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. Denise says:

    My favorite thing about fall is the comfort of warmth. Seeking out warm drinks, soups, fires, sweaters, sunlight through windows, a warm kitty on my lap, knitting large blankets that lay across my lap!! I welcome Fall and all its’ cozy counterparts!

  2. Tracy says:

    I love all the gorgeously colored chrysanthemums!

  3. Marjorie says:

    I love the smell of the crisp cool air of autumn 🙂

  4. Elaine C says:

    Rebekah, it’s still hot in Atlanta! To have some cooler weather as you are having would be wonderful. Fall is always my favorite time with the colorful leaves, crisp air and frosty mornings. I have a pecan tree in the back yard, and the squirrels work very hard running up and down gathering the nuts…so much fun to watch. Enjoy the baking..I can taste it.

  5. Jinx Taylor says:

    Fall is my favorite season and always has been. You asked what there was not to like about Fall …. well, all I can think is that it doesn’t last all year ! 🙂 iLving here on the coast of NC is great but, going to the Smoky mountains and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway is heaven !

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Gosh, there’s so many things I love about autumn – bonfires, fires in the fireplace, cooking salmon on the grill and eating it outside while watching the stars. Seeing moose stroll down the street in search of crabapple trees, and canning all the crabapples, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries that they didn’t get! Watching the termination dust grow further down the mountains and hoping the snowfall will hold off until at least after Halloween. Waking up to frosty mornings that segue into mild sunny afternoons and then on to cool nights. And most of all the smells: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, apples, and clean air!

  7. Gaye N. Durst says:

    I love the changing colors and the crispness of everything. Right now, as the green fades, but pre-color…whrn the wind blows and the sunlight is just right, some trees take on a silvery glow! Amazing!


    I most love the pleasant weather – clear days not too hot with low humidity.

  9. Mary Rauch says:

    What a great article and the pictures do tell a thousand words! Thanks for the effort in putting it all together for our enjoyment.
    Please enter me in your contest. I will check back later. Thank you.

  10. Marilyn says:

    I love Fall because the crisp,cool weather. I have more ambition to do more things with the cooler weather. Thank you for this generous giveaway.

  11. Joan says:

    i love fall for all the colorful leaves and the freshness in the air. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Deb says:

    I luv the cooler weather the leaves the smell the apples the color

  13. Marion says:

    I love Fall because it is beautiful to see all the brilliant colors of the leaves and the smell of burning leaves. It is a comfy feeling and season. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  14. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Ahhh…fall. It’s time to get out the quilts for those cool nights. Soon we will go apple picking and bake a fresh apple pie. In a couple weeks, the trees will be showing their glory with the beautiful colors of fall. How can I pick just one thing about fall that I love?!

  15. Dru says:

    I looooove all of the things you mentioned PLUS the smell in the air!!!

  16. Sharee says:

    The crisp fall air.

  17. michele says:

    Would love to win a subscription! Thanks for the chance to win! What’s NOT to love about autumn…cooler temps, beautiful colors, crunchy leaves beneath the feet, fall food, pumpkins, wool yarn projects, autumn garden veggies, and I could go on and on and on. :0) Happy Fall!

  18. Linda Huth says:

    Warm days, cool nights, cozy sweaters, comfy slippers, mums, pumpkins, Jack o’ Lanterns, changing colors and falling leaves, bonfires, S’mores, a pot of simmering chili, steaming cups of hot cider, or cocoa, starry nights, harvest moon, Gramma’s quilt on the bed are some of my autumn favorites.

  19. jaylyn morehouse says:

    Oh, so many things to love about fall. But the best thing for me right now, is that the weather will start to cool down. Living here in Houston, I’ll be able to actually get outside and do some much needed yard work that has been neglected during the hot months of summer. I could even do some gardening that I so long for! I also want pumpkin everything.

  20. Judy says:

    I am happy to see autumn come around since it means among other things, cleaning out the garden and making pumpkin butter, butter nut squash soup and roasting seeds. This time of year make me realize that God is preparing the earth to rest. I need that rest, too, after constant outside chores. It means that I can spend guilt free days quilting and sewing.

    thank you.

  21. Julia says:

    I’d love to enter! I think what I love most about Autumn is the smell of leaves all crisp in the air!


  22. Dianne says:

    I now live far away from Autumn here in Florida. How I miss Autumn in the northeast. It is my favorite season by far. I think for me it is the exquisite color everywhere. The mornings are crisp and when the sun comes up the color is so vibrant. In the mountains especially I love driving along through the colors and see the breeze blow the leaves around. There is so much to love about this time of year. I think it is wonderful that all of us have our own reasons to love Autumn. God Bless

  23. Gail Randall says:

    What I love about autumn
    Is that first moment of
    Cool , dry air in the morning
    When your window tells you
    On the am. The air has changed
    For the better!

  24. Janice Slater says:

    Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is splendid. Our trees are already turning gorgeous colors as the crisp mornings bring out their vibrant tones of fall.
    Making yummy pumpkin pies, bread , and hot apple cider, definitely fill my kitchen with the smells of the season.
    Then off to the pumpkin patch with the grand-children to gather the perfect pumpkins for carving!
    Then onto one of my favorite seasonal activities, a drive up beautiful Mount Rainier to picnic and enjoy the trees all dressed in beautiful fall garb.
    Thankful for the blessings and happiness the fall brings to us!

  25. I love the color of the leaves and cozy sweaters on a chilly day and curling up with a cup of tea and a great book.

  26. Catherine Jennings says:

    I love crisp air through cracked windows while I snuggle in a blanket 🙂

  27. Priscilla Thibault says:

    I love the fall colors. I love Thanksgiving. I love pumpkin and apples.

  28. Stacey Mitchell says:

    I love the cooler days of autumn. The colors of the trees showing off their beauty for all to see. It’s also pumpkin time. So fun to display pumpkins, corn shocks, scarecrows and all the neat things that go along with them. Autumn is my favorite season.

  29. Karlene Sorensen says:

    The best part of fall is that it is the end of a wonderful growing season, we have enjoyed all of the freshness of Spring, and the growth of Summer and now can settle in for a little relaxation and prepare the best bounty of the harvest; squash, potato, cauliflower, apples, and last but not least PUMPKIN. I love anything pumpkin, and just started a Pinterest Board All about Pumpkin.

  30. Cheryl says:

    I love autumn for all the obvious reasons, cooler temperatures, fall leaves of different colors, pumpkin pie but most of all for the birth of three of my four sons one in October and two in November the fourth one was born in March, (I love spring too). Oh and also my birthday is in September.

  31. Carmen Cancio says:

    Autumn…I love it as it was always the beginning of getting life in order again. School was starting, schedules were planned, holidays were right around the corner, mmm…so nice.

  32. deb rowley says:

    Autumn is my favorite season! What I love most about it is the weather:bluest of blue skies with warm sunny days and cool clear nights. Also love the cooking of bean soups, winter squash and cakes.

  33. Susan Campbell says:

    I love the changing leaves and the changing weather. Most of all I love being outside in the fall and walking.

  34. Rebecca McCoy says:

    I love fall for all the reasons you mentioned but I also love camping in the fall. There’s something wonderful about being in the woods, eating food cooked over a campfire and watching as things change. Fall is my favorite time of year.

  35. I too live in the Western Appalachian Mountains, and the leaves are falling fast! We live in the middle of the forest and it is enchanting!
    Your post brings back memories of childhood playing in them and seeing the countryside is new to me as I have been a city girl most of my life.
    OH WOW! Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips, what a brilliant idea! The soup looks so warming and your animals are awesome and take wonderful photographs! Isn’t Country Living just grand!
    Smiles, Cyndi

  36. Not sure if this will apply to me as I am in Canada but love the blog and thought I would reply. The Autumnal Equinox hit us right on time this year. This past summer was one of the driest here for over 60 years with brutal heat and humidity. I was counting the days until Autumn. My Grandpa used to call it “Sweater weather”. I love that term. I love that on these mornings I need to put on a sweater on my way out to the chicken coop to let the ladies out into their run. The trees are starting to turn here but it is the sweater that I think of most when I think of Autumn. Cheers.

  37. Mary G. says:

    Everything!! Living in rural western New York, I’m blessed to be able to experience spectacular changes in color, delicious fresh apples, a bounty of fall produce (squash!), and a crisp cool breeze that breathes life back into us after a long hot summer. The cattle and horses are a little frisky and everyone seems a little brighter.

  38. db says:

    Enjoy the photos
    I’m in the south
    and that’s the only way to cool off : )

  39. Diane Loehr says:

    My favorite things about Autumn are decorating the house in all Fall colors, lighting candles that smell like Pumpkin or Apples Pie, having hot apple cider at one of the local farms while Apple/Pumpkin picking, cooler air where you just need a light weight jacket, hay rides, having the windows open at night and no AC, getting ready for the Wool and Sheep Show in Rhinebeck, NY and stocking up on ideas and get wool deals, snuggling with my daughter and our dog on the couch under a soft blanket. Just the whole feel of the season makes me happy. Happy Fall Everyone!

  40. Rhiannon Carlton says:

    My favorite thing about fall is being able finally open my windows and get fresh air in the house after a long very hot Arizona summer!

  41. Sharon says:

    Ah, Autumn! As you said, what’s not to love? My favorite parts of the season…the way the light changes. This makes everything different, not as harsh as Summer’s sun, not as weak as Winter’s, not as welcome as Spring’s, just sort of softer, slower. Sadly, where I live, Autumn is also the worst part of “fire season”, so there are those concerns as well. Between that, the fading light, and falling leaves, I love the message of Autumn that it’s ok to say good-bye to things, it’s all fleeting anyway, but there is with the good-bye a promise of hope for new and exciting futures!

  42. Wanda Bennett says:

    Ahhh! Autumn! I love the colors, the smells, the cooler weather. A time for apples and cider. Yum! I love going to my favorite state park in the autumn and walking through the leaves. So much to enjoy.

  43. It warms my heart to see your posts online. I hope by now you are well healed and feeling better than ever.
    I have subscribed to MaryJanes Farm for years and was finally able, 6 years ago, to fulfill a lifelong dream to buy a small farm of my own. When each new issue arrives I turn to your page first. Your upbeat, down-home, bring her on attitude is contagious and life affirming.
    I always share my copies with my friends and family and it would be a delight to win a subscription to give away.
    Happy autumn.

  44. Beverly Arellano says:

    I love fall because it is time for everything to rest. Some people say that is when everything starts dying. I prefer that they have just completed their orchestrated productions and now they are resting and preparing for the next big performance.

  45. judy dustin says:

    This is one season to just enjoy. The warmth, the colors, the apples!!

  46. TeriS says:

    Autumn is the best! The feel of the cool air in the morning, snuggling in warm flannel drinking hot chocolate or tea, all of the beautiful fall colors on the trees…it just seems that after the hot summer the world slows down and catches its breath.

  47. Lisa says:

    I live in Michigan and it’s definitely getting cooler here. My son has started to wear long pants and a jacket to school instead of shorts. I’ve started closing windows too. Not all of them. Not yet. Lots of apples up this way now too. I’ve started nesting in preparation of the long winter. Doing a fall clean instead of a spring clean, clearing out some of the clutter so we don’t have to worry about it when the weather gets cold and we can just snuggle in.

  48. DJ says:

    I was so excited to experience the beginning of fall for the first time in 32 years. It brought back all the memories you write about. What a wonderful time of year.

  49. connie Rowland says:

    Love the turning of fall colors, time to bring out the soup pot. Also all the family get together for the holidays.

  50. Wonderful, calming post Rebekah. Now I have to make a pot of black bean soup.

    If you didn’t want your chickens to molt, you could put a light in their coop on a timer so they get 14 hours of light and then they won’t molt (mine comes on in the early a.m.). I can send you photos of my set-up if you’d like. Let me know!

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