The recent cool mornings are a wonderful reprieve from the heat and humidity, reminding us that winter is coming. Mixed with the calls of very busy birds harvesting what they can is the sound of the wood splitter as cut pieces that have been drying will soon be in the wood room.
Each day is packed with projects for getting ready for winter - mostly harvesting and processing, but a different kind of harvesting than the day-to-day picking of crops that produce over a long period of time. This time, one fell swoop and it's done! At least it feels that way...the labor of many hours piled in one big squash pile.
Butternuts all ready for curing
Sometimes, as well as trying to stay ahead of the killing frost, it's staying ahead of the small animals that would like to harvest your fruit for the winter! The butternuts already were showing some signs that the voles were tasting them! It seems like the only thing they won't eat is green beans!
Having lost them to birds and squirrels, we watch the grapes for signs that they are ripening. As soon as there's any damage, we harvest. Or if the clusters are more than half ready and giving off a "grapey" scent, that's the time! What a harvest this year - since it was so dry not sure if it's the mulch, manure or soil amendments that made such a difference. After a several day battle with the fruit flies while they ripened at room temperature, the grapes are now jam or juice. If the vines continue to produce those volumes over the next years, we might have to think about making our own house wine! Cheers!!!