Dancing dogs

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know it’s a bit blurry, but I had to post it just for fun.

Brown and gold

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Festival

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

We had several cloudy, cold days on either side of October 7. But on the day of the festival the sun came out. And so did the people.

Want to learn more about the farm? Visit Hungry Turtle’s website.

Want to learn more about nature experience opportunities for kids? Visit Bluebird Hill Homestead.

Oh, cider, scarves, and pumpkins. Farms and fall. Food. Friends. October.

Ephemeral fall

October 3, 2012 § 1 Comment

All the colors are turning and I have yet to photograph them! How is this happening? I daresay they are already past their prime, actually, and with the dry-as-a-bone weather we’ve been having the trees are quick to drop their leaves. This is sad. But fall has been blissful. October is starting off almost too hot in the afternoons, though we’re headed toward a cold weekend for the festival. This means there will be a bonfire. And hot cider. Just saying.

Meanwhile, it is time for pumpkin carving, tying corn stalks into shocks, and locating ingredients. My plate is full this week. Photos to come, soon, my friends. At least one fall afternoon must be documented.

Autumn

September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I went for the most wonderful drive. Morning, and straight east into red-orange hills. Classical music on the radio, golden retriever in the backseat, a jar of steaming coffee in the cup holder. I was going out to Brett Laidlaw’s place, Bide-A-Wee, to borrow a cider press for our upcoming festival. Brett had come to our brick oven workshop in August, and also happens to be the author of Trout Caviar – both a blog and a book about foraging in the north woods. His two griffins came to greet me; Tassie hesitated and even growled a little at these unfamiliar dogs, but eventually she got over herself enough to run around the acreage and explore their space. They followed her with interest and a bit of determination to retain their territorial rights.

The air was September crisp and the hills were so burning with color that you could almost smell smoke. This is the time for woodstoves and campfires. Brett met me with a smile, we caught up on ovens and farms and projects and festivals, and then he showed me the pieces of the press, how to put it all together, how the apples will grind and press into cold, delicious cider. Bright sun, plaid shirts, vests, boots, cast iron, goosebumps. I shivered in the cold but also the very delicious autumn of it all.

Once we had loaded the press into the back of my truck, we talked about France, which always makes me glad, especially to find someone else who loves it the way I do, and not for all the popular things people love it for (ooh la la!) but also for the countryside, the small gîtes and the regional ciders and the roads winding through woods and hills that look so similar to here. Then back in the truck, me and my girl, to make our way home, my mind full of old memories and future plans, and a sense of the season’s reliable goodness.

Score

September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Jar of honey. Cutting board. Hand-picked (by me!) Haralson apples from Whistling Well Farm. And homemade vanilla from my sister and John. Happy kitchen.

After Apple Picking

September 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

-Robert Frost, 1914

(I am about to go to an orchard myself. I can hardly wait – but here is the difference between a few hours of leisurely picking and the farmer’s long day of work.)

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