It has been another beautiful day in Vermont. We spent a good part of the morning sitting on the deck with the dogs, soaking up the last of Summer's sun. The first frost will likely arrive 2 or 3 weeks from now, but these final days feel glorious. The plants are thriving, the birds are frolicking, and our favorite sunflowers, the Goldie Doubles, are in bloom. The trees are starting to transform into their brilliant reds and golds, helping to make the end of summer more sweet than bitter. This is quite a feat considering the long winter we will have to endure.
We might still have time to drive down to Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont in October to visit the historic apple orchard where Rudyard Kipling built his dream home. Scott Farm grows 90 varieties of apples, which is difficult to comprehend, even for an apple connoisseur.
We spent much of the spring and summer preparing for our move to solar (our old pole barn now holds 20 solar panels on its roof) and learning how to tend our two new bee colonies. We also deconstructed two old rotting structures and extended one of our large garden beds. We now have around 6,000 square feet of gardens, which are growing everything from flowers to spinach. A tractor would have been welcomed this year, but we are still managing without one. Getting our hands dirty has made us feel more connected to each other and to this land.
It has been a good year for spinach, kale, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and ground cherries. We harvested about the same amount of garlic as last year (over 200 bulbs). Our peas were doing really well until the deer found them too tempting. (We'll have to start thinking about permanent fences next year.) The fall harvest will continue with many varieties of squash, which we will cure and continue to eat all winter. (Check the Recipes page for our Kuri Squash Soup recipe.) Anyone following our farm page on Facebook knows this year's strawberries were amazing.