Saturday, October 22, 2011

Autumnal Blues

In the autumn and winter there is a lot less to do in the garden. Maybe sow some cover crops or keep an eye on your winter crops like kale, garlic and broccoli, but otherwise work is much reduced. This is the time to actually enjoy the fruits of your spring, summer and fall labours.  The garden should be mulched and you should have got your winter and over wintering veggies in the ground, like garlic and shallots. Kale should be planted as well as broccoli.

Right now is the time to begin canning/freezing/pickling like a mad person. All the tomatoes you have should be dried, canned or frozen. You should be making and canning apple pie filling and apple sauce. You should be making and canning pumpkin and squash soups. It is time to prepare for the yearly apocalypse called winter. I stole my mother's dehydrator so I am planning on buying some apples in bulk and making apple chips for snacking.

You have to decide if you want to allow your chickens a rest for the winter. Over winter as the sun sinks lower earlier, chickens naturally produce less eggs. Usually you will get half the yield you would during spring and summer months. You can force production by added unnatural light, even just a light bulb in there coop a few extra hours a day will cause them to lay more during the winter months. I personally don't mind getting only four eggs a day as opposed to eight for a few months, but for those who might need the eggs this is a viable option.

In Seattle, our autumn starts in October, right now the rains have started and it's very quiet outside. I like this time of year. I break out the knitting and cookbooks and just enjoy the whole sensation of being home. The boyfriend and I cuddle up and get lazy.

As I write this I have an apply pie in the oven.

Dutch Apple Pie

Ten cups of tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 - 9in pie crust

Mix apples with sugar and spices, put in pie crust, cover with the other pie crust  and cut vent slits. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees then lower to 350 degrees and back for another 30-40 minutes.