fall colors, storage crops, & other beautiful beasts

I wrote the following a number of weeks ago but didn't add the accompanying pictures or publish it.  There is a poem by W.S. Merwin at the end that fits our current month better than September back when I wrote this posting. So here are some belatedly presented words, sans photographs:

September 30:

Onions. They are so unassumingly beautiful. It is humbling to think of their massive role in life, how they serve as a base for so many of the foods that nourish human existence. Having a bowl of onions in the kitchen and bags and bags of them in the barn & basement makes me feel so well taken care of and like I can weather anything.  Clearly a false sense of security-life does require more than onions, but its a cozy feeling nonetheless. 

So, there is quite a bit of onion love and admiration to be seen here, some photos from the fading-yet still lovely-garden, the last photos of our big pig group-eight went to this butcher this past Friday and the remaining two will go in a couple weeks-, the classic combination of cows and apples, and some other early (almost!) fall scenes.  

There is much to be done, as always, but Andy and I are both feeling the slowness of fall and winter just beginning to set in. The garlic is nearly cured in the barn, waiting to be cleaned and put away. The onions are all out of the field now, though they've yet to finish curing and will need to be cleaned, graded, and stored. We've harvested all of our transplanted winter squash but are waiting to harvest all that was direct seeded. The sweet potatoes are still underground, probably not doing too much more growing. Just waiting now, for us to get around to them. They'll need to be cured and stored. Its quite a shuffle we're doing, not having enough space for curing all these storage vegetables, but thankfully they can all be harvested at varying times, so as soon as the onions have done their time in the greenhouse, the sweet potatoes can go in, and so on.  And of course the dairy arm of the Milkhouse carries on throughout all of this. 

While we go forth with this fall's list of tasks, some are daunting, but most are entirely welcome, especially when done in the cool weather and with the promise of the tree's colors, soon enough. We await it all with great anticipation. Fall, to me, is the most ripe and abundant time of year. 

I think I may be putting the cart before the horse here, still in the middle of September as we are, but I'll leave off with this poem by W.S. Merwin, For the Love of October:

A child looking at ruins grows younger

but cold

and wants to wake to a new name

I have been younger in October

than in all the months of spring

walnut and may leaves the color

of shoulders at the end of summer

a month that has been to the mountain

and become light there

the long grass lies pointing uphill

even in death for a reason

that none of us knows

and the wren laughs in the early shade now

come again shining glance in your good time

naked air late morning

my love is for lightness

of touch foot feather

the day is yet one more yellow leaf

and without turning I kiss the light

by an old well on the last of the month

gathering wild rose hips

in the sun.