By my book, it is now fall. Not because the rain was more than rain and less than snow last night as light drops made a dull thud on the hood of my jacket as I walked my evening chore routine in the dark. Not because the garden is half harvested, or because winter coats, boots and hats have been dug out and now line the hallway. I feel safe pronouncing that it is now fall because as I look out at the hillside and the forest surrounding me, the colors are more gold and copper than green. The nights have consistently been in the low forties and high thirties. We are lucky if the days reach high sixties (in the sun). Moreover the air smells like fall. Fall smells like high bush cranberries, sharp, sour and sweet, combined with the pungent smell of decaying leaves and debris. I adore the scents of autumn.
There is so much yet to do, it is difficult to remain calm. I'm trying to stay focused and get at least something harvested and put away each day. This week is Avery's third birthday. So we'll be entertaining and enjoying ourselves more. Avery has requested hot dogs and strawberry cake for her birthday. When asked what she would like more than anything else, she replied: a broom. When prompted for her second choice, she asked for a dustpan. She doesn't know it yet, but she is getting a darling wood kitchen, which mama is perhaps too excited about - and a wood and straw broom of course.
This week blanching and freezing thyme, kale and celery are at the top of the list. I'll be simmering local crab apples into applesauce, shredding cabbage and starting sauerkraut and making one final batch of dill pickles with the last of the pickling cucumbers. I may get around to making tomato sauce with the tomatoes that are finally ripening now that they are in boxes indoors. What are you harvesting and making this week? What signals fall to you?