Finding winter

Our Scandinavian ancestors called the time from the fall equinox to the following full moon Winter Finding. Modern folk of the Asatru/Heathen religion carry these traditions down to our day. It is a time to celebrate the end of the harvest, and to prepare for the onset of winter. And we’re doing just that at Seven Trees.

Fall and winter mean windstorms in the Pacific Northwest, and this weekend got us started with a bang. Some of our Painted Mountain corn had already fallen over in lighter winds, so it seemed prudent to bring it in before the weather hit. It’s easier to take the ears off and let them finish drying under cover, but the stalks will make pretty decorations so we bundled them all up under the carport roof.

Of the new crops we trialed this year, rutabagas really took off. Some of these buggers are the size of bowling balls! We had thought to eat them ourselves, but when we ended up having to bring in our potatoes & onions sooner than planned, we decided to let the rutabagas run riot. They will be used to bump up the hens’ feed, both leaves and roots, having a ton of nutrients and great storability.

The gals love patrolling the yard for tasty snacks. It’s good for them, and helps keep the bug population down. They also do a pretty good job trimming grass too.

The shop fridge shows the transition from summer to fall. Eventually most of the bulk raw produce (onions, carrots, cabbage, beets) on the lower shelves will be transformed into tasty pickled goodies like the eggs, carrots, saourkraut, dilly beans & peppers on the top shelf. Since we have the fridge space, we like to make raw-pack pickles. They stay very crisp and keep a long time. If we didn’t have the space we’d have to can them up the traditional way.

Still plenty of room for more jars of goodness! We love eggs pickled in brine from last year’s pickled jalapenos.

After trimming a few lower branches from the fir trees, a lovely backyard vista has opened up. Having a little more light and airflow is nice too.

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