The weather started to cool down the last day of September. Leaves have turned bright reds, oranges, and golden yellow. Instead of receiving a huge bounty of tomatoes, peppers, and green beans from our CSA farm (where we get a box of vegetables biweekly), we have been receiving acorn and delicata squashes, russet and purple potatoes, garlic, leeks, and onions. It seems like everywhere is encouraging us to admit that summer has passed and autumn has arrived.
So, we have conceded. John prepared the outside for the cold by fertilizing the grass, planting mums in the planter on our porch, and deflating the kiddie pool. Our tomato plants have died off, ending the seemingly endless production of cherry and grape tomatoes that they provided all summer. The first week in October is when fall scents returned to our kitchen through pumpkin pecan granola, pumpkin spice syrup for lattes, and hearty soups, stews, and curries.
Just two weeks ago— the Saturday before the cold snap— it was way too warm to feel like fall. We skipped over the corn maze, pumpkins, hot cider, and caramel apples at our family trip to Schuster’s Farm. Our visit to Appleberry Farm, however, was rushed as we were slightly underdressed for the chill, wearing hooded sweatshirts as our warmest layer.
Due to this summer’s drought and heat, apple production was too skimpy for the farm to allow customers to pick their own apples in the orchard. Instead, they offered bags of pre-picked apples in their little shop and pumpkins lined up out front. John and Lauren checked out the chickens outside as Hannah and I stayed inside to scope out what the shop offered. We left the farm with the pumpkin that Lauren proudly picked out, a carton of cider, a couple of cider-roasted grilled brats and freshly made cider donuts, and a half peck (5 lb bag) of apples destined to be turned into apple crisp.