Oh Hallows Eve!

Monday, October 31, 2011


This weekend has been dedicated largely to everyone’s comfort here on the farm. The rabbit has a freshly strawed box in which to spend the winter; all the nesting boxes have been cleaned and repacked with a generous amount of shavings; my tender container garden of salad greens and spinach have been covered with float clothe to keep out the night chill and the wood racks are stacked high with seasoned, split eucalyptus.

The fire stack near the front door and a festively carved Jack-O-Lantern greets friends and neighbors on the front porch.

It’s been a weekend of settling in…to fall…to cooler weather…to fewer outdoor chores and long awaited indoor projects. The farm seems barren as I make my nightly rounds, checking on animals, gathering eggs, topping off water troughs and breathing in the cool crisp air. Most of the fruit trees are losing their leaves and much of the garden has been dismantled, save for a few containers filled with greens. New raised beds await a truckload of composted cow manure; compliments of a fellow 4-H family. And, the rest of the old garden beds have been removed and the whole area weeded and staked out for the new greenhouse and garden.

The weatherman is calling for low 40’s tonight. It was the incentive we needed to stock the wood rack to get ready for roaring fire. The stove has been was bubbling all yesterday, loaded down with chicken carcasses that were transformed into a luscious seasonal Chicken Pot Pie. Paired with a simple salad and a rustic apple pie, it was the perfect end to this all hallows weekend.

Halloween means a lot to me. It is my favorite holiday. It’s not about the scary costumes or the candy or even the wild revelry. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t begrudge people that kind of fun; it’s just not for me. Halloween to me is a time to reflect on seasons past, to find a place of calm after months of busy gardening and animal raising. It’s a time to be grateful for what we have, the food that we’ve grown, the animals that will feed us all winter and the people in our lives. The ancients marked this day as the beginning of a new year. It was a somber day full of remembrances and gratitude. So for me this has been a quiet day of slow and steady work without much fuss.

My morning started off quiet with a breakfast of pumpkin pecan pancakes, bacon and a few fresh eggs thrown in for good measure. I try to make as many pumpkin inspired dishes as possible this month. It just doesn’t seem the same (or right) any other time of year. I sat at my kitchen table, looking out the window, the chickens running from one end of the yard to the other, Sophia flapping her wings the whole way. Two big black crows sat watching from atop the pepper tree. It has been said that crows seen in pairs is a sign of good luck. It’s nothing special to see them alone, but boy if you see them together you’ve got a good sign. My fall décor consists of folk art I found while on a trip to Vermont and Oregon. Hallow themed prints with pumpkins and owls and, you guessed it, crows. My fall quilt project is a primitive crow appliqué pattern I found at a quilt show a few years ago. When I saw it hanging on the display wall it reminded me of the crows on the farm and I just had to have it, so I forked over the cash to buy it.

Someday it too will be part of my hallow festivities; wrapping Brianne and I in its warmth. Farm girls making our way together. Now that’s a pair teaming with luck.

Picture By: JMS

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