Fall Is In The Air

It’s hard to believe, but fall is definitely in the air here in Bellville. Our 165th Street Fair, the oldest in Ohio, begins today and that brings more than 50,000 people to our beautiful village of 1,900 residents! The Fair dates back to 1850 and is always held in September to coincide with harvest time.

Main Street is closed off and some of the side streets are also with huge tents and the rides that thrill the children. Friday is “Kid’s Day” at the Fair so school is dismissed early so the children can enjoy everything from food to animals to rides!

Other signs of fall include more wood, actually whole trees, being delivered by friend Gary Fry. It will be cut and split for the outdoor wood furnace.

The trees are beginning to have a color change, from green to a brownish-green, some losing their leaves before they even change in color. And the hummingbirds are gone, a sure sign of fall. They always arrive the first week in May and leave the first week of September.

My Sweet Annie is ripe and ready to harvest for inside decorations for fall. It has a wonderful smell, hard to explain it, but it’s a great fall aroma in the house. I was told farmers used to plant Sweet Annie around pig sties to mask the odor. It can certainly do that!!

The apples are ripening fast now, the early ones are already apple butter stored for the winter. The late apples will become apple sauce very soon!

My miniature donkeys, Samson and Delilah, aren’t putting on their winter coats yet, thank goodness, but they are enjoying the cool, well COLD, mornings we’ve had this week. Monday morning, the temperature was 43 degrees!


They love their sweet feed! They’ve been together since they were 4 and 5 months old and can’t stand to be separated. If they both go outside, they meet at the fence and if one is in and one out, they bray, a most pathetic sound, until they can see each other.

Ah, life on the homestead! How sweet it is ….

Fall Is In The Air

It’s September, we’re getting ready for the Bellville Street Fair and fall is definitely in the air.

The morning weather report has our high temperatures in the mid-60s and the lows in the mid-40s next week! With the days getting shorter and cooler, the trees will begin putting on their fall colors. Some already are changing, especially the maples.

The Bellville Street Fair is big time around here … we’re celebrating the 164th year! All of Main Street is closed for the midway and the vendors and, of course, the animal tents. Here are some photos taken in the early 1900s of our Main Street during the Fair.


Our 4-H and FFA youngsters spend a lot of time getting their animals ready for the Fair and the judging. Our Street Fair is one of only two left in Ohio and this part of the Midwest. Our village swells from 1,900 residents to more than 50,000 when people come for the Fair. It really signals the end of summer.

The garden is having one last spurt of growth. The beans are now in the third producing spurt of the summer. I have enough to use and freeze again. The tomatoes are finally ripening at a rapid pace! I’ve been canning juice, pizza sauce and ketchup almost every day. I tried something different this year. I have a bumper crop of yellow Pear Tomatoes and made a batch of yellow ketchup. It doesn’t look too bad.

When I researched using those tomatoes for yellow ketchup, the reviews weren’t too great. Almost everyone said it wouldn’t stay a nice yellow color but would turn brown.

I used my regular Amish ketchup recipe but made a few alterations. First, I used white pepper instead of the traditional black pepper, and I used cinnamon oil instead of either ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. It’s a light red in color but I only used 1/8 teaspoon for a large batch. It added just enough cinnamon flavor without turning the ketchup brown.

The sunflowers the chipmunks planted are huge! They planted seeds all over the garden and in the pots of flowers. Sometimes I think they’re better at planting seeds in the garden than I am!

The other day, while eating lunch, I looked out the sliding door toward the apple trees and the garden and lo and behold, the woodchuck was helping himself to apples!

He was standing on his hind legs, eating an apple that was still hanging on the tree. He looked like he was really enjoying his snack!

We have an abundance of wildlife out here; some I welcome, some I wish would move on.

Among the critters I don’t mind having around are wild turkeys, woodchucks, rabbits, deer, all species of birds and the chipmunks. They just add to life on the homestead. But the ones I don’t welcome are the coyotes! They’ve been rather elusive this summer, but I’m sure as soon as the weather turns cooler, they will make their presence known again.

With the coming winter, John has been spending time cutting wood for the outdoor wood furnace. It was so cold last winter, it “ate” a lot of wood! All of our friends with outdoor furnaces are doing the same thing … trying to keep ahead on cutting.

Published on Sep 8, 2014

Grit Magazine

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