My previous post was in response to what I view as our society’s current insanity. Take it or leave it. I like to spice things up on the blog—a little farm life, a little narrative, some how-to columns, and the occasional philosophical/theological rant. I have long admired Moliére for his “Tartuffe” and how it mocked what needed to be mocked. Thus my last post.
The following topic, however, is far more interesting.
Fall brings freshness every year to our heat-weary, work-weary farm life. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but the bright colors and cool breezes challenge us to pause, breathe, give thanks to the Creator, and enjoy the world He gave us.
We’re still milking sweet Gerty every morning, and she and calf Sassafras are happy and healthy as they can be. For that, we are thankful!
We’re also thankful for Gerty’s improving bounty. We average just around or under a gallon per morning milking. Yesterday, she gave over five quarts!
The volume of cream in her milk has been slowly increasing too, which means more butter, ice cream, and so many other tasty treats.
I’ve discovered a setting on my camera that’s ideal for close-up shots. So I’ve been having fun with that.
Our summer garden was mostly a flop. We got a few tomatoes, a few peppers, and a small watermelon. But my absence meant certain things necessarily couldn’t be tended. Next year, I expect a mighty bounty!
However, we have had surprising success over the past few years with our fall and spring crops. Our fall lettuce patch is coming on strong, and we’ve already enjoyed a salad out of it. And some turnips emerged in a bed I had covered with wood chips. I didn’t plant them. But we let them grow, and ate them for the first time last night. Sauteéd in butter, finished in a little red wine (the recipe calls for red wine vinegar, but we didn’t have any, and we didn’t have any red wine, so we used port—it was nice!). Fantastic. And we simmered the turnip greens with some onions and garlic; they were savory and delicious.
Fall is overall a delicious time. It is certainly a wonderful time to live in the Ozarks, amid crisp weather and painted landscapes. Gerard Manley Hopkins says it best: He fathers forth beauty who is past change.
In fact, here’s Hopkins describing exactly how I feel about God’s autumnal beauty.
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: