Autumn Harvest

onions drying in the sun before spending a few weeks curing in the barn

When we first moved to this farm, Mark spent some time in the Cheshire County Historical Society scrolling through microfilm reproductions of the Federal Agricultural Census for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. The ledgers were full of loopy script that recorded in careful lists what was produced on this land.

some of the potato colors of the year

Ever since, Mark has aspired to keep an annual list, with precise amounts, of what we turn out every year—from the fruit orchards; the rows of now-mature berries we planted years ago; Bill’s sheep, hogs, and chickens; and Mark’s ever expansive garden. But aspirations have remained aspirations and so here we keep what is, most likely, a more ephemeral record—though a record to be enjoyed nevertheless.

more and more sweet carrots

This past weekend Becky and Mark processed more fruit. We are now up to fifty pints of jam—plum (a first for us here, with more plums than we know what to do with), peach, and blueberry. We have pounds, and more pounds, of frozen blueberries. Mark’s onion, potato, and garlic crops were fabulous this year, and then there are the carrots and the tomatoes, the squash and melons, and sunflowers climbing into the New England sky.

one tray of plums
peach prep
blueberries and sugar and pectin

And then there are the apples—this year a crop that is worthy of one of our new additions, a cider press.

Twenty feet and still climbing
our new press, waiting to make cider

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