Last CSA Box – a double!

Milestone Day: the last CSA pickup.

In this double box: Red kuri squash, Pumpkin, Acorn Squash, Winter Squash, carrots, the biggest garlic I’ve ever seen, rainbow Chard, cilantro, red beets, lettuce mix, the biggest shallots I’ve ever seen, onions!

The garlic, shallots and onions have been cured for long storage.

This week was a double. Because there was so much Fall long storage vegetables, Jay and Mandy (Lower Valley Farms) decided to combine week 20 and 21 into a double box. I say “YAY!!”. I love going to the farm and kibitzing, but there were some weeks when I’d loved to have been able to “transport” the vegetables right into my house versus the drive. A bittersweet thing of being glad that I am not required to make the drive, but sad that I will not see the farm and all of the folks.

BUT!! For an hour of the CSA pickup window, Mandy has been manning a “farm stand” selling extra items as well as items that there were not enough of for CSA distribution. I purchased some extras there as well as at Saturday Farmer’s market. Both the farm stand and Farmer’s Market will continue through October 21 pending there being produce. So, I may have another 3-4 weeks for local vegetables before *gasp* having to rely on grocery produce.

It has been a wonderful CSA experience with Lower Valley Farm, Jay and Mandy, their family and their farm crew.

Cheers to local and seasonal!

A shopping trip

With the exception of food, I do most of my shopping online. I don’t particularly enjoy going to stores and am very fussy about my grocery stores as well!

During the heat of the summer, I shopped early morning at my favorite grocery which also has morning shade parking AND a spot to get Bear in and out of the Jeep without taking the ramp.

One of the challenges this past summer, was that I cannot leave Bear home alone. He occasionally gets “stuck” and cannot get up without help. He is fine in the Jeep, LOVES to go in the Jeep and the only difficulty is when it is too hot to leave him in the Jeep which was most of the summer after 8:30-9:00 a.m.

We managed fine. And I don’t know if I’d done anything differently if on my own as it was tiring to go out and about in heat and smoke.

But now – we are free :) !!! With the very cool temperatures we were able to do several things Saturday morning without worry for either of us. And I even went to places not in my plan. AND, I was not in a race against the clock/sun/heat. It was rather nice.

I dropped off a leather bag that needed repair.

I made a quick stop at the grocery with a very short list, but I browsed the aisles to check any sales and just look.

I came home with pumpkin and squash from Lower Valley Farm as well as some fall cabbage from a different farm at the market. I walked the market and dawdled a bit looking at things and enjoying watching and listening to other shoppers.

I was on a hunt for some wine glasses having broken my last. After a fruitless stop at a department store, I hit an antique/consignment shop…

Ha… 4 etched crystal wine glasses for $28.00 – that is $28.00 for all 4!!! And everyone in the shop was pleasant and happy and it was a wonderful wrap up to the most relaxed outing Bear and I have had since Spring.

Another “YEA” for Fall.

T.G.I.F. – Thank Goodness It’s Fall

It’s also Friday but on this Friday, I am mostly thankful that it is Fall … as of 2:02 p.m. MDT – the Autumnal Equinox – official Fall (Autumn).

Hoo … I say HOO-RAH!!!

When last we left our story, the air was clearer and it was cooler. It did not get HOT again but on the day before the forecast “PATTERN CHANGE”, the smoke came down with a vengeance. It was the absolute worst in a summer of really bad smoke. If the cold front and subsequent rain had not been in the forecast I might have been tempted to curl up in a ball and weep. As it was, I just kept saying “Tomorrow will be better”.

And it was.

The front came through with rain and snow and cool.

We had a bit of smoke in the days following, but nothing like the extreme conditions of late August/early September.

That first day…

I put away the air conditioners … all THREE! My two new ones came with handy covers complete with pouches for the remotes. I followed the manual instructions: drained, cleaned filters and ran fan only to dry out their insides. Then covers and into closets. I will pretend that they do not exist and will never be needed again. BUT, as noted previously, I am so grateful that I was able to get them and that they kept Bear, Auggie and me comfortable.

And while I’m being grateful …

Vegetables from Lower Valley Farm continue to be wonderful, varied and a pleasure to have and enjoy.

Week 18: radishes, lettuce mix, kohlrabi, carrots, cucumber, onion, shallots, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, patty pan and parsley.

And so, we went from hot and smoky to cool and…

Graupel. Actually a Graupel Thunderstorm. It thundered, it lightning-ed, it graupel-ed. It POURED graupel!

And while it was doing that, UPS delivered my new little freezer:

That’s it under the table… the table that was to be the craft table that became the cat eating table that is now sort of an extension of the kitchen as it is home to the ice cream maker, the coffee pot (drip option for when a button push is preferred to a pour over) and the microwave.

The little freezer.

I’d filled my regular freezer and also the motorhome freezer with things from my CSA boxes and Farmer’s Market. It is the time of year when I start stocking up frig/freezer/pantry so that if driving is bad I do not NEED to go out and about for food. Enter this little freezer which fits under the table and gives me a bit of extra.

For extras like:

Week 19 of 21: Fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, baby arugula, garlic, red onions, cucumber, basil, zucchini, eggplant, delicata squash, red beets!

I continue to freeze or ferment anything I don’t eat during the week.

And on the way to pick up week 19:

It was a perfect Fall day and the barn was the perfect thing to set off the sky, the snow topped mountains and the clear air.

And now we are to today.

As Fall officially arrived…

Auggie started using the shelf above the dryer as his preferred napping spot.

Bear has become like his younger self, shedding the lethargy of the hot, smoky summer.

Peek-a-boo snow on the mountains to the East as we took our evening walk.

Sunset through the woods to our West.

T.G.I.F. Thank Goodness It’s Fall!

Oh happy day: clear (er) air

Clear air, Auggie!!

Happy Dance!

Happy Happy Dance for a clear, cool morning after a long run of hot and smoky.

The morning walk was a huge pleasure for all of us, after Bear and I just endured being out this past week.

There is still some smoky haze, but the mountains are visible.

The sun is at that angle that creates a beautiful light and says Fall is on its way.

Home sweet home with a bit of sunshine and blue sky!

A good walk.

Oh happy day!