Well, it is finally here....Fall. We had our first hard frost last week where it hit 24 degrees and we have had frost every morning since with the exception of the morning it rained. Fortunately it is getting into the 50s during the day which is really nice if it is not too windy. So the woodstove has been keeping us cozy on these chilly nights. My husband is happy to see the frost come since it pretty much eliminates the pollen that causes his allergies.
Fall is a busy time on the homestead there are so many things that need to be done before the days do not get out of freezing temperatures and the snow flies. This week the pigs will go to the butcher and we will be butchering the final batch of broilers for the freezer. The pigs have grown very well and we feel blessed that our freezers will be full before winter.
We will have a good amount of pork this year and I think I will can some of it for instant meals. Rich meats like pork and lamb when canned almost make their own gravy and are delicious in soups and stews. I confess that sometimes I make a quick soup or stew when I get home from work by using one jar of canned meat, a jar of canned broth and one bag of frozen mixed vegetables. This cooks up in less than 30 minutes and I can flavor it with the dried herbs and spices that I want. I may also throw a batch of biscuits in the oven or toast up some sourdough bread and have one great comfort food meal.
We got 10 heads of cabbage out of the garden and so there will be a couple of large jars of sauerkraut fermenting in the very near future. I will be adding just a little bit of purple cabbage from our last CSA pick up to our green cabbage and the sauerkraut turns out to be the most beautiful shade of pink. To some that may sound weird but it doesn't change the taste at all.
Of course after the pigs and chickens are processed we have to clean out their pens and get those areas clean and dry for winter. The pastured poultry electric net fence will have to be rolled up and stored for next year. That was a investment that needs to be taken care of but it worked really well being able to move the pastured chickens several times during the season.
The fall weather gets me is a baking mood too. I made my first apple pie with apples from the orchard that we picked up last week. There is nothing better than a hot slice of apple pie with a scoop of ice cream on a chilly evening. Unless it might be hot spiced apple cider which is one of my favorites.
Well, so much for talking about what needs to be done, time to get to it. I'll visit with all of you soon.