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Autumn on the Farm

Each August I wait anxiously for that first taste of Autumn. I cannot tell you exactly what marks it, but there is a very specific feel to the air in the morning. A crispness that hasn't been felt since Spring. It is a moment I relish each year, that first day of change. Each day before that holds a heat and mugginess that, although I enjoy in its own way, I tire of quickly. By the time I feel the first breath of Autumn, I am ready for all that the season brings.

For us, the Autumn season is marked by preservation. This year I have had the pleasure of putting away apples, and pumpkin, and finishing the processing of tomatoes. Bread making and baking in general, takes on a new feeling as my kitchen is cool in the morning, and I now look forward to firing up the oven, instead of dreading the additional heat. Soups rejoin the menu, and gathering around fires with friends feels cozy.

This year we are looking forward to harvesting meat for our freezer as well. Hunting was a part of my childhood that I will always remember. It was the quintessential Fall activity, that in many ways, marked the season in my home. My Dad, and all his friends, would go out every chance they got trying to fill tags and freezers. This year, my husband will be the one working to secure that for us, and it is something that fills me with pride.

Autumn is also one of the busiest seasons, as we prepare animal spaces for the cold times ahead. Gardens need tilling, wood needs to be cut and packed away, plants that cannot overwinter will be brought inside, and Summer's end cleaning must be done. It is a time of year that leaves me ready for the cold and quiet of Winter. Life on the farm has made me grateful for each season, and that is a gift that only farming has given me.

Though I know that by February I will be itching for the hustle and bustle of Spring, I am now content with moving into the slowness of late Autumn and Winter. Watching the leaves turn more colorful by the day, seeing the grasses and flowers go to seed and die back, and remembering what it feels like to wear boots instead of flip flops. This beautiful season reminds me that God intends us to rest as well as work, and I intend to do just that.

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