Sunday, October 9, 2011

autumn nature table, harvest stew, and snowy days!


Last week it rained and rained and rained. We knew that up next was going to be some very cold days, temperatures dropping below freezing, so we had no choice but to go out into the downpour and do lots and lots of garden harvesting. It was cold and wet but fun nevertheless.

By Thursday the rained turned to snow. Snow! It snowed all day long, and much of the next day too. It was beautiful, and exciting, but kind of concerning too. This year we had snow even in June so wow, 3 months only without snowfall!

We are so grateful for our bountiful garden harvest! This stew had a little bit of everything we had harvested in recent days... onions, carrots, yellow summer squash and zucchini, potatoes, beets, beet greens, collards, kale, and swiss chard. I threw in a handful of millet but other than that it was a completely homegrown stew. And it was so so yummy!

Autumn days are feeling good!

Michaelmas pictures drawn by the girls...

Michael has chased the dragon back into his cave, that's the dragons tail sticking out. I like the stars shooting across the sky.

Harvest day picture in progress. The little girl is munching a carrot. The girls had to carve out a bit of drawing space amongst all the winter squash covering the table.

The other day Chloe found this picture she had drawn when she was in 1st grade. The women seem to me to be dancing with their brooms. And I love the pumpkin border.

Pumpkins make me very happy! I have always wanted to grow an entire pumpkin patch, and someday we will. This year we planted just one hill, because I wasn't sure if they would even have time to mature or not. But they did (mostly, close enough) and so now we have four of our very own homegrown pumpkins.

I have been having a nature table dilemma. Due to the fact that we have a new kitty who is quite mischievous! That little rascal gets into everything! I was too scared to put anything handmade out on the nature table. Leaves, grasses, flowers, nothing would be safe. So I did a bit of bookshelf rearranging and am hoping that kitty will let it be.

The girls have been bundling grasses and gathering acorns. Rosehips and fallen leaves have since been added to the shelf.

My first needlefelted figure made a couple years ago, and a knitted pumpkin that took me so so long to make, I think this year I have knit almost an entire sweater in the same amount of time.

Our littlest pumpkin, and sweet acorn fairy made by my truly dear friend Rae, who I am so happy to have just spent the day with, as she is visiting this week. We will cherish our brief time together.

I still have our original nature table set up, I am too attached to it to let it go. Wooden trees are safe from kitty. A favorite autumn print and the leaf garland the girls and I made last year keep it simple yet festive I think.

Thankfully the snow has passed for now, but I think the chill is here to stay.
We are all feeling so excited for all that this season has to offer!



a little crafty nest said...

Oh my, Renee, snow!!!?!!! How can that be when it seems like we were just running about in short sleeved shirts at the beach? But we are just north of you a ways and the cool is settling in here, and we are harvesting and putting gardens to bed, too. How you four shall cherish those four pumpkins! And I love your nature table(s). Do you have a pattern to share for the pumpkin...I love it!!! Will write more soon, the tryptophan from our Thanksgiving turkey is hitting me just now and I must go sit by the fire and (yup), knit!
xo Jules

Linda said...

Dear Renee,
It's amazing that you have already had snow, the weather does seem to be changing though, we had a tornado here last week and that is unheard of in South Africa. Your girls drawings are beautiful and I understand about the kitty and the nature table, our Labrador puppy kept trying to take our little treasures and her favourite was a wooden, carved owl. Now she has grown and does not bother with the nature table anymore:) Your nature table looks beautiful and your stew, so delicious. How wonderful that the ingredients were from your garden.
Be well my friend and stay warm...
xo xo

Lisa said...

Hello dear Renee, oh my gosh, snow! it all looks so inviting and nourishing, beautiful, warm and cosy. Stay warm.
Warm wishes from across the land,

Melanie~Our Ash Grove said...

Dear Renee, I always get excited for a new post by you!
Snow already. . . ? My that seems unfair!
That stew looks so delicious, I love "soup season!" Especially soup made from your own harvest! Your garden bounty was awesome this year!
The girls are so artistic- I always love to see their work! That is so funny about the pumpkin taking you so long, versus the sweater this year! I remember when it took me as long to do a hat, as did my shawl! You get faster, which is what I tell people who are new to knitting and get frustrated with how slow and awkward it seems.
We have not been able to have a nature table since getting our kitties. Harry Kitty has a deep passion for eating anything plant like, and both kitties have a passion for wool. Who can blame them, really, but it makes a nature table impossible! Anyhow our "nature table" is everywhere really, on the mantle, a shelf, etc.
Love to you~

charlotte said...

hello, what lovely drawing your girls have made, a real sense of atumn, my favourite time of year. Harvesting and planning projects, although snow seems a little to early! x x x

W-S Wanderings said...

I love the movement your girls are able to convey in their beautiful drawings. Their work is full of life.

Your rearranged nature spaces are a delight. I like their simplicity. It just resonates Autumn.

Star said...

Hi first time commenting... What a nice space, might follow you if you don't mind , love the homeschool, waldorf, garden, knitting inspiration! Blessings be Star

earthboysblog said...

It was so nice to get a little letter from you the other day.. I shall reply soon. Preparing our farm for a showing tomorrow.. Hold thumbs!
Your harvest stew looks quite delicious and wholesome, bringing much warmth for a family tucked away in their little home amidst the snow. We are still warm or should I say hot and eating lots of papayas we have an abundance of them. The girls drawings are always delightful.. give them a big kiss for me and you of course.

barefoot mama said...

Your blog is so peaceful, I LOVE it!

Nicola said...

Beautiful photos in your header! I love these seasonal posts, especially autumn. I love your pumpkins and their tilted stems. Your little family looks like it is thriving!

Jaime said...

Just found my way here from The Magic Onions blog. Such a nice space you have here. It was funny to read about your kitty. We also have a new kitty that keeps eating the little fairy people on our nature table while we sleep. I like her....but the fairy eating...well, that could just stop anytime. That would be nice.

April's Homemaking said...

Your Harvest Stew sounds delicious- soups and stews are our favorites this time of year as well- love all of the drawings, and your nature table areas are great. Such a wonderful time of year :) Visiting from The Magic Onions Hop ~April

Plain and Joyful Living said...

Dear Renee,
Your autumn shelf looks just beautiful - hope that kitten stays away - but how fun to have a little kitten! I made our first soup of the season yesterday as we have had a very mild autumn and I just refuse to make soup on the conventional stove top.
Thinking of you,

Kimmy said...

I have nominated your blog for the versatile blogger award on my blog!
Kimmy x

Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish we could have needle felted things out, but our cats just love them too much. I needle felted Mary and Joseph for our creche a few years ago and woke to a horrid scene one morning! We grew our own pumpkins by accident this year, so exciting!

Heather said...

Mmm, I love dinners like that - ones that use up all sorts of garden goodness bits. Looks delcious and comforting.

Redbeet Mama said...

I am so inspired by you Renee!