First Frost, October 23, 2021

First Frost, October 23, 2021

While listening to the audio book “All The Light We Cannot See”, I find my eyes tearing up, and a great sadness welling up from the centre of me. The story is fiction, a collection of experiences that real people may have had, gathered together, then knit into a beautiful, sad blanket. Tears. They aren’t something that spring willingly, less so as time passes. I am reminded that the humans I admire are those who keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when circumstance is overwhelming.

We had our first frost on Saturday night. Attila knew it was coming, and so spent the entire day bringing in anything edible, from the plants that would not withstand it. Peppers mostly, and Tomatilloes, and green Tomatoes. Indeed, all of those plants were frosted with white come Sunday morning, wilting by the afternoon. Sunday Attila spent the entire day pulling dead plants, then emptying the compost bins to spread on the now bare soil.

My end of the equation was to preserve what Attila brought in.

Saturday I canned Cowboy Candy, and Dilly Green Tomatoes. Sunday I canned Salsa Verde, Pickled Green and Serrano Pepper Mix, and Pickled Pepperoncini and Nalapeno mix.

On Sunday Attila decided to harvest our Winter Keeper Cabbage. Rain was predicted for today, Monday, and he felt that they would split if left in the garden for another day. We worked together, while he cleaned and sectioned the cabbage, I sliced it with the electric meat slicer. Attila took on the task of blanching all the cabbage, and placing it in bags when it had cooled. I sealed and labeled all the packages, preparing them for the freezer. The cabbage was delicious and sweet, as a result of having experienced the frost. It will be wonderful for casseroles in the Instant Pot. Last year I used it in canned Coleslaw, but we found it tough and unsuitable for that use. It will be better for casseroles. I used our earlier variety of cabbage for Coleslaw this year, it is more tender and much better suited for canning.

Both days I was on my feet from first light until darkness fell. I did manage to take short breaks, up to 20 minutes at a time, while I waited for the canning process to proceed, or to eat a quick meal. This was probably the last big push of the season, as there are only Tomatoes, and Dilly Green Tomatoes left to can.

There are small quantities of a variety of other vegetables to come in: Kale, Swiss Chard, Beets, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts. What cannot be eaten fresh will go into the freezer.

After using all our canning jars, I broke down and bought two more cases of 500-ml jars more than a week ago. It is a good thing too, that I did, because now there are only two jars left empty. We will need to eat some canned food so that the rest of the green Tomatoes can be processed!

Every year the garden is different, some things do well one year, and fail to thrive the next. Last year we had oodles of Zucchini, and Cucumbers. This year the Zucchini failed completely, and there were only a dozen or so Cucumbers to be harvested. Last year we had two or three Green Peppers. This year we had at least a half a bushel of beautiful Green Peppers. Gardening is an adventure.

There are many advantages to having a garden. The most important one here is that it is Attila’s passion. Then there is enjoying produce that has been picked the same day. The produce is organic, which would be very expensive to buy. The activity in the garden relaxes Attila after his tough days at work, and provides exercise, fresh air, and sunlight. And then there is all the organic produce we put by to feed ourselves over the course of the coming winter months. There are downsides of course, but they don’t seem to matter much to us.

Stay safe dear friends.

Worldly

Weather

Updated on Mon, Oct 25, 7:35 PM
6 °C
FEELS LIKE 2
Rain
Wind 22 NE km/h
Humidity 92 %
Visibility 13 km
Sunrise 7:35 AM
Wind gust 33 km/h
Pressure 101 kPa
Ceiling 500 m
Sunset 6:07 PM

Quote

“Slight not what’s near, while aiming at what’s far.”
Euripides
484 BC – 406 BC

2 Comments

  1. Teri

    Hi, Maggie. You and Attila have had a nicely extended harvest season, haven’t you. We were so surprised fall lasted this long. So many years we’ve seen trees turning at the beginning of August only to drop leaves by September, but fall is well and truly here, now. These soaking rains and chill temps give testament to that.

    We’ve had a nice change here, after doing some figuring on finances we decided my DH could retire a year early. We’ve saved and scrimped and planned, and while things will be a little tight for the next year it will be nice to be able to enjoy quieter, unscheduled times together.

    Meanwhile, our new house now has a roof on it but no windows, yet. It worked out so amazingly that our previous repo house sold for a good amount with the upgrades we made over 11 years, so it could be sold when prices peaked. It paid off the last of our debt and left enough for us to have a tiny, modern house built, but that won’t be happening very quickly as there have been a number of delays with materials. Lack of imports and COVID delays have slowed everything down. We’d originally been told we’d close Dec 11th but now it’s been dropped back to Feb 15th. Fortunately, that won’t hurt us any.

  2. Teri, the extended fall has been a blessing for our garden, very timely in view of the rising food prices. I’ve enjoyed the flowers this fall as well, only the Zinnias and Marigolds have survived the frost, so I’ll have few more days of beauty to gaze at out the the window.
    I am so glad that your strategy for retirement has worked out so well! The new little house sounds lovely, and manageable in every way. Enjoy your new found freedom to enjoy each other’s company. You are in a perfect position to wait out the delays with materials. Before you know it you will be moving into your cozy little house.
    Stay safe dear friend!

Comments are closed.