It is that time of year. The air has all of summer’s heat but none of summer’s warmth. Even at 80 degrees there is a subtle nip. It is downright cold right now. I am wrapped in a fleece robe and drinking a tonic of vinegar and honey instead of tea. We have reached that busy stage of harvest and preparation. We pulled another row of potatoes last night ans set them to cure. I pulled a pile of big beets and left others to mature a bit longer. That means beets grees for dinner. I love greens fried in a bit of bacon and sprinkle with some vinegar and feta. I am making more kraut today too.

Bruce got the herb garden staked out. We are going to cover it today with a layer of wet newspaper and black plastic. He situated it to sit right outside the fantasy exterior kitchen. The Stark Brothers catalog came in so it is order time for new trees for the orchard. We are hoping for a small fruit harvest next year. The raspberries are fabulous. We are still eating a cup or two a day. The fox grapes are pitiful this year. I will have to purchase (sniff, sniff) grape juice.

We also got two large trees chopped down. That leaves a big pile of wood to get split and stacked. We have some big sons for the work. Another tree is going as well. It’s on the town berm so they are doing the cutting but the wood will be ours if we want it. We do.

I have to drop off the money and pick up the arch I got for Bruce. I am really excited about sugaring in the spring. We are also getting ready for honey harvest. I have the jars but need to get the labels printed.

I am thinking ahead to the holidays. I have such fun ideas for gifts. I am getting Bruce a sign for the shed with Barefoot Farm logo on it. I think he will really like it. Phoebe is getting the American Girls dolls that belonged to y older girls re-headed. As my foster daughter is approaching adulthood, I am looking for a beautiful wooden box or trunk for her. I want to fill it with little things like dish towels and baking supplies. Remember hope chests? I don’t think people do that anymore but we should revive the practice. We can be egalitarian and include tools.

We have a neighbor coming over to show Bruce how to properly measure our windows so we can begin the process of replacing them all. Until then, we will continue to put up plastic on the interior. It worked well last year. The furnace needs to have the filter replaced and we have to finish the ventilation in the root cellar. The car needs new tires. That has to happen pretty quickly.

I also have people asking me to do a bread baking workshop. I think I will offer one in my kitchen. It would be a lot easier that hauling all of my stuff over to the Community House and I could charge very little as I would have nearly no overhead. I am thinking that I could manage 5 participants at $20.00 a piece. I am harboring this fantasy of a side business of delivering bread to maybe five families a week. I could easily make ten loaves of bread in an afternoon. I suppose I would run into all sorts of commercial kitchen problems though and by the time I paid for the ingredients I would be making about $.15 cents and hour. Maybe it doesn’t sound like such a good idea after all.

Are you all hunkering down? What do you do to prepared for the cold season?