Autumn Give Away!


UPDATE: Still waiting to hear from the winner. MELISSA ROBBINS, please email me by October 14, 2016, or I’ll need to chose a different winner. THANKS!

MELISSA ROBBINS! Email me at ASAP with the name and address to send the subscription to! WOOHOO! Congratulations!

It’s that time of year again….yes, autumn, but also when I renew my subscription to MaryJanesFarm magazine! You know what that means? I’m giving away a subscription to one of you!

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  George Eliot

If you’d like to enter, simply comment below saying WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT AUTUMN. And don’t fret when you don’t see your comment pop up. I’m out of pocket until the end of the week, so won’t be able to approve any comments until I’m back in the pocket. Here’s the important part, make sure to check back in one week. I’ll do a random drawing and post the winner’s name on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016. The winner will need to email me ( to give me the name and address of the person to send the subscription to within a few days so I can get our subscriptions off in the mail.

What’s NOT to love about autumn? Can anyone tell me ONE thing that’s not to love about this season? The crisp mornings. The colors in the trees and flowers that take your breath away. Bon fires. Hay rides. Apple cider. Plaid flannel. Jumping in leaf piles.

I grew up in small town America, in a little college town outside of Atlanta. Summers were long and hot and humid. In that part of the country, the seasons do not dictate the weather. Summer is hot, sure, that’s true. But autumn is hot too. And spring is hot. And winter is not a wonderland.

As a kid, I don’t remember being aware of the equinox, AT ALL. The actual date and time when autumn arrived was relatively unimportant. Autumn came later in the year, usually by Halloween but always by Thanksgiving. The thing I remember most about autumn was the leaves. Colorful and vibrant and then covering the ground. Crunch, crunch, crunch, not THAT means autumn has arrived. There was a large maple in the playground at the elementary school. I knew it was fall when I needed a jacket at recess and could kick around all those crunchy leaves.

Where I live now, in the Appalachian Mountains, autumn is far more cooperative. It comes when the alignment of the Sun and Earth tells it to. This year, it came on September 22 at 10:21 am, just as it was supposed to. And I’m happy to report that here, where I live now: autumn is perfection.

The morning and evening temperatures are suddenly cool and lovely. Windows open, curtains flapping around in the breeze. Ah…

This morning I sat out on the deck with a cup of coffee, admiring my view.

My view? Merlin grazing contentedly in the green pasture.


I notice that he flicks his tail less frequently this morning than in the previous months of mornings. The flies are letting up. Something about watching Merlin warms my heart, grows my heart.  Whenever I see him in the pasture, I call out to him, “Merlin! My Angel!” If I’m close by, he’ll come over to the fence to see me. If I’m further away, he’ll turn around. “Merlin! My Angel!”


Love him.

Merlin does not ascribe to the common philosophy that the grass is greener on the other side. I admire that about him. The cows across the street do indeed live by that philosophy. They are forever sticking their heads through barbed wire fences, getting zapped by electric fences, getting too close to the road, just to get a taste of that sweeter grass on the other side. Not my Merlin. He is wise. And content.

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The black horse is young Jessi. He drives Merlin crazy with his nonsense. Always climbing mountains in search of better eats.


OH MY! Suddenly several bluebirds swoop down and do nose-dives right in front of me. I freeze. They are after the same bug or worm. Goal congruence. But only one victor. Their eyes on the prize, they didn’t notice the gigantic human sitting in the chair drinking a cup of coffee. There, one of them got the bug and flies up, up, up. The others follow as they light on branches of a Black Walnut tree. I have a cluster of Black Walnut trees that shelter my office in the Old Wash House.


If you’ve lived with Black Walnut trees in your yard, then you know all about the big, green, hard balls that fall from the trees this time of year. Those hard balls protect the walnut inside. Walking to my office is like walking through a yard full of golf balls.

As I look up at the Black Walnut trees, I notice lots of blue birds, not just those few that dropped down to the yard. There must be over two dozen spread on the branches. When I lived in Atlanta, I kept blue bird houses and studied their behaviors in depth. I learned that this time of year, the birds join flocks. Many were born in the spring or summer. Strength in numbers. The old winter song, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” has a line, “Gone away is the bluebird, Here to stay is the new bird.” That is not the case here. We have bluebirds here all winter long. I would feed them, except for these 3 reasons:

Reason Number One: Jude


(on top of my pantry!)

Reason Number Two: Sgt. Pepper

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Reason Number Three: Mr. Mustache


The coming of autumn ALSO means that I put on a pot of my famous Autumn’s Black Bean Soup.

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Here’s the recipe. It makes all the difference in the world to use dried black beans rather than canned black beans. Worth the effort!


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It also means all things PUMPKIN.

Pumpkin spice coffee. Pumpkin hot tea. Pumpkin ravioli. Pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin Bread.

I made a batch and baked them in small Bundt cake pans and small loaf pans to share. I added large chocolate chips to the batter this time. Yum.


Autumn also means something else on the farm. The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye so it’s time to cut it. This will be cattle food.



Here’s the field as the corn is being cut and shredded. Next stop, a silo.

And this. SOON! Have you had any of this yet on your grass in the morning?

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Also in autumn, something happens to my chickens. Poor things. When I finally was able to visit my chickens again after my surgery, it looked like they had hosted a big pillow fight in their house. Feathers were scattered all over the floor and all in their nest boxes and on the window seals. What a sight to see. Yes, it is that time of year again, molting season! This is the season when they go through a period of looking raggedy and homeless. They lose their old feathers and grow new ones.

Part of molting is a huge reduction in egg production. We are lucky to get one egg a day. You might recall that I have 13 hens and 1 rooster. One egg a day, IF we are lucky! That’s a very low number, isn’t it. So I just buy eggs from a farmer down the street for $3.00. I’m okay with that. If the truth be known, I don’t have chickens for their eggs. So, it works out fine for all of us. I’ve had my flock 3 years now. How can that be? Time flies.

Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the contest and then check back!

Until next time, Friends, Savor the Flavor of Life!
Lots of Love, Rebekah, The City Farmgirl in the Country

  1. Rebecca says:

    What I like about autumn is the cooler weather!!!!

  2. Deborah McClure says:

    No better reading than MaryJane Butter!!

  3. Sharee says:

    The crisp air!

  4. Jane Thompson Gurley says:

    I love the change in temperature and clear blue skies. I love that cooler temperatures bring in my season of autumn music festivals. Thr ringing of fiddles banjos, guitars, and of course autoharps, through the air that is sweetened by molasses making, corn pulling, and cutting hay is pure joy.

  5. Kimberly Diener says:

    What I love about Autumn…I love looking across the hay field and not only seeing the trees change in woods but seeing the horses in their pasture…beautiful. I love the soups (I make a mean navy bean soup). I love drinking cider hot or cold. I love when I take my DaisyMae out for her last walk before going to bed looking up at the stars and in the cool crisp air, it makes the stars seem brighter.

  6. Bonnie McKee says:

    Cool, crisp mornings and warm, sunny afternoons! Aaahhh! 🙂

  7. Diane Van Horn says:

    Autumn is truly my favorite season of all! Sweaters, boots, hot cider, pumpkin pie, a big pot of chili, cooler nights and Packers football. Need I say more?

  8. Denise Ross says:

    Hi Rebekah
    Lovely to read you’re up and about again. Love all of your photos. You certainly liv in a beautiful place.
    I love autumn for the crisp mornings and evenings. The change in foods to cook, stews, soups, roasts. The cosy evenings and fresh feeling air . I really love the stunning colours of the leaves both on the trees and the crunch of underfoot as I walk. I used to live west of the blue mountains here and autumn is absolutely stunning. Each season was defined and distinct from the others. Where I live now on the mid north coast on the eastern coast our seasons are not so distinct and seem to almost flow into one another. I love autumn to for the reprieve from long hot and humid summers. There’s no particular time of year we really got autumn. It seemed to really kick in late this year. Was supposed to begin on the calendar on march 1st but temperature wise we didn’t really get it until sometime in may, this is the downside of living where I do.
    Blessings from Australia

  9. Jo Gill says:

    I love pumpkin patches! Taking a horse drawn wagon ride out to our local pumpkin patch with my sweet little grandsons is priceless. They have warm apple cider donuts too.
    Hope you are healing well. Thanks.

  10. Nancy Couden says:

    Geez! If you had asked me about Spring–my favorite part is that Summer follows. Definitely cannot say it about Fall–Winter follows and in Minnesota it is long, cold and snowy. But Fall harvest is wonderful!

  11. Monica says:

    I love the crisp mornings that encourage an extra pep in your step and the pumpkin flavored everything from the harvest of Summer’s best! The gathering of friends and preparations for winter nesting! The extra blanket or long sleeved shirts, the first lighting of the fireplace , oh there’s so much -I could go on an I like the rustling of leaves and squirrels scurrying to gather their nuts- what’s not to love about Autumn Blessings

  12. brenda fish says:

    I love Autumn because it has always signalled the beginning of a new year for me, sine my birthday is just about on the autumnal equinox. New school year, new clothes, newly sharpened pencils and blank notebooks. New teachers. And yet as an adult, it is the time of harvesting and preparing for the winter, winding up and reaping the result of the growing season. I love the spicy fragrance of cinnamon in apple and pumpkin pie.

  13. Barbara says:

    Rebeka, always look forward to your posts as well as the closing article in MJF’s mag. Here in the midwest, autumn is punctuated by dusty combines shelling out corn and soybeans, return of the gold finches in their gray-green finery, or a sudden wisp of woodsmoke as people ready their stoves for winter. I’ve put my veggie garden to bed except for the Brussels sprouts. I like the sweetness they gain after the first frost. My wildflowers are still vibrant and cheery….not realizing they will soon be cosseted in white stuff. I’ve hayed in the perennial garden as well as the peonie patch and trumpet honeysuckle. Just putting to rights all my plantings reassures me that with a bit of rest and care they’ll sing to me again come May.

    Your kitchen sounds fragrant and so welcoming. I can almost feel that blast of heat on winter chilled cheeks and nose. Every September I lay in the supplies I will need over the winter. I hate starting a recipe only to find I am missing “one” ingredient. I scan my cookbooks for soup variations and slow cooked casseroles. I bake cookies, cakes and cinnamon rolls so the house is filled with the aromas I remember from childhood. My pantry and freezer are full and jars of home canned produce line one wall.

    Reluctantly I will soon have to take down the hummingbird feeder. I haven’t seen any of my regulars nor the migrating visitor for a week or more. The sacks of bird seed (various kinds as the birds are fussy…lol) and treats are carefully stored on the side porch, out of mousie’s reach. I do have a stash of novels at the ready by my chair for my cold weather entertainment and craft projects are queued up just waiting for me to get my mojo rolling.

    Finally, I will sit on my front porch swing drinking a hot, strong cup of coffee, even in a coat, hat and mitts, just to watch the last leaf fall and listen to the sounds and take in the smells of a new season settling in.

    Yep, Autumn’s the best…..what’s not to love!


  14. Rachel says:

    I love everything about fall – the weather, the colors of the leaves, baking treats with pumpkin and apple flavors…I could go on forever!

  15. Krista says:

    Rebekah, how are you recovering from your surgery. Sounds like you are able to get around more now. I just love this blog post! I am so excited for autumn. Everything you have listed are perfect reminders of how wonderful autumn truly is. We have started to cool off hear but the leaves haven’t changed quite yet. It’s so beautiful when they do. Also, I love all things pumpkin. Pumpkins spice drinks, pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin spice sweets. I have already gotten out my pumpkin spice candles and had my husband dig out my fall and Halloween decorations last night so they can be put up today. This is the perfect time of year! Thank you for the magazine giveaway opportunity.

  16. Joanna T. says:

    I love the cooler temps & photographing all the fall colors!

  17. Laura Gerold says:

    Huge fan of MJF.

  18. CarrelDawn Cline says:

    Thanks, good information.
    I truly miss living in Moscow, Idaho; although living and helping my two daughters with their lives in Las Vegas, Nevada fills my heart.

  19. Sarah Kasch says:

    I loved this post and all of your photos.
    Do you have a recipe for a pumpkin Chai latte? Tea. .
    Fall to me always meant sweatshirts and hot chocolate. Fall colors. Pumpkins. Now it just means that SUMMER MAY FINALLY END. I live in Florida.

  20. Kelly McKinley says:

    What I love most about Autumn is that the weather is perfect for cozying up under a warm blanket with my little girl and her book. There is no place I’d rather be! 🙂

  21. Teri Schneider says:

    What I love so much about autumn is that my garden has come to an end. I know that sounds terrible to some people, but I have a tradition of standing in my garden when it is the right time and thanking God for all the blessings of the growing season. Loads of tomatoes, tons of potatoes, and oodles of green beans. And always so much more. I feel the completion of another great growing season and can happily say I had enough to share with family and friends and still plenty to use for myself during the winter. It’s a wonderful feeling!

  22. Julie Wemken says:

    Divine Autumn, my favorite season. I love pretty much everything about it. Pumpkins, Pumpkin Spice everything, sweaters, socks, soups, Halloween, harvest, orange and black, decorating my porch, warm fires, a steaming cup of tea. So many things to love but what I love the most is the colors, the falling leaves, the first rain, the smell of wet dirt, and the crisp cool fresh air.

  23. Cheryl Bailey says:

    I love the aspens turning yellow, smell of wood fires and cool breezes.

  24. Pam says:

    I love autumn, the crisp air, the gorgeous leaves!

  25. Denise says:

    Awesome photos! Love the horses. My favorite.

  26. Sue says:

    My favorite thing about autumn–One THING?? It is hard to narrow it down, but it isn’t just the coolness, not just the smell, hmm…my very favorite thing would be the hue. The colors of plants, the sky, the clothing–that can all fall under the category of Color!

  27. Deborah Meyer says:

    I love the change of tree colors and the crunch of leaves when you walk in them.

  28. Cheryl Schuh says:

    I love the colors of Autumn. But the sound of leaves crunching under my feet and the smells are great too.

  29. Doris Hall says:

    I love everything about autumn! Pumpkin fields, pumpkin bread, leaves of all colors. Chilly mornings and evenings. Warm not HOT days, apple picking days, apple butter making days. Oh, I just love AUTUMN.

  30. It’s often been said “Food tastes better outdoors” .But here in New England, it not only tastes better outdoors, but in the fall it smells better- apple crisp, cider donuts, etc. Here we have farmstands not too many miles apart. The weather is great for hiking, treasure hunting at yard sales and flea markets. I prefer the beach in the fall also………… sun wind, and no crowds and the pressure of wearing a swimsuit!
    Fall in the best season of the year in my opinion!

  31. m Greenwood says:

    The cooler days and the leaves

  32. Katherine Trinite says:

    Autumn is a blessing to me – I live in steamy hot Texas and fall is often fast and not really noticed . I savor the cooler temps and yummy feeling of things slowing down (and cooling down)! if even a few degrees!

    Autumn brings back memories of growing up in Maryland…amazing colors ; leaves and pumpkins , scarecrows, spiced cider.. and a crisp smell in the air of fireplaces ..

    All things pumpkin and spices.. I savor these memories.

  33. Tiffany Sizemore says:

    Ahh, much like you I grew up and live in a place where each season is hotter than the next…Florida. I think the coming of fall brings hope to me. It makes me confident that the sweltering of summer shall soon pass and there will be cool days ahead. On those rare occasions my soul is filled with happiness. Fall here means we can actually go outside again! I too am a lover of all things pumpkin and I Relish the smells it brings. Thanks for bringing me to a crisper place with your photos!

  34. jo skidmore says:

    Autumn in San Francisco bay area is our best summer weather. Don’t laugh – if you have ever read Mark Twain’s quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” you know this is true. Summer kicks in just about now and I love the warm weather!

  35. Trevea says:

    I love Autumn as the air cools and the leaves paint their colors throughout the trees.

  36. Janet Despic says:

    Autumn, my favourite time of year. I am most inspired and artistic with the colors changing. I am a conceptual textile artist. MaryJanes Farm is always a source for ideas.
    I’m a suburban girl now but my Dad was a farmer. He came to the city after serving in WW11. We used to go to my aunt and uncle’s farm in the summer. I just loved the country folk and helping out with chores. Your mag reminds me of days gone by. My favourite part of fall is PUMPKINS! Love those..I make a Pumpkin Gingerbread that everyone loves…..janet

  37. Natalie Nunley says:

    My favorite thing in Autumn is taking all the grandchildren to a place in Tennessee called Grandaddy’s Farm. They have slides, pig races, bouncy trampoline and more. The grandchildren look forward to it all year. Cotton candy and sweet popcorn. But the best part is taking the hayride and letting them each pick out a pumpkin. Just down home fun on the farm.

  38. Ann C says:

    What I ❤️ The most about fall is all the colour Mother Nature provides. It’s like she takes a hugh paint brush & gives the trees magnificent coats of red & orange & yellows !!!! And all the bright orange pumpkins too!!! Against the blue sky if a perfect fall day!!! Life is great in the fall!!!!!

  39. june young says:

    What I love most about autumn is the changes. As a gemini I am easily bored by sameness. Great as summer was it’s time to move on. I love marching bands and fall colors.

  40. Susan Clarkson says:

    Your home is so beautiful! Love the black & white – horses & cats. The soup sounds yummy also. Maybe if it ever cools here I will make. It’s in the high 90s here today in the Sacramento Valley of California. It was over 100 on Sunday. I look forward so much to some frost on the ground.

  41. Dina says:

    I love your magazine!!! One of my most popular canning recipes “peach vanilla butter” came from your magazine years ago. I get so many ideas and always find myself inspired. Thank you!

  42. Wendy Thomas says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Autumn!! This is the time of year when one of favorite things comes out — PUMPKINS!!!

    I don’t know what it is about those pumpkins but I just love them. Orange, green, white — it doesn’t matter the color. I love them all!!

    The fall colors are another favorite of mine. I love hiking through the woods here in Wisconsin. It’s fun to watch the critters getting ready for the winter.

    I also love cooking in my Crock Pot during the fall. There’s nothing better than turning on the Crock Pot and cooking your meal all day. Coming home after work smelling the wonderful smells of fall — there is nothing like it!!!!

  43. Kristi says:

    My favorite thing about Autumn is the change in weather. (still waiting as it’s 97 out on my porch right now.) I always love that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

  44. Sarah says:

    I love autumn. We don’t get much of one down here in Louisiana, but when we get a crisp cool day without humidity we appreciate it even more. Windows open in the house, windows down in the car, telling stores by the fire on weekend nights – all without the constant buzz of the mosquito. It is pure heaven. A nice relief from the heat of summer.

  45. Vickie says:

    I love it all – the smells, the changing color of leaves, pumpkin anything, apple cider!!!

  46. Debbie N says:

    I must say I am a spring kind of girl!! lol but I do like the changing of the leaves and the coolness of the weather. Summer work is over! Which is good too.

  47. Beth says:

    I love Autumn because the heat has finally broken! Cool weather makes me happy. Glad to know your doing well after the surgery, but watch out for those “golf balls” they could be very hard on repaired ankles.

  48. Linda Nelson says:

    Perhaps it’s the earthy smell of decaying leaves, or the hues of gold, scarlet, rust and violet blue. No wait, it’s those harvest moons and the crisp morning air. Maybe it’s the apple cider and fresh cauliflower. However, pumpkins and gourds turn my head without any coaxing. Gosh, I love lingering dahlias and zinnias, too. Silly me, it’s all of those things that I love about fall!

  49. Lora Branam says:

    I love the cooler temperatures and getting to have my windows open. Sitting with a blanket on the couch or on the deck ! And the first frost that kills a lot of the bugs so I can enjoy the outdoors!

  50. Beverley Doolittle says:

    I love autumn for the crisp air in the mornings. The trees changing colour and curling up inside with a good book.

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