Fall Has Arrived In The Clear Fork Valley

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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It’s the first full day of fall, and it’s really cool!

The evening sunsets are gorgeous!

We’ve had frost for the last three or four mornings and that has put an end to the flowers. Most of the garden was done a week or so ago; the tomatoes are no more, the squash has been finished and cucumbers also.

A friend of mine gave me a bunch of beets, the last from her garden. Her son is a Pennzoil/Amzoil distributor and also sells a special fertilizer. She used it on her garden, and I’m astounded at the size of these beets! She said they were about the size of a baseball, but they’re much bigger! They’re like beets on steroids!

Here’s a photograph of them with a regular coffee mug.

I’m going to pickle and can them, but I’ll also make a favorite of mine – Pickled Beets and Eggs, using hard boiled eggs. I have an old Amish recipe that I’ve used for a long time.

One apple tree is finished, and I made applesauce and canned it. The other apple tree is later so the apples are just now ripening. I’ll make more applesauce and a lot of apple butter. I should be done with canning for the year. It’s hard to believe the summer is over. It seems like I was just getting ready for the garden and now it’s done.

My mom always said that the older you get, the faster time goes by … she was so right!

With the cool temperatures and less daylight, the leaves are rapidly changing color, especially the maple trees.

My miniature donkeys, Samson and Delilah, are beginning to put on their winter coats. They are starting to look a little fluffy and fuzzy.

It’s also the time of year when the coyotes become more active at night. They’ve been howling for the last four or five nights. It’s a sound that sends a chill up my spine.

Photo: Fotolia/visceralimage

It’s time to begin gathering all the natural materials for the dried greens I make each year. It takes some time for everything to dry. My bittersweet turned orange very early so it’s ready to bring in for fall/winter decorations. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s perfect for that decorating also.

I keep hearing around here that this winter will be as harsh or even more harsh than last winter. I hope not, but I’m getting ready anyway.

It feels good to have so many shelves of home canned goods – tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa, pizza sauce, pickles, different relishes, ketchup, applesauce, pumpkin butter and other staples for the winter. I was also able to freeze a lot of beans and winter squash.

I think I’m ready for whatever the weather brings!

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