The end of August through the end of September is grueling most years, but this year knocked us for a loop.  We had an unbelievable amount of food this season.  And, I’m not whining about it as much as just wiping my brow and slapping high-fives.  We did great! It’s always a management challenge to keep up with rapidly ripening foods and harvest, prep, cook, preserve, clean up and start over again the next day.  We’ve had berries, literally hundreds of pears, boxes of potatoes, crazy amounts of zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers that we had to pick every day, huge bushes of basil and other herbs, so many tomatoes and they are still coming.  Let me just stop here and say we’ve preserved approximately 800 lbs of tomatoes – so far.  We have so many more tomatoes to pick this weekend, it’s insane. I’ve been weighing each box we bring in.  Mid-summer boxes were weighing in at 75 lbs and we’d have one approximately every three days.  Now, we’re getting 40-45 lb boxes every couple of days.  At this point, I’m just freezing to keep up.  This is what we consider our gold for the winter and spring soups and sauces. Every bit of this will be used in the coming months. Next up will be beans, butternut, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, poblanos, red bells, tomatillos, jalapeños, serranos, beets, more herbs and then our fall broccoli, kale, chard, spinach and arugula arrive.  It’s some people’s nightmare.  It’s just life around here this time of year.

I can’t do all this without Sam, Eli and Mac who help with so many of the daily tasks.  Sam is my go-to guy for harvesting berries, pears and herbs and helping with pestos, freezing and drying.  Eli and Mac do whatever is necessary to keep things orderly outside.  Weeding, fence repair, staking up 8 foot tall tomato plants and all the end-of-season clean-up that’s just around the corner.  This is my team.  My family.  Our life.