Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Fruits of our Labor

We work so hard all summer and sometimes the enjoyment doesn't hit us until now. The advent of the slower, colder season seems to bring us to our senses. Finally! We can now see what we missed! We were so busy producing, creating, maintaining, and now we see the results! And even if the results aren't all that great, isn't it kind of a good feeling to know that we weren't just wasting our time? That we really did try our best? That we can be happy with bringing it to a close?



These yellow birch leaves make me happy when they fall on this purple mum. Yesterday there was a slight frost on the windshield when I drove away to some training for church. When I got home I decided to bring in what's left in the garden, except for some herbs that I want to dry later.



This was a good year for peppers. I have a lot of them. So this coming week, I'll make the usual chicken-stuffed peppers and then I'll cut up the smaller peppers and freeze them. I'll use the yellow summer squash and zucchini to make sweet pickles. My cucumbers were not successful this year, that was a big disappointment, but I did find a good recipe for these sweet pickles in one of my mom's old cookbooks, the "Nokay Lake Cookbook". I've used this book many times and have never regretted it. It's one of those collections of recipes that you might find wherever you live, whether it be a company, church or neighborhood group. This is from a lake association close to the Brainerd, Minnesota area where I grew up.



Since I don't think there is much difference between a summer squash and a zucchini, I'm going to make these pickles with mostly yellow summer squash.

I did have good luck with cherry jam. I can't grow cherries here, except for sour Nanking cherries, so I bought a bunch of dark cherries on sale, pitted and froze them. This past week I had time to can a few jars of jam.



A very good harvest of Yukon Gold potatoes. I'm letting them dry a little in the garage. I wish I could grow more, but I don't have a root cellar. I try to use them up before the Christmas season.



Things are moving along here. It is not a fast life, but a life I can handle and be happy. Here is the barn with the big ash tree.


The nice thing about the ash tree is it drops all its leaves in one fell swoop over a couple days, so that will be soon, and I can get most of it cleaned up and on to the compost pile. Sadly, the emerald ash disease is moving swiftly now in Minnesota, and I want to appreciate this beautiful tree as long as I can.

The Fall makes garden colors more intense. Here are a few shots of purple coneflower, black-eyed susan and the beloved dahlias:





The dahlias give so much for so little:


The other day, I was mowing under the horse chestnut and I saw this red squirrel guarding her harvest:


When I'm outside working I always enjoy the chattering and squabbling of the red squirrels, doing their work and having fun as we do also.

September is a month of work, preparing, planning and hoping for the future. It's also a month of remembrance. My Mom and Dad both left me in September, in 1999 and 2011. But it definitely is not a sad month. There is nothing to mourn. Their work was harder than mine, and their contribution to the world was greater than mine. So it is a happy time of remembrance. 



Byron would like to wish you a good night. He's getting pretty sleepy, but he sends these wishes from a warm spot in the kitchen.
Peace be with you all.
Phil

                                                   










29 comments:

  1. I also find that the cookbooks put out by church or some other groups are usually full of practical down-to-earth recipes.
    Your Dahlias are wonderful. After losing most of mine last winter ( I tried leaving them in the ground and covering them well) I'm going back to digging the few out that survived and putting them away in sawdust the way I used to do.
    Have a good week!!

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    Replies
    1. I will have to try the sawdust method of storage, because some of my dahlias do get a little too dry.

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  2. What a lovely collection of photographs. A beautiful tribute to autumn! I have to admit that the one of the wheelbarrow with the potatoes startled me. Your grass is green! We haven't had rain in so long that ours is yellow.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you get some rain soon. Enjoy your season down there!

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  3. So good to hear from you again Phil! I enjoy your homey posts filled with recipes, yummy looking food, and gorgeous flowers & countryside and lets not forget the critters inside and out.

    Happy Autumn to you ~ FlowerLady

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  4. Although our grass is still green (plenty of rain), my garden doesn't have much in it now. Just pumpkins as the vines haven't been hit by frost yet, cucumbers and sweet peppers huddled under their cold frames, some late lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard. Your flowers are still lovely.

    No frost yet here and I'm hoping the apples get a while longer to "sweeten up."

    I love the comment you made about your parents. Such a lovely remembrance.

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    Replies
    1. Every year I say I will grow pumpkins and always forget. I put a note on my calendar for next April to get them started inside.

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  5. Phil; This is a lovely photo essay to enjoy on another too warm morning in Kentucky. Its definitely not been the best garden year, but we've had a few tomatoes and cucumbers before the drought moved in. Surprisingly we are also enjoying a small harvest of butternut squash.
    I remember the days of almost overwhelming garden bounty in Vermont--and the steamy evenings of canning tomatoes until after midnight.
    Byron looks peacefully snugged in--I'm glad to note there are others who 'allow' their felines free choice of favorite spots.

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    Replies
    1. Life would be so boring for me if I didn't have the company of these little guys in the house. Thanks for stopping.

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  6. Such a good post. That cherry jam looks so pretty. Bet it is delicious! I love the barn with the big golden ash tree. Hope nothing happens to that beautiful tree. This year I had terrible luck growing peppers in the garden, but good luck with the cucumbers.

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    1. I'm glad you got a good cucumber harvest. I must have done something wrong here. I will start them earlier in the house next spring.

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  7. I will have to remember about making cherry jam:0 Everyone seems to have lots of peppers I guess it was a good year for them! Your barn looks so pretty! :)

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. That is quite the harvest, sorry about your cucumbers though.
    Such a beautiful barn and pretty golden Ash tree shining in the sunshine.
    Your cherry jam sounds amazing...
    ~Jo

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    Replies
    1. You have the most amazing photos. Thanks for visiting!

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  10. Hello Phil I am so glad to have found you again, I am on your side bar I used to blog as living simply living well, I must catch up on your posts.
    Marlene.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I had trouble finding your page, but I'm glad you made contact. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. What a wonderful heartfelt post. Loved the photos and applaud your amazing efforts.

    Peace to you and Byron. Stay warm wrapped in contentment.

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  12. Thanks. I hope you like your new home. I'm sure the move has been a challenge but also a new adventure. Have a good Autumn. Phil

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  13. The yellow leaves in the purple mum, your late harvest and the other flowers are so pretty! Such pretty jars of home canned jam! Byron knows a good spot for sure! Keep enjoying your beautiful surroundings and pretty fall weather!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting. I hope you are cooling off a little and getting a little rain.

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  14. Hello, just dropped by to say hello and to see how you and the kitty cats are doing. Hope this finds you having pleasant weather!

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  15. Wonder of images!
    Continuation of a good week.
    janicce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting. I always appreciate your comments and although you maybe don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I still wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  16. I am new here...came from a link on Granny Marigold. I just have to say what a beautiful photo of the barn and ash tree...just almost glowing. I enjoyed the other shots as well.

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