Transitioning into Fall

After breaking out our beanies and jackets during two cold weeks of farm work, summer has granted us one more week of sweltering heat. It will be one more sweet week of swimming in the river and getting sun dried after work. The fall crops are coming in strong, as are the ideas and projects that will keep us busy during the dark winter months. Our practice of phenology is revitalized as the seasons change. The ground is building up with fallen leaves, the nettle seeds have turned brown and hard, black berries sit sun dried between hardened thorns.

There is still so much excitement and life in these early months of fall change. The fruit trees are going out of control! I feel sorry for that poor plum tree, stooped over under the weight of its own fruit. The apples are obeying gravity and covering the ground. Hopefully we will turn more of these into sauce, juice, or a tasty adult beverage. In the meantime, there are more than enough apples for the pigs to have their share.

The word of the month is tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tomatoes. At first there were no tomatoes, and then three days ago there were hundreds and they are continuing to multiply. We look forward to selling these at the farmers market and to our CSA patrons. We also just preserved two gallons of tomato sauce to help us subsist during winter.

Permaculture gets its cues from the slow and patient flow of the natural world. A summer’s worth of transplanted Comfrey is making itself acquainted with our rocky soil. A new fenced coop is being built for the ducks and goose to allow an annual rotation of fowl. Two years worth of compost is being compiled into a massive heap, to sit and brew till next spring. We’ve decided to soak our mushroom logs and see if we will be treated to an early treat of lion mane and oyster mushrooms. And almost every day we are digging paths! It is hard physical work but such a rewarding experience to mulch fields for next year’s crop.

Things are good here. When land is worked by good people, it permeates the soil like a hard rain. You can taste it in the food, smell it in the flowers, feel it in the wind. We are learning to be shepherds of the land from the land itself, and are blessed to be on a property with so many patient and stoic conifers to learn from. We are presently looking forward to the next hundred years of harvest from the property.

I am off to pick some hawthorn berries for tincture this winter.

Thanks for reading


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