Harvest Festival: The Cornucopia of Fall

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Dear friends,

When I was growing up, our small town of Washta, Iowa had fall harvest festivals to raise money for the Methodist church. I remember the first time I attended and the excitement of the evening. However, while the grownups were probably interested in all the donations and money being raised, I was completely in awe of the auctioneer. I knew this local young man, and I couldn’t believe my ears! How did he do that?!

After spending this summer at our hobby farm, I am experiencing some of the excitement I felt at those fall festivals. I know the energy in the town hall was from far more than listening to an auctioneer. For the farmers and gardeners, that festival was the sum of the end of long days of hard work, watching the skies for needed rain and fear of hail, and bringing in a good harvest. Most of all, it was thankfulness.

Through the garden gate.

Now is the time we gardeners assess the growing season and plan for the next year. Since picking June bearing strawberries seems a long time ago, I like to make a list, somewhat in order of the harvest, so Larry and I fully remember what our hard work accomplished.

Cornucopia/A Horn of Plenty/The Bounty of the Harvest

• Asparagus
• Strawberries
• Rhubarb
• Gooseberries (Didn’t make jelly this year. Still had some.)
• Lettuce (4 types) (Wonderful! We had salads about five days a week for two months!)
• Spinach
• Radishes
• Sugar snap peas
• Beets
• Swiss chard
• Kale
• Cucumbers
• Tomatoes
• Peppers
• Blackberries (Didn’t produce this year.)
• Mullberries (Wonderful!)
• Peaches (First year for them, and then the raccoons ate them.)
• Carrots
• Zucchini
• Corn
• Green beans
• Cantaloupe
• Pears (305 and about 30 little ones. Dried pears are the best!)
• Cabbage
• Sweet potatoes
• Potatoes
• Acorn squash
• Butternut squash
• Sugar pie pumpkins
• Jack-o-lantern pumpkins (Time to decorate the front porch!)
• Basil
• Chives
• Sage
• Raspberries (Still producing)
• Apples (Almost ready)

Gardening is such a wholesome activity. Not to mention the wonderful, nutritious, organic food. No, pulling weeds isn’t fun, but watching the food mature, eating it fresh from the garden, and processing it for the winter is so rewarding.

Soon it will be time to light the fireplace and the spiced candles. Halloween and Thanksgiving will be fun, and slower and relaxing times are ahead. Life is good.