It’s been a strange year for weather and growing things. One of the longest dry summers on record, but so many warm season crops took forever to get going. Now that the fall equinox is upon us, tomatoes, peppers, corn & melons are finally hitting their stride. Just in time for the rains to start. Never a dull moment when it comes to diversified subsistence farming.
We have another bumper crop of peppers, and the jalapenos are going into the pickle jar to keep us spicy all winter long. Our standard refrigerator pickled pepper recipe is just right for this bounty. We used a few carrots, some dehydrated garlic, homegrown parsley, and our new favorite Rossa di Milano onion. It doesn’t take long to turn a few pounds of peppers into pickled goodness. A sharp knife, some brine, half-gallon jars…. The warm weather has also been good for melons. We grow Blacktail Mountain watermelons and Emerald Gem muskmelons. Both have been bred for short/cool season areas, but are always hit and miss. We lucked out this year with the Emerald Gems, but they don’t keep for long. The chickens are batting clean-up big time. Another surprise producer was our Italian plum tree. Having grown up in a neighborhood settled by Italian farmers, it was a no-brainer to plant a couple of these trees. This year one of them decided it was time to cut loose, and we had more fruit than we could eat. Naturally, we thought of the tart & tangy rhubarb in the freezer and how tasty the combination would be fermented into wine. This weekend is the autumnal equinox, observed by our Viking ancestors as Winter Finding, a time to take stock of preparations for the harsh weather to come, and to wrap up summer endeavors. Life being what it is, we at Seven Trees Farm have plenty to do getting ready for winter, but also time to stop and be thankful for the bounty we cultivate and enjoy here.