October is my favorite month of the year. In Virginia it's usually the first month that's actually fall weather, although we've been having cooler temperatures in Minneapolis for quite a few weeks now. The leaves are turning, the light is gorgeous, and the air smells of wood fires and apples.
We at Wellstone House have decided to take on fall full-force. We began by commemorating the beginning of the season with a trip to Pine Tree Apple Orchard. It's a gorgeous orchard that slopes down to a lake, and we spent the afternoon lounging in the sun and sampling cider.
Other fall activities at Wellstone House include gathering around the fire pit with hot cider:
walking around to admire foliage:
and bringing unripe vegetables in from the garden to use as-is before we get a freeze:
Speaking of freezing.... I've become increasingly interested in food sustainability, which obviously means eating locally whenever possible. We've been buying all our produce (and most other food) from the farmers market and the local co-op, but the market ends in a few weeks, and produce at the co-op will cease to be both local and cheap. In the interest of nutrition and staying happy, we will still buy fresh produce in the winter, but we wanted to preserve at least some produce now. Canning is an obvious option, but we lack equipment and expertise. Freezing, however, seemed much more manageable.
So this morning I set out for the farmers market in search of easily-freezable veggies, and came home with two trays of carrots, four trays of green beans, and a basket-full of green peppers. A Google search on "how to freeze carrots" turned up an excellent website that provides step-by-step instructions on how to freeze (and grow and can) vegetables. I then busied myself for quite a few hours slicing, washing, boiling, blanching, cooling, and bagging. I finished the day with 15 freezer bags of veggies that will hopefully be delicious (and not too soggy) come winter.
Photographic evidence of my very domestic freezing project:
I feel that I should end this post by sharing that my very good friend Becca, upon hearing about freezing and my aspirations to learn to can, said that she will from now on call me Laura Ingalls.