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. mel says:

    I love the autumn colors. Plus my favorite holiday is Halloween!

  2. Shari Doty says:

    We live in coastal California, but there is a subtle autumn going on. The leaves are dropping from our large deciduous tree in the back yard. We mostly know it’s autumn by all of the pumpkin products available at Trader Joe’s. This year will be a challenge for me, as I’ve gone Paleo, so grains are out. I am learning, but have yet to perfect paleo breads. But- I love the soups, and pumpkin protein shakes, and pies with coconut flour crusts, and pumpkin curried meatballs. Fall, glorious fall!

  3. Sylvia Jacobus says:

    The colors of fall, smelling smoke from chimneys, leaves burning, cool mornings, warm afternoons, fog rolling in, apple picking, pie making, cider drinking, pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice tea, these are a few of my favorite things…..the colors: burnt orange, burnished golds, so many greens

  4. Lisa Jenkins says:

    I have always loved Autumn since my childhood days. There is something very comforting about dressing in warmer clothes and looking for craft bizzarres and Fall festivals. The beauty in the earth. The scents of comfort foods. Remembering a time to be thankful for all things great or small. Harvest of herbs and snuggling down in a quilt at night with a long forgotten unread book. Magic in the change. I revel in it every year.

  5. autumn is this most wonderful time of the year: a time to garden, to cook soups, to lie on the couch covered up with a warm blanket either reading or watching television or just taking a nap.

  6. vicki young says:

    There are so many things that I love about Autumn. The changing colors of the leaves;the wind through my curtains after a long hot summerof air conditioning;those bigorange sunsets and huge orange moons too.Mostly I love the feeling of comfort that the smell of persimmion cookies that my Godmother Lee would make , the warm soup and biscuits my Mother served us for dinner, the apples, oh yes the apples!!!Now that I am older Autumn means the pumpkin patch is calling for me to collect my Daughter and my Grandgirls and search for the very best cause its a tradition that I started 6 years ago , and one that I hope to continue with my Greatgrands God willing!

  7. Donna says:

    I too love Autumn It usually is opposite of whatever summer gave us always a welcome relief as it is like redecorating the outside with new stuff I like living where we can experience all four seasons as each is beautiful in its own right

  8. Dona says:

    Fresh collards and field peas are my favorite part of autum.

  9. Penny says:

    What I love about Autumn…is the fresh crisp air, the smell of pumpkin pie, the geese flying south, the beautiful colors of the Tundra. And the anticipation of the first snow fall.

  10. Autumn to me brings the freshness of air the crisp mornings with spice tea and evenings after a day of work. I find it hard to transition to a winter spell without autumn. Living in Texas sometimes you have a short version but more north by October the mornings have the change. I may dwell in more of a city I drive by pastures and notice how the cows start changing. Right now recovery from foot surgery so I will have time…to think about soup cooking in crock pot..spice tea…and sweaters. Mostly I sits and have time to enjoy the change in life.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Congratulations! YOU WON, MELISSA! email me with the name and address for the MaryJanesFarm Magazine subscription!
      Ah, you’ve had foot surgery as well. How’s YOUR foot!?

  11. Sandi King says:

    Rebekah you have given most of the reasons anyone would love Autumn. I love the cooler days and nights. I am not a fan of hot humid weather. My chickens seem to like it better now too as they don’t have to hunt for shade so much. My coop also has feathers everywhere but we are still getting 3 or more eggs a day. I have 10 hens, no roosters. Our neighborhood has a group of free running hens and roosters that we see and hear every morning searching for bugs and good things to eat. I love watching them. I believe Autumn is my favorite time of year. Our leaves are not changing to those beautiful orange-yellow leaves as yet but soon. Some leaves are falling already though, they are huge and from my neighbors tree. It is much nicer walking now too. I love to see our cloud ridden sky, the different shapes and sizes. Wish it could last longer than it does.

  12. Rebekah says:

    I LOVE fall! Growing up in the southwest, I never got to experience the changing of seasons until I moved to the midwest as an adult. Now my hubby and I travel the country as truck drivers and we get to watch seasons change in all their glory, all across the country. The myriads of brilliantly colored leaves and fields ready for harvest make for wonderful scenery as we drive!

  13. Patti Bodenhamer says:

    I love Fall. My favorite thing is all the color.

  14. Brenda Towsley says:

    Hi Rebekah! Glad you are up and around again! I love the cooler weather of fall but I do not love the fact that winter comes right behind it. If I could have spring, summer and fall and skip winter all together I would be a very happy camper. I love all the fall foods and the yummy breads and pies, but this year I am trying to be careful because I have been on a plan that has helped me loose 15 pounds so far and it does not include sugar….I know I will give in a little but not a lot. I love that I am done with the canning for the season, we had a great garden this year but with that came a lot of canning and I am glad to be done. And because I am done with the canning my favorite part of fall is that I will have more time to quilt and crochet! We have blue birds that come back to us every spring, this year they made a home in a new bird house we put up for them. I did not realize all your kitties are black and white. Is that by chance or choice? Thanks for the chance to win a subscription to MaryJane’s magazine. Mine has been up for a while and I have just been picking them up from the bookstore when I remember to. Happy fall!

  15. Tamie says:

    The smell of leaves “baking” in the sun!

  16. Julia says:

    I live in southern California now, but I truly miss the autumns of my northwest youth. The ruby leaves, the smell of woodsmoke, and the glittering morning frost were the things I treasured most!

  17. Sue Jones says:

    I love the cooler days and the wonderful colors of Fall!

  18. Sandra brewer says:

    I love everything about this magazine.
    Would be great to win a subscription.

  19. Carol D says:

    That last picture did it for me. There’s something about walking out into that very first frost that I love. It whispers, “I’m here! I’m here!”

  20. Vivian Monroe says:

    I love the crispness of fall, and all the colors remind me of jewels like topaz, rubies, amethyst, jasper, emeralds, and then the dew drops on them are like sparkling diamonds. in the morning. I love that it begins a season that people start to think of others and seem more kind and generous getting ready for the holiday Thanksgiving. Be Blessed. Neta.

  21. Claudette says:

    I love fall! Blustery weather, fires, hot coffee and having the garden done. LOL
    Spring is next, anticipation of new plants to try, flowers, and warm gentle breezes.
    I think there is something about all the seasons. Especially in the Pacific Northwest where I live. But fall….magical 🙂

  22. Amy says:

    What I love about fall is you can smell it in the air, and a gentle breeze once again returns. I don’t know where it goes, but I sure miss it when it’s gone. So many summertime chores are outside and must be done in the heat. It’s stifling and you wish for a breeze, but there’s none. Then fall rolls around and the gentle breeze comes back. You fill your lungs to capacity with the it’s coolness and find relief. You just can’t help but smile and say, “Welcome home, Oh how I missed you!”

  23. Linda says:

    The thing I love about Autumn is the changing color of the leaves. Of course, this is more noticeable in the northern US than it is here in Texas where I now live, but I just returned from a trip to Michigan, where the colors were starting to “bloom” on the trees.

  24. Judy McI says:

    It’s the show that Mother Earth puts on…not only the vibrant leaves, here in Maine, but the smells in the air, the crisp temperatures, the rivers running just a little slower. It’s a beautiful gift, a time to slow down a bit after the hussle of summer visitors, a time of preparation for the harsh winter to come…and of course it’s time to kick up a pile of leaves and laugh out loud even at 65 years old.

  25. Pa LaMont says:

    Fall is my favorite season in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, harvest time is an abundance of colors everywhere I look, orange pumpkins, red apples, green pears and the ochre of dried corn stalks. Since I am an artist it is a sharp contrast for my eyes.

  26. Janet Conn says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Autumn truly is a magical time of year. Thanks for the chance to win a subscription!

  27. Katherine Porterfield says:

    1) Fall flowers – yellow and blue or orange and white. How about the rusty red color mums and the purple asters. All so Beautiful.
    2) Fall weather – crisp, clear and clean air. Soft, sweet rain and cool, cozy nights full of bright stars. Great for fires in the fireplace.
    3) Fall clothes – wool, corduroy, heavy denim, scarfs and turtlenecks along with jackets, sweaters and coats. So snuggly.
    4) Fall festivals and holidays – Halloween and Thanksgiving…enough said.

  28. Bernadine V. Graham says:

    I’m sad when Summer fades away but oh, the beautiful colors of the leaves! And pumpkin….pumpkin everything! The smell of burning cinnamon candles. Decorating with all the gorgeous things for Fall.

  29. Susan Abernethy says:

    Ahhhh. Moment .. That is autumn, it has been a HOT summer in North Carolina, this weekend is our first taste of cooler weather! Apples, and a mountain drive to pick them.. And we are making our sorghum syrup…. Happy Autumn!!

  30. Irene says:

    To me fall means cool crisp air. Rides to the mountains to see the leaves changing. Pumpkins, gourds and mums for the porch. It is the most beautiful of all seasons.

  31. Irene Shelton says:

    To me fall means cool crisp air. Rides to the mountains to see leaves changing. Buying pumpkins, gourds and mums for the porch. It is the most beautiful of all seasons.

  32. Shirley says:

    I love all the fall colors that show up. The leaves on the trees, the smells, and the fall flowers

  33. I love Fall, it is my Birthday time, all of the colors, apple smells and cooler weather. My garden is in full readiness.

  34. Jeannine D. says:

    Sweater weather and fall festivals!

  35. Ronnie says:

    Fall, being able to sit-a-bit without rushing to plant,harvest,can,mow etc of summer. Also sitting out on a cold night and watching the big orange harvest moon rising. What a sight. Everything is a little bit quieter in the fall before all the Holidays.

  36. Cindy Hamilton says:

    I know the contest is over but just wanted to comment.

    Seeing the black walnuts bring back so many memories of my grandparents. They had trees and my grandfather would deal with messiness of them. Then my grandmother would sit and dig out the nuts when they were ready. I miss the delicious Black Walnut Pound Cake she used to make. But not as much as I miss my grandparents.

  37. Naomi Shelton says:

    I really love the Mary Jane’s Farm magazine and I want to subscribe but I can’t see where or how to do it online. Can someone help? Also, I want to enter the Giveaway!

    I am a city farmgirl who once was a country farmgirl and still loves the country!

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