Fall Catch Up

Fall is hands down my favorite season of the year. From our home at the foothills of the mountains, we have witnessed the leaves change to brilliant shades of red, fiery orange and yellow. We have done our best to hike nearly every weekend to explore the many trails just a short drive from us—all while capturing the beauty of fall first-hand. But as much as I love fall, I’m beginning to anticipate Old Man Winter.  This week, we are welcoming 30-degree temps, breaking out our winter coats and prepping our burn pile before installing a 5-foot wide fire pit next week.
 
Cooler temps means I’m ready to put soups and stews on repeat. My husband jokingly inquires about the Soup du Jour—except he’s pretty spot on since we have Beef Stew, Chili and Buffalo Chicken soup waiting for us as leftovers in our fridge.
 
We have been so busy with settling ourselves and the husband’s business onto the property that I haven’t had as much time to devote to the kitchen as I’d like. But winter weather signals cozy meals, bonfires, hot homemade sourdough coming out of the oven and a renewal of our hydroponic gardening practices.
Humble Vine Farm, Cleveland GA
Humble Vine Farm, Cleveland, Ga.

We recently visited a small organic farm nestled within a larger farm that is really making the most of organic gardening and even offering some to the community. His small property is roughly the same size as ours, so it’s inspiring to see just how much he is growing. When we moved this summer, we had to stop hydroponic gardening to transport everything. Then with all the busyness, we hadn’t found a permanent place to garden indoors again since we no longer have a basement. But we’ve found a location to house two of our AeroGardens and baby seeds are germinating as I type this (fingers crossed!).

Some homesteading practices we haven’t neglected include making jams and jellies (fig, watermelon, scuppernong, muscadine, blackberry) and keeping up with our kombucha brewing. Next up is brewing some Elderberry syrup for my kids to combat seasonal sickness this winter.

Though we were a bit worried when Covid began as to how my husband’s business would fare, after that first initial month, we have been blessed with busyness as it continues to grow. I have given up my part-time social media clients so that I can now devote my time to helping him.

Surprisingly to us, our Airbnb on the property has done very well by our standards. We have been booked every single weekend (plus some weekdays) since we opened it in September. So my weeks are split prepping the Airbnb, working with my husband and managing the house—oh yeah, and the four kids!

Life is busy, but I’m trying my best to savor this season (my daily reminder to myself) and be more patient with my kids even when I’m in a rush to get something done. At this age, they are learning so much. My big boys )ages 7 and 8) are learning to help me cook—dicing vegetables is their favorite task (and yes, they use real knives!) They also love to use my husband’s sawzall. It was quite terrifying for me to witness them cutting up firewood the first time, until I learned they had been doing this for a month and had yet to lose a toe. My 5-year-old daughter, who is in kindergarten, is so excited about learning to read. She’s skipped over all the beginner reader books and instead just wants to read picture books intended for adult reading. Overall, she’s my sidekick and will happily help me fold laundry or prep dinner. And the toddler, well he’s learning all sorts of mischievous tricks, but most endearingly, he just learned to say “I love you” and will now answer his version of “Yes sir” to anyone, male or female. So at least we’re headed in the right direction.