September Harvests

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Our very overgrown vegetable and flower garden ❤
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Teddy Sunflower and Bachelor Buttons

Oh September!

Come and gone, but not for long.

It’s the first of October and I am sitting on the cold, bathroom floor.  Petey, the orange tabby is curled up beside me in a little nest.  This morning, we made an emergency vet call because we were convinced that our orange companion, Petey, had a UTI or FLUTD.  All vets are closed on Sundays on PEI, hence the emergency visit.  He had a shot of antibiotics, pain medication and has been put on a special diet.  I feel the need to sit with him for the day and monitor him – check on his pee and simply let him know that he has someone here with him.  I do love him and hate to think of him in any kind of distress.  The vet did tell us that it was caught early enough that he will make a full recover – but still, poor Petey!!!  Regardless, I am still worried about him 😦

And so, I am taking this bathroom time with a sleeping Petey to share with you the harvesting photos that I took over the month of September.  I actually wrote much of this blog post last week so it may seem a little disjointed from my sweet cat, Petey.

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Picking Heirloom Tomatoes 🙂

My love for this earth bursts during this golden cast month.  The mornings and evenings are cool while the afternoons are drenched in a favourable heat.  I rejoice, knowing that the tomatoes on the vine will ripen and our pumpkins are finally swelling with each setting sun (in this case, in a tree).  The tips of the maples are painted ruby red and the mossy forest floor is sprouting F U N G I !

In all Mother Earth’s beauty, I have been busy harvesting from our gardens.  Organic food is so perishable that I have been hopping right on preserving.  Jams, relishes, pickles or simply freezing.  I grew up on a 2 acre property with a very large organic garden and was so accustomed to preserved food that I really feel like it’s a natural part of life.  Sometimes, I feel like I am a 20 something year old who is meant to be a crone, living tucked away and dabbling in spinning a handmade home (refraining from turning my neighbours milk sour or destroying crops, of course).

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The Pumpkin plant that grew from the compost!  Last year, we put our halloween pumpkins in the compost and in return, received an incredibly healthy plant with many pumpkins! These are still growing – though still green.
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The plant is so healthy that it actually attached itself to the apple tree by the compost!  The tree is suspending some very healthy looking pumpkins 😀

The days, grow colder and colder and I am anticipating the deep, dark.  We have had a steady harvest of beans, squash, tomatoes, beets, carrots, cucumbers and a multitude of herbs!  Our small freezer is already packed full of stewed tomatoes, blanched beans and foraged berries (we need to invest in a deep freeze!).  All of this food is coming from a relatively small patch of land.  We live on a 1.25 acre plot, most of which is wooded, and the total area used for gardening is VERY small!  To this point, I have done all of the gardening on my own, with just a shovel and a rake.  Perhaps I should delve more into how, but it’s just so simple and very, very rewarding!  Not only in the basic fact that you’re not paying for food but in the whole process of watching a plant grow, flower and produce fruit.  In a season, you over see the cycle of life which ultimately nourishes your body and soul  >.<

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Straw we have been collecting for the chicken coop and garlic beds.  Dorothy knows what’s up.
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A little corner garden, some slugs got to some of my tomato plants this year so I saw them as a sacrifice to the slug gods …. makes perfect sense.
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Using my shirt to bring home apples from an old, twisted tree.  Our very kind neighbours told us that the tree that we have been visiting is an old variety called “Alexander & Wheatley.”  I found information on Alexander trees but nothing on “Alexander & Wheatley”  I imagine perhaps it’s what they were called on Prince Edward Island 😀
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Potato harvest and hand knit fingerless mitts.  I planted these potatoes last March/April using cuttings from our bag of PEI russet potatoes (We love our potatoes :D)
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Black turtle Beans!  I have slowly been shelling these and placing them on a screen – hopefully we will have enough to have a couple meals of delicious refried beans but next year I have grand plans for more turtle beans.
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The Onions, we only harvested maybe 2 dozen but I assure you my eyes well up from these fresh onions
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Stewing our Tomatoes – We grew a couple different varieties this year, including Mennonite Orange Beefsteak, Purple Cherokee, Alaska Tomatoes and German Johnson!
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Juice from our Veggies and Herbs 😀  The colour comes from those lovely beets
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Dearest Petey ❤ Pumpkins have very tough skins – this white pumpkin is actually from last year! The plant is a rosemary that my mom gave me.  I am going to over winter her and put her out next spring.
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Making apple jam from forages apples
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Checking on the tomatoes, I suppose!
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Heritage Tomatoes!  – Aside from eating them regularly with meals – I’ve been stewing and freezing them so we don’t have to purchase canned stewed tomatoes
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This one has been eating tomatoes as well… a small bounty and my favourite flower -foxglove (digitalis)
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Acorn Squash
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Kitchen magic – I used the skins and cores to make some apple cider vinegar
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Butternut Squash!  My absolute favourite 😀
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This pumpkin is growing suspended from an apple tree!  We have a very large plant growing from the compost which has flown right into a tree and now hosts numerous small pumpkins.  I love it!
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starting to fill the pantry in the cold room! We only had 2 jars left from last year so thank goodness the earth provides!

This evening, as I sit with Petey, Jamie is making Veggie Burgers using bulgar and plenty of kale from the garden. Roasting rutabaga and beets.  I’ll likely come back in here to keep Petey company afterwards (we need to keep him from roaming because his infection makes him pee outside of the litter box, we don’t want him playing with the other cats and his food is separate from hugo & Pangurs).

This morning when we drove out to our vet clinic, we passed by the new Amish farms here on PEI.  They are stunning – beautiful handmade homes and barns and gardens, arg!  I gush over them every time!  We took a different route home and passed by their freshly built, one room school house.

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sunroom, strawflowers and afternoon light

M O O D S

I am currently listening to one of my favourite musical groups – Boards of Canada  They help me go into a meditative state when I’m writing or making art (and wondering how I actually provided the video in my last blog post…. WordPress evades me ). Reading Issue # 5 of the graphic novel Sweet Tooth (it’s super if you like apocalyptic stories) and hoping to do an Amazon order to get Dina’s Book by Herbjørg Wassmo and The Good People by Hannah Kent 😀   All of this while sitting on the bathroom floor, drinking a glass of wine while Petey rests.

Happy October, I very much hope your cupboards are full and your appetite for books and nature and art is being quenched in some way or another.   It’s time for our veggie burgers ❤  Goodnight to you all!

sunflower-1909
Egon Schiele “Sunflower,” 1909.

 

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “September Harvests

  1. Ahhh lovely post Julia, I do hope Petey gets well soon. Your cupboard stocked full of jars with homemade goodness is, well, amazing!
    By the way , I read The Good People not so long ago and loved it, hope you do too. Happy October and great tip to use the skins and cores for ACV (I’ve been giving fermenting a whirl).
    Love Eliza x

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    1. Hi Eliza!

      So excited to see you have started blogging :D! Do keep it up!

      Okay, I sadly STILL have not ordered it! I Must though! Did you read her previous book, Burial Rites? It is one of my favourite books, I loved it so much! It’s funny because the topic of the Good People is essentially what I did my undergraduate degree in (sounds kind of funny but yes I did a degree in Celtic Studies and lots of courses in Lore and folk beliefs of Irish country side!) so it is right up my alley. I am glad to hear you liked it!

      One thing about homemade ACV, it had a shelf life of about 9 months. Best of luck with experimenting with it! It’s super fun 😀

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      1. Hi Julia,

        So sorry I’ve only just seen your reply. Thankyou for your blogging encouragement…. I’m already stuck for interesting ideas, but I think it’s because generally I don’t really think it will be interesting for others, but I know that’s not totally true. I will keep going though. 🙂
        I haven’t read Burial Rites, but do want to. My daughter, Bronte, curses me because I don’t read books necessarily in order of publishing.
        Your degree sounds really interesting, it is also what Bronte is wanting to do within her history degree, so completely doesn’t sound funny to us. We love all that too!
        Are you watching latest Outlander. Oh my, that last episode completely had me!! Won’t spoil it in case you haven’t seen it yet. 🙊
        Xx Eliza

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  2. Your harvest is so beautiful and inspiring! The pumpkins are amazing! My daughter grew gourds in our tiny yard this year and the plant is spreading all over the deck and wrapping itself around the table legs and even inside the barbecue cover. It still has plenty of gourds growing. So exciting! Poor Peter. I hope he is all better soon. xx

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    1. Hey Valerie! Long time no talk 🙂 Thank you very much!

      How cool that your daughter chose to grew some gourds : D! I would love to see!! Did you harvest any? I admit, I really love gourds… I think they are very cute! My mom gave me one and I have it on display right now in our entrance! Our pumpkin plant must be similar to your gourd because it has really just taken over.. It’s still growing as well. I have kind of stopped stepping around it carefully and now just started hearing the stems crunching under my feet :S

      Petey is better although I kind of stepped away from the social world of the internet because he became worse and had to stay at the vet 😦 He is much better today though so I will rejoice!

      I hope you have been enjoying your fall!!

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  3. Julia! I can’t believe how much food you’ve produced. That is such an amazing job and very inspiring! And I love the pantry! I understand that I have so much to learn. I would love to stew tomatoes. We use a lot of tomatoes, garlic and onions, but this year our tomato crop was pretty much non-existing. And we haven’t really got the hang of onions. Any tips? 🙂

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    1. Hey Camilla 🙂

      Excited to see we are sharing a similar Saturday night 😉

      It is so incredibly rewarding to grow our own food! Thank you so much for your kind words! Our pantry is growing as well ! You are not alone at all, I also have so much to learn!!

      Hmm… tomatoes.. what kind of summer temperatures do you have in Norway? I wonder, do you have enough space for a small green house? You can make them with a type of plastic that is very cheap and you can buy at the hardware store. If you have hot temperatures in the summer.. you can always start inside. I started my tomatoes inside in March and they were relatively close to a fire so had a lot of heat to begin. I don’t necessarily suggest this because they started as quite leggy because of the heat. I can suggest some very nutrient rich compost, starting indoors and when you plant, bury the plant up to the first leaf. Water regularly and pinch out the growth that is growing from a base of a branch. I can draw a diagram 😀

      Best of luck for next year, I know you will do great :)! Oh and onions can be sown very early, before last frost!

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      1. I’m so exited about planning next year, I fear I’ll try to take on too much. Honestly we don’t have a lot of space to grow things, because the soil dept is 1-3 cm (about 1 inch?) and then there is rock. But we can make more space by building raised beds, it just takes some time and planning, because the ground is (of course) not level _anywhere_. Heh! We do actually have a space set a side to build a green house! It makes me so happy thinking about it I have to laugh! The only thing is that I’m not sure what to use as flooring? Our summer temperatures varies a lot, from 15 degrees celcius to 30. 😀

        Yes, please draw an diagram 😀 I would love that! And onions will be sown! 😉

        Thank you so much for your help, I’m taking notes!

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      2. Hi Camilla!

        It has been quite a while! Oh my, actually a month! I am just returning rather sleepily to the online world, have been feeling a little shy lately and keeping busy *out there* hehe. I also can not wait to start planning for next year though with the garden!! You should definitely build a green house!! I forget about rocks all the time now… we actually don’t have rocks on PEI. PEI is essentially a huge sand bar. We have sand stone and I have seen some stones in the shallow rivers, but it is not like newfoundland which is nicknamed “the rock.” I once read a book about people planting gardens in newfoundland and they essentially just continuously piled organic matter (like seaweed and ash, etc.) to create earth atop the rock! Anywho… I like those kind of stories 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much!

      The tomatoes just keep piling up too! Although, must of them are green!

      Petey is doing MUCH better now. After this incident, we actually had to take him back to the vet because he was very unwell. He was put on a catheter and on multiple types of medication. He is much better now 🙂

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