While we are still experiencing sunny, even warm days as we start the month of October, the cooler nights and brisk mornings tell us it truly is fall.
Here at Bella Luna, the leaves are just beginning to turn color—brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange, and the local wildlife are beginning to stash provisions like crazy. Squirrels are busy darting to and fro, carrying off acorns, walnuts and chestnuts—some as big as their heads—to bury for food during the winter months. The blue jays are also busy squabbling with one another, battling the squirrels and each other for hazelnuts.
With the last of the grapes behind us, the apple and pear harvest has officially begun—the sweet, aromatic Macoun and crunchy, mildly-tart Liberty are the first apples to ripen in our orchard, with the Asian and European pears right behind them. (We admit to snatching a few right off the tree while walking past to do chores in the barn or garden, with the donkey enjoying an apple here and there as well!) Soon, we will press and enjoy our first batch of fresh cider, and start cooking up homemade batches of applesauce and apple butter in the farm kitchen.
In addition to the time spent tending our clients’ gardens for our landscape design firm Parterre, we are also hosting a few fall weddings and other gatherings. In between events back at home, we are pulling the last of the heirloom tomatoes out of the hoophouse, which are destined for more batches of our Nonna Pat’s tomato sauce. As the tomatoes end their season, they make way for fall plantings of kale, cabbage and Swiss chard to overwinter for early spring harvest. These hardy crops always renew our excitement for fall and its distinct pleasures—like foraging for mushrooms in the woods or enjoying the distinct flavors of autumn over a cozy supper.
We hope you are also enjoying this most lovely start to the month of October!