The woodpile is heaped tall and wide and deep, and covered with a brand new tarp. The stove pipe has been freshly cleaned. We had our first fire in the woodstove last night, much to the delight of our children who sat warming their feet on the hearth.
In the garage are boxes and boxes of onions, wrapped neatly in newspaper, enough to last past Christmas, I hope. The apples also there will be gone by November, I’m sure. My laundry basket full of apples lasted just 12 days. But for now there is still enough fruit that whenever a child asks for an apple, I happily say yes.
The pantry is full of jars, a hundred and ten of tomatoes alone, nearly three hundred all together…pickles and tomatoes and applesauce and salsa and apricot jam and grape jelly. I am weary of canning, and yet I cannot bear to waste the food still coming in basketloads from the garden. And so every few days I muster my stamina and fill a couple dozen more jars. Today I added two dozen of tomatoes and a dozen jars of jelly to our stores.
Soon we will pull the green tomatoes out of the garden, just ahead of the frost. We’ll wrap them in paper and store them in boxes in the garage. They will ripen over the next few weeks– no need for sun. We’ll use those each time we need tomatoes till they’re gone, and with luck I won’t touch my jarred tomatoes till nearly Christmas.
The frost is days away. As grateful as I am for this abundance of food, I will be glad when the frost comes and the growing season is over. it’s time to pull the coats out of storage. Time to put more blankets on the bed. Time to put on a pot of soup and bake a loaf of bread.
It must be fall.