It smells like fall….

It has been busy around here, the end of summer chores are in full swing.  With heat indexes hitting 100+ and three days later having a low of 33 my garden doesn’t know what to do.  But these past cold mornings remind me that winter will soon be at our doorstep and we need to be ready.  So we our canning tomatoes, freezing peppers, drying apples, cooking apple butter, making apple cider vinegar, and planting the fall garden again (a critter only left us the peas and ate everything else).

2014-08-25 17.36.54I have canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, tomatoes with okra and dried tomatoes.  I still have tomatoes on my plants after sharing with family and friends and I am running out of ideas for how to preserve them.  I will probably dry some more.  Any suggestions?
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This is the first year that I was able to beat the bugs and harvest winter squash and pumpkins.  I was doing a happy dance in the garden the day we  picked these.

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The boys and I planted the fall garden several weeks ago and everything germinated beautifully despite the high heat and lack of rain. Then about a week later we woke up to find that something had dinned on all the spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, carrots, and radishes, it left us only the peas.  The boys were not as sad as I was as the only thing they prefer to eat are the peas. So replanting the garden is still on my to-do list.

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Usually due too late freezing weather in the spring, we are not blessed with fruit every year.  But this year has given us a bumper crop of cherries and apples.  Hopefully pears will follow soon.  The boys took the 4-wheeler and trailer down to our neighbors and had too much fun picking apples. They filled the trailer to overflowing.  So we have been drying apples, canning them, making apple butter, apple cider vinegar, baking pies and apple crisps.  I am still working on emptying this trailer after sharing these apples with neighbors, friends, family and the cows.  The cows love being fed apples.

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