Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Even though the calendar says we are still in summer...
it feels like summer has ended.
Don't you agree?

Labor Day weekend always feels like the end of summer.
I suppose it goes back to those childhood days, 
when Labor Day was the last picnic, the last swim, the last fireworks, the last hurrah... 
of another wondrous summer vacation.

Now, each morning as I clean stalls and dry lots and feed the animals,
I hear the sound of the school bus as it drives past the farm...
returning again in the afternoon as we repeat those same chores.

The sun is rising later and retiring earlier... the days shortening all too quickly.

It's ok, though, really...
I love autumn.... it's my favorite time of year.
(If you have read my blog long enough, you might realize that this is my motto
with each change of season....yes, I'm fickle that way.)

Before we get too far off track, let's return to Labor Day.
Mine was great.
It's always nice to have Hubbs home for a long weekend...
and family members at the farm for a picnic.

We had another picnic in the pavilion and smoked a chicken, some beef and some salmon.
Fresh salads...orzo salad, pan-roasted corn salad, Asian cucumber salad,
 and kale/wheatberry/citrus salads accompanied the meats.
Most all of the ingredients came out of the garden.

The aromas coming from the garden... just make you want to cook!
Oh, and for those of you who worry about poor Sam, 
who always seems to be looking for a friend...
Sam had a blast!

He's always a favorite of our guests!

When we weren't picnicking, we spent our weekend
in a cooking marathon...
using up all of the fresh produce from the garden and orchard.

Fresh apples...

became an apple pie.
(with tiny pastry apples as the upper crust)

Ground cherries...

 made a delicious ground cherry coffee cake.

And concord grapes...

 into grape tart.

(by the way, I picked this entire bucket off of one plant!)

 were turned into sauce.

Hot peppers...

into hot sauce.

And sweet peppers will be stuffed today with bison and cooked in
our homemade tomato sauce.

Weeks ago, we took our cabbage and shredded it into this crock
with salt.

Weeks of fermentation later...

and we had fresh sauer kraut!

Having a garden the size of ours requires a certain commitment to 
"putting up" all of the produce that we grow.
I've got to tell you...
that commitment pays off during the winter months
when we will have food in the freezer and on the pantry shelves that
we grew ourselves.
But for now....
we are up to our eyeballs in produce!

Love that Swiss chard!


  1. when you put your sauerkraut in jars, do you have to place it in a water bath? looks like you had a really fun weekend. we are finally cooling off a bit. your peppers are awesome. mine were a total bust this year. my eggplants did nothing either. sammie looks so happy!

  2. Oh that Sam... I just love him to pieces sitting up there waiting to go for a ride. ....

  3. Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I'd love to have a big garden like yours, your harvest always looks so good!

  4. Vacation is over and it is return to Labor ha-ha job that is.

    Look at all you goodies from the garden, yum! The sun has not come up so I don't know how my garden fared. While waiting I'm doing my favorite, sitting here visiting my blog friends with a cup of coffee.

    Enjoy the beginning of a new week!!

  5. Nobody is going to starve up there..Poor Sam..Lacking for affection ...I'm sure he enjoyed the weekend...Still seems like summer to me..High 80's and thunderstorms..Better this week..Hugs..

  6. What a wonderful family picnic. Your garden has been quite a producer and I'm sure you're happy to have some extra hands around in the kitchen.

  7. Everything looks wonderful . I am so glad you are getting good crops ! Looks like all had a good weekend ! Quiet here for Papa and I over the long weekend ! Yes the school bus went past this morning to ! The air is chilly and damp but sun will pop out later for us ! Nature here is slowly showing signs of Autumn ! Lovely photos ! Sammie your a ham lol Thanks for sharing ! Have a great day !

  8. Amazing Haven Sam has to watch and care for . . . love big dogs who enjoy being a lap dog once in awhile!

  9. Glad you had a great labor day! All your goodies from the garden look so good!


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