I don’t know about what it’s like where you are, but here in Southern Oregon it’s really starting to feel like fall. The nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and I’m starting to feel a bit like a squirrel trying to stock up for winter. Which is a good thing, because preserving food is one of my favorite pastimes! We canned a batch of tomato sauce with a combination of the tomatoes from our garden, a friends garden, and our CSA veggie box.
We’ve never canned tomato sauce before, it took a bit of time with all of the cooking down that you have to do of the fresh tomatoes, but it was worth it. It turned out really good, just like the essence of summer!
Not a whole lot of new things happening in the garden these days. Things are starting to die off a bit, although we still have tomatoes, peppers, and green beans that are hanging on. Our first sunflower finally opened this past week, which was exciting! We planted the sunflowers a bit late so I wasn’t sure if we’d ever see them flower, but here they are.
The black eyed susans in the field down the road from us are pretty much gone now, but here is what they looked like about a week ago.
We went on a quick trip to Crater Lake National Park on our days off, and somehow we planned it just right as all of the smoke from the nearby fires had finally subsided. It was gorgeous!
Joel has been to tons of National Parks, many more than I have, but this was his first time to Crater Lake. It was also the first National Park visit for Cosmo the Kitten. He thought it was alright. He’s a tough one to please, but all in all he did pretty good on the road trip. I’m sure there will be more National Parks in his future!
On our way up to Crater Lake, not too far from home but up a bit in elevation, we noticed that the elderberry trees along the side of the road were absolutely loaded with berries. So, once we were back home I made another trip up specifically to go collecting. I’ve already collected some elderberries that are drying, but I wanted a bunch of fresh ones to make a special mead. Just look at how many berry clusters were on the trees!
And this was just one tree of many. I collected a big bucketful of berries, but there were so many that were just out of my reach. That’s ok, I got what I needed! Joel helped pick them off the stem that night.
You will be seeing more of these very elderberries in an upcoming post!
While I was out collecting the berries, I also noticed a lot of mullein on the side of the road still going strong. It’s so cool to be able to go up in elevation and still have these wonderful plants hanging on this late in the season.
And that’s about it for this past week, tomato sauce and Crater Lake. We’re busy putting things up from our harvest, but still trying to get the last of summer fun in while we can. Autumn is upon us, which is alright with me because it’s been a long, hot, and smoky summer. I’m ready for crisp days and some rain that we so desperately need. Oh, and falling leaves and pumpkins! But, I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself, because we still have a lot of late summer things to accomplish. Like fermenting and mead making!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!