Fall ~

Here in Massachusetts, we’ve had quite a bit of wet weather. Okay, perhaps that’s an understatement as one of my horse paddocks is threatening to become a lake and just yesterday I swear I saw the beginnings of gills developing on my Shetland Ponies…

We had a quick reprieve last week from the massive amount of rain. Enough to enable us to till our vegetable garden, plant some bulbs and start to prepare our animals for the upcoming (and very much dreaded) cold weather. Wood has been stacked, the pumpkins and last few apples were picked, the CSA we had been a part of finished up their last offerings.

My kitchen has been warmed constantly by the cooking, canning and feasting that fall brings. We’ve preserved our pickles, sauerkraut, a few jams and jellies, countless bags of kale, swiss chard and bok choi. We’ve made our first sausage (turkey, of course) in a traditional Italian style and even prepared some phenomenal duck sausage. The freezer is packed with local, pastured chicken. Yet, even with all this delicious, local food.. we’re anxiously anticipating our first Winter CSA. It’s something our family hasn’t tried before and we are eagerly awaiting November. I love the CSAs, we are so fortunate to live in an area with many great farms offering shares of delicious vegetables. It’s nice to have something to look forward to “post harvest”.

I love to think about how much good we’re doing with eating locally. It’s so much more than a convenience. Reducing energy consumption is absolutely a priority. Supporting local farming, local families? Yes, please! Fresher vegetables and meats mean better health for you and your family. The less your food travels, the more nutritious it is.

But.. to be honest.. that isn’t my favorite part about Fall/Harvest/Farm Life. I absolutely adore teaching my daughters about where food really comes from. Whether it be dairy, turkey, or our own vegetable and herb gardens, my children enjoy learning about food. We have carefully chosen our tiny seeds and planted them in their beds. We’ve watered, fed and weeded. They have eaten tomatoes straight off the vine, picked basil leaves for fresh pesto, helped me make cheese with farm fresh milk from our dairy, dug carrots out of the ground and collected eggs from our hens or quails. Often, I ask my children where food comes from. Sadly, all too often I’ll hear “the grocery store!”

I’m proud to say my children answer, “the FARM!” with great enthusiasm. It certainly makes the rain and cool weather worth while, watching them in the kitchen as we store our own fall harvest.  They know the farm is a fortunate place to be and they know local food tastes best. Just ask them. 🙂

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