We’re one day away from the Autumn Equinox! Here’s hoping all your seasonal plans and celebrations are going well, friends.
We love the shift toward autumn here on the farm. The sandhill cranes have gone — they spent the past two weeks warbling their way down from Wood Buffalo National Park up north — and the geese are massing on the harvested fields to eat their fill of dropped grain before they too leave. The paper birches and tamaracks have changed to a luminous gold, and the night frosts and early dusks have called for more wood fires and beeswax candles in our cabin (we are far, far off the power grid!). This time of the year is about gathering in all we can of garden food, seeds, and light to get our farm through the coming winter.
Sunflowers ripening for the chickadees
There were early frosts in our area by the third week of August, so we found ourselves harvesting the market garden weeks earlier than we’d done in previous years. Now that the nights are closing in early and the days are often cool or rainy, we’re discovering the benefit of that forced harvest. Aside from the kale, leeks, and carrots we’ve left in the ground to sweeten with frost, everything has been picked, processed, and stored. Now we stock up on flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and tea…and bid farewell to grocery store produce aisles for several months. We live out of our root cellar and pantry, and although it can be challenging, there’s also something vastly comforting about eating our own farm food through the cold months.
The Vermont cart, full of shooks of heirloom Huron wheat
For our friends in the Edmonton or Red Deer areas who have asked about this year’s root crops, we’ve got potatoes and carrots for sale again this autumn! The potatoes are beauties and store for ages: they routinely last up to six months in the root cellar (a cool basement or barely heated garage will do just as well). We’ve got red-skinned, white-fleshed Rokos, perfect for boiling and baking, for $1/pound. We’ve also got brown-skinned, yellow-fleshed gourmet German Butterball potatoes, superb for mashed potatoes and baking, for $1.50/pound.
If you need fresh carrots, perhaps for the coming Thanksgiving supper, we have jumbo Scarlet Nantes heirloom carrots at $5 for a large freezer bag. They will keep in a refrigerator crisper for four weeks, and they’ll also freeze well if you chop and blanch them first in boiling water.
We’ll be delivering through to the end of October or when the root crops run out, whichever comes first, so give us a holler on our Contact page if you’re interested in some organically grown vegetables from the farm!
Delicious autumn carrots