OH HAPPY FALL, HOW DO I THANK YOU?

We have finally come to my favorite time of the year – FALL!  Woo Hoo!  It is the time of year to harvest, to see my beloved colors! There was book that came out decades ago about “your color”. You matched which colors work best with your skin tone and that would give your select of colors that would look best on you. Well, I could have pegged that without even looking! It’s fall for me!

Winter is wonderful, Christmas is magnificent, but fall is brilliant! The colors, the farm fresh foods, the canning and food processing – yum! Up to this point we have been taste testing a few goodies, just here-and-there, but now we have the “abundance” phase!

Canning jars, vacuum sealers, pressure canners, freezer bags, dehydrators, old fashioned drying, oven drying, oven canning – take your pick, or be like us and pick them all! We have found over the years that some things just taste better done up a certain way.

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The other fun thing to do this time of year is start saving seeds. This, for us, goes hand-in-hand with food processing. Pickles just are not pickles without fresh dill. We have also found that dill is not just for pickles – excellent in pasta and potato salads, breads, dinner rolls and I even put a bit into my homemade chicken dumpling soup (sorry dad – I didn’t keep with the German family recipe.). It is just one of those great flavors that can go in so many different thing. Saving their seed is one of the simplest things to do.

When the dill stalks start to grow and begin to flower, I will start clipping “ferns” off the branches – NOT ALL OF THEM! You need to keep some on to help the plant. The ferns get clipped into a small brown back and left open to air dry. You can also spread them out on a sheet, but the bag is faster easier to me.

Then once the flower sets into seeds, I cut off the top again into a small brown bag. (Don’t clip off ALL the heads and don’t worry if some fall to the ground – it’s a good thing.) Then I sit down with my bag in front of a great movie and gently run my hand over the seed heads. This knocks the seeds to the bottom of the bag. I occasionally pull up the head to see if I have all the seeds off – if yes throw the stem into the compost pile – if no then repeat.

A large portion of the dill seeds get scattered to the winds in the beds all over the farm – on purpose – by us! Just about everything grows well with it. The Monarch and Swallow Tail butterflies love it (we also keep milk weed pods on the farm for them). It is a normal deterrent to a number of bad bugs, and I love the smell!

I hope by now you are hungry for both the gorgeous autumn colors and a huge bowl of dill potato salad! Enjoy.

(You can read more about my fall thoughts at my website: www.gardenglowsbydesign.com )

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Published by

helbergfarmstories

I love to write. It is one of the constants in my life that brings me joy. I also love to tell stories, read, knit, crochet, weave, plant gardens, raise our own food, play game with my grandson and throw out my wicked sense-of-humor every chance I get (parents fault – they raised us this way, and I am very glad of it!). I have hundreds of great stories from my life that I want to share. Most are very humorous, some maybe not so much. I hope that all are found interesting. Some of the things that have happened to me in life are: • Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. • Raising and creating 4-H projects for the fair. • Growing food through natural methods (no chemicals here). • Learning (via trial-and-error methods) how to process all kinds of foods. • The death of several loved ones: Parents, fiancé, grandson. • Living through 2 house fires (2nd of which cost me the one grandson). • Having and raising a disabled daughter (20 surgeries in the first 20 years of her life). • Surviving a rape and abusive x-boyfriend and now being able to talk about it. • Giving up everything and moving to another state with $100 in my pocket. • Giving up a steady well-paying job to buy a farm. • Learning and sharing how to really enjoy farm life. • Writing through all of it. These are just samples of all the amazing things I have experienced. I had parents that were amazing! They encouraged all of us to try everything, at least once. Mom tried to get us to enjoy the riches of the world – fine dining (got some great stories on those episodes), how to sit up straight and walk straight to be noticed. She showed us how to walk into a room as if you owned the place. The best thing she taught us was the fine art of storytelling. She grew up with only the radio era folk, so the art of conversation was everything. One regret I have is that I did not keep the letters between her and our Aunt Elaine. They were filled with family happenings and priceless! Dad was a different egg. He and mom seemed like such opposites, but no two opposites were more meant for each other. He was a big, strong, tough man that had been through war times and then something much worse – surviving three daughters! EEEK! Now, looking back, I realize why they both grayed prematurely – we three gremlins. The thing that stands out most in my memory of my father is his compassionate humor. No matter how mad he got at something stupid one of us did, there was always the little twinkle in his eye that told us it was ok. My little sister had him wrapped around her finger – she could do no wrong in his eyes. To best describe him is to let you know that his knick-name for me was “Dumb Shit.” To understand it you may have to watch old Archie Bunker shows – that was my dad. My sisters and I all have some type of talent. The oldest is the wet-noodle. She falls for any stray that comes her way. Then has to feed it and the world (she's an excellent cook by-the-way!) immediately. The youngest is the Artist. She can draw, paint, and/or create so many different things and she too has the passion for cooking. The biggest difference in the two is the first can’t even draw stick people and cooks using shortcuts. The 2nd does everything from scratch – art and cooking. Me, I’m the middle kid. I love to tear things apart and put them back together. I create from scratch – yarn, paint, draw, paper crafts, clay, wood and a number of other things. Cooking is not my passion, I will do it if I have to or if I get an inclination, but it’s not where my heart if. The one big thing we all have in common is our humor. So, my wish here is that as you read my blog (stories), you will find enjoyment in them. What is life if we cannot have a little fun in it?

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