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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy First Day of Fall!

We spent the last days of summer in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, shopping, doing errands, and generally just bustling about town. It takes a little getting used to, the traffic, noise and people, but we adapt and I try to remember to drive with purpose while in town so no one honks at me to get the heck going.

Here's a shot of Albuquerque in October during the balloon festival.

Coming back home is a relief, though. This is how it looks on our way home. Breathing is easier and my face loses that squinchiness it gets when I am stressed.

That's not our home, but it's pretty, isn't it?

At our place fall is making its presence known. The maple tree is losing its leaves.

The three loaded apple trees are An Event, since we only get apples every three or four years around here. Late frosts kill the blossoms.

 I am trying to wrap my head around preserving them all. Drying, making apple pie filling, applesauce, and storing the very best ones seem like the way to go.

The grapes surprised me. I did what I thought was a klutz job pruning the vines and wondered if they'd even live. Here are the grapes from just one third of a grapevine.

Two baskets full of grapes made three and a half quarts of concord grape juice. I did the whole canning thing, crushing the grapes, extracting the juice in a big pot, and bottling and canning the juice. I wondered if it was worth all that work for three and a half quarts of juice. Then I looked at how much a quart of organic grape juice was at the supermarket. Dang! I made $24 worth of grape juice! 

This winter I will climb the stairs to our bedroom closet, the coolest place in the house, and select a jar of grape juice. In the the kitchen I will open the jar and pour the summer of 2012 into my glass. Then I will inhale its essence and say, "Yep, it was worth it."

Happy First Day of Autumn!


  1. We live in the suburbs of the suburbs of Sacramento. We have one apple tree. It's a golden delicious, but the fruit goes bad before the golden part shows up, for the most part. The ones that fall we cart off to the walkway along the river where there are deer. They love them, and we don't waste the apply goodness in the garbage - that goes to the landfill. The rest become apple crisp, and neighbor food.
    I'm always surprised that we have grapes. We tried for a long time to get rid of the plants. Now we just trim them back to the old growth (stumps), and every year
    10' of vine, and green grapes with seeds.
    Love your blog!

  2. I totally understand the feeling you described coming home from the city! We live north of Flagstaff, which is way smaller than Albuquerque, but I get the same feeling when we get back to our haven from the world! As for harvesting, I did make up some pesto from my basil plants this year, froze some chives, and have eaten a lot of the cherry tomatoes from the plants on the deck... don't think I'm up for doing a bunch of canning and preserves, though! Good for you that you are finding ways to use your harvest!


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