Betwixt The Two

September is when summer isn’t quite over and autumn hasn’t yet taken hold. We’re betwixt the two.

The grass is no longer green and yet it hasn’t given up entirely. It, too, is “betwixt”. Outside summer work is winding down. I harvested the last red tomatoes and there are just enough to fill these jars. The green ones remaining will go into a frying pan.

Have you got any special recipes for green tomatoes that you’d share in the comments section below??

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve gotten our fall cattle work underway … moving the cows & calves to pastures closer to the corral, separating the heifer and bull calf pairs etc. The knee I had surgery on this past spring is doing well and riding is GOOD for it. I sure missed a lot of riding this year though and our riding season is short … just like it is for gardening.

The grass on the prairie is tanning, the shrubbery in the piney foothills is beginning to turn, the oak trees are thinking about fall … but slowly. The aspen in the high hills are changing. As I’ve said before, we live between the Plains and the Black Hills. We’re betwixt the two.

Gone are the wildflowers …

The end of auction season is also coming to a close. A couple of farmgirl friends and I went to one last weekend. It was a gorgeous drive that took us to a ranch over by Devil’s Tower. The ranch is 115 years old. The auction was fun and we did bring home some vintage treasures, but I enjoyed looking the ‘home place’ over as much as anything else. So many pieces of old farming equipment and outbuildings. I was told that a group of Amish families moved nearby recently and they were on hand to bid on many of the hand tools, harness and many other antique items that are still a part of their modernday ‘living simply’ lifestyle. Here are some photos …

The house and one side of the chicken house was covered with metal lids from the early 1900s. True “making do”.

And here is the part where I still get sick … sick I tell you. I missed the deal of a lifetime !!! Due to the threat of rain, the auction split and there were two auctioneers going at the same time. The farmgirls & I were following one of them along a trail of household goods. On the other side of a long equipment shed, the other auctioneer was selling ancient horse drawn farming “stuff” or so we thought. Turns out he went further than that and was also selling some of the old trucks AND a 1962 Shasta camp trailer … in great condition. I planned to be present for when it came up, but I missed it. Argh. Brace yourself. It sold for $200. Yep, you heard me right. I groaned with greedy pangs of disbelief when I heard it had sold for that amount. My farmgirl pals comforted me … to no avail. I mean, Look at her … she’s a farmgirl’s glamping dream come true. Gimmee a hanky. I’ve tried to console myself by saying that if she was meant to be mine, she would’a been. Yea but. I’m trying, ok.

I should be quite content with my Sunshine biscuit tin. Yea …. but.

Moving on … Soon it’ll be time to go pick s’more juicy apples like these – photo taken last year at the same place we’ll go picking again.

I’ve got my farmgirl picnic set ready for the outing (below). Now, if only I had a cute little trailer, we could make an overnighter out of the adventure.

Then, there’s this: my farmgirl pal, Michele, designed and made the cutest flower hats that look like black eyed susans or pink coneflowers. You can find the instructions in the upcoming issue of the MaryJanesFarm online edition of the sisterhood newsletter. The hat design covers three sizes: baby, child, adult. Another friend’s darling grand daughter was my model for the photos. If you love the paper MaryJanesFarm magazine, you’d love the online magazine. More of the same kind of wonderfulness … every month!! Go to the MJF connection webpage to subscribe. Get there by clicking on the banner at the top of this page.

When I went on my most recent visit to the farmer’s market, I had to stop at my favorite antique store too. I found a vintage shelf that matches my red table and cupboard. My tiny house is so lacking in storage and I needed an old cutie like this for my kitchen. Things I use are now handy. I lost some counter space in the deal, but exchanged it for going vertical. Good trade.

And, on the other side, did I show you the darling little cottage birdhouse that Michele made for me? She got the idea from her favorite book, Seven Gates Farm.

Well, I better go out and cover my tomatoes and carrots – it’ll surely frost tonight. Gotta pick carrots tomorrow and do something with them … maybe sweet pickles, yea. Maybe hang something fallish on the front door. Gourds I’m thinkin’… maybe indian corn. Do you feel revived at Falltime? Me too, let’s get out & get us some.

Leave a comment 9 Comments

  1. Veronica says:

    Enjoyed your post this morning. Thank you! So true about September… and sorry about the camper. Have a blessed day!

  2. Junebug says:

    Oh my, I even have tears over that Shasta!! Someone got very happy that day! I still have dreams of finding one. How cute are those hats. I think I need to make four for my darling granddaughters. Enjoy betwixt, it is beautiful out!

  3. juniperlover says:

    I really enjoyed your betwixt post this morning. I live in southern Colorado and your landscape reminds me of mine! We too are enjoying this in between time when the days are warm but the sun has finally lost the intensity that sends us looking for shade. We had a light frost two nights ago…it’s Autumn sending a shot across our bow! Enjoy these sweet days before the winter winds start to howl!

  4. Sharon says:

    Hi Shery :)

    I always enjoy your posts and photos. Just beautiful! Sorry about the Shasta, I guess that means that the Lord has something even better in mind for you! Michele’s hats (and model!) are adorable and what a blessing that birdhouse is :)

    Here are a couple of Green Tomato recipes for you :)

    Green Tomato Chutney

    Four cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
    Two-third cup chopped onion
    One-quarter cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    One small garlic clove, minced
    One cup packed light brown sugar
    Two-third cup cider vinegar
    Two Tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
    One teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
    One Tablespoon mustard seed
    One-quarter teaspoon ground turmeric
    One and one-half teaspoons grated lemon zest
    One cup golden raisins

    Place all ingredients in a large, nonreactive pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is very thick, 1- ½ to 2 hours. Let cool slightly. Ladle into hot sterilized half-pint jars and seal. Yield: 1-½ pints.

    *************************
    Green Tomato Marmalade

    4 lbs green tomatoes
    1/4 cup finely chopped ginger
    6 cups sugar
    5 lemons
    1/2 cup water

    Chop tomatoes, add grated rind and juice of lemons, ginger and water. Simmer 1 hour stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add sugar. Simmer until sugar is dissolved and then boil rapidly until consistency of jam (about 25 min) pour into jars and seal. I’m afraid I don’t remember what the yield is, it has been a few years.

    Have a blessed day!

    ~Sharon

  5. Janice K. says:

    Did you hear my ‘AAAARRRRGGGGHHH’! all the way to Wyoming? Yes that would be my dream of a lifetime, too. That along with a lovely robin’s egg blue 1954 Chevy pickup to tow it with…We can still have our dreams!!!
    The metal roofing lids look wonderful, too. How lucky you are to live in an area that still has preserved some of it’s local history.
    Have a wonderful fall…

  6. Nicole Christensen says:

    Shery, LOVE THOSE HATS! So cute. Can’t wait to see the pattern. I love your pictures, too. Great post. Happy Fall, your blogging sister, Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl Blogger)

  7. Terry says:

    Yep this time of year is down right enchanting. It’s catch-your-breath at breath-taking scenery or scents. This Saturday our son David is raising his timber frame for his straw bale home! My thinking is that it’s a most perfect time of year to be doing it! Shery, have you thought about finding the buyer of the trailer and offering more money for it?

  8. bonnie ellis says:

    Shery: Now you have the "one that got away story" but I know how you feel. You were hoping for That one. Love your blog and all the fantastic pictures. Wish I was closer to visit in person. Hope you will find the perfect one soon, but won’t it have to be pulled by a horse? ho ho. Your farmgirl friend Bonnie.

  9. Carol Norwood says:

    I love this post and the accompanying photographs. All of them are wonderful but my absolutely favorite are the tin can lids all over … fabulous. I can just hear the rain pitter, pattering as it hits the lids! I love it! Thank you ….

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