On(ward) autumn

stomp stomp stomp

It is fully fall.  I cannot quite tell, though, whether this will be a stellar leaf-color year or not.  Surely the traditional heralds, the low sumac and high tree-climbing Virginia creeper and poison ivy, say this year will be gorgeous, but they’re always untrustworthy in their carnival colors.  You’d think, though, that with a bizarre weather year like this one, they’d flame out in riotous color.  So I keep watching.

Watching, and harvesting.  Apparently I am not the only one to do so:  the voles (field mice) have had family reunion-sized feasts in my sweet potato and winter squash patches.  Now, I don’t normally mind sharing a bite or two with the local beasts.  When they get half the butternut squash, though, I guess I get a little tetchy.  My loss, their gain.  But partially I blame myself for being so busy, for not watching the crops’ turning.

And yes, they turned for me in the vineyard.  Though a productive year, the grapes never reached a high level of sugars…and I kept waiting, thinking this last weekend would be the peak.  And I missed it, being blessed instead with vines full of raisins.

Not all raisins, though:  I am able to fill a 5-gallon carboy with what I hope turns out to be great homemade wine, complete with child labor!

Twelve gallon crock, 45 pound child, 7 gallons grapes

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13 responses to “On(ward) autumn

  1. Cool pic. She’s even dressed for the chain gang.

  2. Isn’t there a wine made from raisins? They were waiting for the priest to bless the fields, but he was traveling, and they tried making the wine anyway, and it was so good that did it that way from then on.

  3. Child labor is the best; we utilize it often.

  4. El, where does one procure a 12 gallon crock? Sounds like a busy time. Will write more about your wine making? Fino vino…no?

  5. Now that’s how grapes should be processed…I love it.:)

  6. Are you only making red wine?. It’s my fave but when I see folks making their own it always seems to be Red so I’m wondering if you make white.White would seem in my mind to be easier.

  7. PS, Has your daughter seen the Lucy episode?

  8. Well now that I look at the first pic it looks like you have Red and White grapes so what are you making?

  9. Child labor makes everything taste better.

    All our grapes exploded and/or vanished in all the crazy rain.

  10. Dear El,
    Thanks you for your post, Aaaah, autumn! It’s the perfect time to entertain outdoors — most of the bugs are gone, the sun isn’t scorching even though it’s warm enough to enjoy an afternoon or evening al fresco, and there’s a bounty of good things to serve for an outdoor meal.
    All the Best

  11. Fun photos! I hope she washed her feet!

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