FALL’S GARDEN BOUNTY ~
The turning of leaves brings warm tidings around our farm with friends and family visiting to view the beautiful fall foliage first hand. We’ve found that it is a wonderful time to display the ‘garden’s productivity’ during our afternoon Sunday brunches, all stuffed with yield from the garden.
Yesterday, with family over after church, the table was full with food from our garden. Here’s what we prepared:
- Goulosh (we in the family call it Goulog) – It’s really a tomato based stew that has EVERYTHING from the garden in it. We have ample canned tomatoes for the broth, sausage from our goats, mixed with our venison from last fall, and pork (amazing flavor). Added as well is our home grown garlic, our red/green and banana peppers, our carrots, and whatever else you want to add. We have this over rice or noodles or just straight as a stew.
- Fresh Green Beans – Nothing is better than fresh green beans from the garden. The way we like to prepare it is to boil the beans in salt water for 15 minutes, then add butter and fresh cut bacon. Amazingly crisp and flavorful.
- Fresh Butternut Squash in our own homemade Maple Syrup – Indeed we spent weeks over blazing woodcook stove this Spring, boiling down maple sap to make about about three gallons of maple syrup. There is nothing quite like real maple syrup for squash. You bake the squash (cut in half) upside down for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. You turn the squash over with the hole side up. On the side prepare butter, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. You then pour that mixture into the holes / centers of the squash now facing up. Bake at the same temperature for 25 more minutes. This is an AMAZING DISH. It’s almost like dessert but amazingly healthy.
- Fresh Green Salad – Added with our tomatoes, herbs, and carrots. Radishes etc. can all be added based on what you have in your garden.
- Homemade Pear/Applesauce – Indeed having neighbors who are kind enough to give you a ton of their surplus pears since the raccoons stole all yours, is a God send. Having made 5 quarts of homemade pear/apple sauce this last week and freezing a bunch, there was ample supply for the dinner table serving as as a nice dish to finish off the meal. I made the sauce with about 80% pears and 20% apples and added organic cane sugar to taste.
On our farm we do our cooking almost entirely around our own meats (rabbit, chicken, turkey, goat, venison), our own vegetables that we use fresh, canned, dried and frozen, and our own dairy and eggs. We make our own yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, ice cream and soap. For sweeteners we have our own home made maple syrup from our stand of maple trees and honey from our bee hives. We also have of course our own milk and eggs. We have our own wool and fiber too, but of course that is for artisan works, not edibles.
Meals and family time, like yesterday, are a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do. When family can sit around the dinner table and truly appreciate the food they are eating, where it came from, and the healthy nature of the final products, it is truly a blessing for our farm.
We encourage others to re-introduce an agrarian lifestyle back into the home. When we bring family, farms, faith and food together, it is very enriching to every member of the family and the friends invited as well. It brings curiosity to the kids and an appreciation and desire to engage with farms and the food that is raised on them. What better way to get kids off the internet and off their phones and get them to the dinner table and into the garden.
God Bless !
The reaper’s joy is now complete
The harvest bounty, oh so sweet,
The canning’s done by setting sun
It’s time to count our blessings son
Soon birds will sing their farewell song
Days will be short, nights too long
Saddest of all the leaves will fall
Yet we can count our blessings of fall
For in the barn hay is stacked
And in barrels, apples are packed
There’s logs for the fire before we retire
We have so many blessings totally entire
In the basement, the walls are lined,
With jars of food, most every kind,
We won’t fear when winter’s here
God’s given us blessings preciously dear.
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