it. As I've mentioned, I have a thing for new containers, and these were a great size for two or three servings of applesauce. I was happy to see that the label said these were "non-BPA" plastic containers. Anyone else mightily confused over these plastic issues? Should I lay awake at night and wonder what these evil plastic containers might be leeching into this homemade applesauce? I think I'd rather not, and instead I'm going to choose to drift off to sleep knowing that we've been blessed by another apple harvest.

"Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field." Exodus 23:16

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