HARVEST MOON

Spider spinning its web in front of a full moon

“The definition of a Harvest Moon is: the full moon closest to the fall equinox.  The Harvest Moon was thus named because it rises within a half-hour of when the sun sets.  In early days, when farmers had no tractors, it was essential that they work by the light of the moon to bring in the harvest.  This moon is the fullest moon of the year.  When you gaze at it, it looks very large and gives a lot of light throughout the entire night.  No other lunar spectacle is as awesome as the Harvest Moon.” — Harvest Moon Lore

Tis the harvest season!

Though our winters aren’t as harsh, there are still preparations to be made.   As the days grow shorter, there’s a sense of urgency to preserve and plant.

Will it be a mild winter or wild one?  Though one might scoff at such “old farmer tales,” we are trying to pick up clues from nature that will perhaps give us an answer about the upcoming winter – a heavy crop of acorns forebodes a severe winter.   Do you believe in Weather Lore?  Homesteading is all about becoming self reliant, right?  Imagine if there was no TV weather person, no 24-7 weather channel or internet with up to date weather data could we (especially we city slickers), on our own, predict the weather?   Predicting weather was one of the homeschool lessons we did as teenagers.   Reading up on all the weather lore (from books at the library) and learning how to “read” the sky became one of our favorite lessons.

Hmmm, that topic could make for an interesting post, don’t you think?

In the garden, peas and other fall crops are being sown while we try to extend the last of the summer veggies.    Beans, peppers and eggplants are still producing and we are hoping for another round of fall tomatoes.  Though we had a very cool summer, our garden did quite well and we are blessed with shelves full of preserved produce.

For me, tis the season to dig into my craft basket and whip up some hand made creations.

It’s also a time to reflect on happenings on the urban homestead – what went right, or wrong, what can we improve and what new projects we’d like to bring the urban homestead.   Our minds are churning and our hands are busy!

What are your fall reflections?

Comments(30)

  1. Debbie in Alabama says:

    Reflecting on this growing season is not a pleasant task. We have had such a long period of hot, dry weeks. Very unusual for this area. With temps consistently above 95 and no rain our crops did not have much of a chance to set fruit, let alone getting it through to the harvest. Fruit production was good – have lots of jams, jellies and preserved fruits in the pantry. Veggies were not so good. Had enough to eat, but not a lot to put up. Trying to get a fall garden going, but temps are still so high. Cistern and rain barrels are just about empty. Last winter was bad for our area and I don’t expect this one to be any better.

    • Michelle (GardeningMichelle) says:

      @Debbie in Alabama, Agreeing with Debbie. We had FOUR days that had rain since early May. The grass is brown and crunchy and the fire threat “extreme”. I was able to water our few garden boxes but some plants still suffered. The onions never grew, peppers never grew due to the extreme heat. On a brighter note, the 20 tomato plants I had gave me over 120 pounds! LOL

      Here’s to some snow this winter, and rain all year next year 🙂

      • Anais says:

        @Michelle (GardeningMichelle): Yeah to RAIN!

    • Anais says:

      @Debbie in Alabama: Sorry to hear about the bad weather and crops. That’s true. There are some good things and bad things to take in consideration about this growing year. Here’s hoping for a better year.

  2. Bob says:

    I cleaned a few raised beds yesterday . They are still producing okra made a gumbo yesterday of okra ,tomatoes, onions from the growing pits as I like to call them as they are made of concrete blocks I had . Plus some green pepper from farmers market and some celery and rice from a store probably a million miles away. ” starting where i am :-)”

    Some of my self watering five gallon buckets are growing mint a good control method. Also lemon grass that is QUITE healthy . Some miniature roses and marigolds . i believe that my Freedom Seed tomatoes are going to produce late as I really messed up planting and starting them .

    I am having major surgery on my heart in a couple of weeks and hope to be a spring chick when the spring comes . A pot with a tomato plant on my patio as some exercise.It has led through the internet to sites like yours that has given me a different view on growing a garden . Our church has started a community garden ,supporting food banks with wholesome fresh food etc.

    So my reflection this fall is a sense of gratitude to your family and your sites your world view ( tho not exaxctally the same as mine)can be beneficial to all and many others that meet on line and in the real world

    I use ” Start where you are ” as a daily mantra.

    • Bob says:

      @Bob,

      This self posted during editing.Please excuse any major keyboarding, spelling ,grammar glitches .Just ignore the small ones , bob

    • Anais says:

      @Bob: You’ve certainly been busy – that’s great! Our family sends you our prayers. Hope the surgery goes well and that you are right back in the garden! Keep us posted !

  3. Melina says:

    In the early morning hours, just before waking, I dreamed about battening down the hatches for a huge winter storm. Planning for animals, stocking up, etc. When I woke I wondered (for about 10 seconds)what’s that all about? Then I realized what time of year it is, and took it as a nudge to get started. Harvest moon, autumnal equinox, first day of rain in weeks, cooler temps, these are undeniable signs. And here in the Rockies, we take these signs seriously. There’s no such thing as fall tomatoes here! Except for the ones that just haven’t ripened yet from the spring planting.

    • Anais says:

      @Melina: Thanks for sharing, I love it! It’s nature’s and our internal clocks telling us to get ready!

  4. Ginger says:

    Since we do not watch television to save our health and sanity, we don’t have a clue as to the weather. I would love to peak at your list of books on weather lore. Nice post.

    • Cynthia in Denver says:

      @Ginger,

      I second the request to list these books on your site!

      • Anais says:

        @Cynthia in Denver: Oh dear, don’t know if I can remember the books …. the internet now is a good resource

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: Good for you. There’s nothing but trash on TV these days. Not that I would know… heard you see! 😉

  5. Justin says:

    Awesome pic!

    • Anais says:

      @Justin: Yep, Jordanne took it!

  6. Cynthia in Denver says:

    What an amazing picture!

    Predicting weather? In Colorado, we can have four seasons in a day, so it makes no sense to worry about predictions. Just dress in layers for clothing, and give your best guess in the garden.

    • Melina says:

      @Cynthia in Denver,
      Amen to that, Cynthia! An old friend says Colorado has 4 seasons, June July August and winter.

    • Anais says:

      @Cynthia in Denver: good advice!

  7. Nancy R says:

    Here is Florida, I’m hopefully preparing for a wonderful fall and winter garden. I’ve learned that here in summer I can grow peppers, egg plant, okra and Southern peas. The southern peas I’m letting go to seed so I can hopefully prepare a legume dish with them. If this works out, next summer I’ll be planting alot more of them.

    I’ve just planted tomatoes, peppers, mustard greens, cucumbers, summer squash and red cabbage. I’ve also stated more tropical plants – banana, mango, Rio Grande cherry, sugar apple and papaya trees, and a few other plants that are new to me.

    I’ve found a local co-op where I can buy local organic eggs. This was the best discovery. I’m having a boiled egg every day with my salad now. Heavenly. Right now, things are looking really good. Hopefully we won’t have a bad winter like last year.

    • Anais says:

      @Nancy R: All yummy stuff. Thanks for sharing what growing in your part of the country. I remember the killer frost that hit ya’ll last year. Here’s to a warmer, more Florida like winter

  8. Alice says:

    The moon is so awsome. I was looking at it here in NW Montana too. Our season was funny this year. We had a wet and cool season. The bears came out early in Feb then it snowed up high, driving them down into towns. We had one in Grizzly in May that took the back door off the house. The huckleberries were very short this year and no bees around. Too cold and wet maybe. Fall has been here for awhile. The leaves are turned colors and falling. There is ice on standing water this morning. It just seems that the winter will be bad here for us. No shaggy mane mushrooms either. I love then best and enjoy fall because of them.
    The bears are back in towns now too. No food higher up for them to fatten up on so the garbage is next best for them.

    • Anais says:

      @Alice: Wow, a Grizzly! The only ones we see are on TV. Don’t know if I want to see one in person. 😉 Season’s funny there too. Seems like the “global weirding” weather patterns continue.

  9. Monica says:

    Bakersfield CA. My seeds are coming in great. The lettuce and Spearmint decided not to come in though. It’s my first attempt at gardening so I may have went overboard on the planting varities. I can’t wait to transplant them. The weather as of lately has been a wonderful mix of warm and cool. We’ve even had a handful of chilly weather in the evenings. All of the trees are still as green as ever. I don’t think they will start turning brown until the end of October. Well see.

    Thanks for the share, I love this blog! ;0)
    Monica

    • Anais says:

      @Monica: Thanks for checking in and telling us how things are growing and shaping up in your neck of the woods. Happy sowing!

  10. Chris says:

    These are great comments hearing about what’s going on this fall with Mother Nature all around our country. Here on Cape Cod for the past 3-4 years, I have this guessing game going on with my grasshoppers. I have an abundance of the hopper’s around my 1/4 acre. They especially like to “hang out” in my herb garden outside my side entrance, munch on my basil, etc. It’s all good. Anyway, a few years back I noticed them hanging on to the cement blocks of the foundation of my sunporch (adjacent to the side entrance). I mentioned it to one of the OG farmers at the market and they said the hoppers were seeking heat. This was in Sept. I thought, oh boy, and sure enough we had an early and severe winter that year. Next year same timing, maybe a little later, but a normal winter. Following year, the hoppers were hanging around well into October/early Nov. and we had the mildest December and early January. Well don’t ya know this week my hoppers were hanging out on my new steps next to the herb garden, right in my path to the side entrance as if to tell me “get ready Lady” going to be an early winter/cold snap. Also noticed this week, that Ms. Butterfly was lounging on the rock in the garden next to the echinecea instead of the head of the flower like she normaly does. Uh-Oh … Time will tell 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @Chris: We had grasshoppers too! These teensey tiny ones that ate holes in all our summer greens. Great observations, thanks for sharing!

  11. Ruth G says:

    Here in New England we have noticed a significant increase in the acorns littering our yard and every one has been predicting a cold, long winter. Although we are still working hard to bring in the garden (over 75 pounds of tomatoes so far, an all time record for us) we are also reviewing our winter storm supplies in which we store items for when we lose power. Things like batteries, wind up flash lights and radio, candles, lamp oil are checked, along with making sure the portable generator and kerosene heater have fuel ready to go and that we have a good stock of water for drinking and washing (we have a well and no electricity means the pump doesn’t work). If there is snow on the ground we can always bring in buckets of snow to melt for toilet flushing but if it is a wind storm like last year or an ice storm like the year before piles of snow are not always available. We are hoping that the frost holds off for another month or so but in Septemeber we alwasy prepare, just in case.

    • Anais says:

      @Ruth G: Congrats on the record tomato harvest! Boy, our winter preparations are pretty pathetic compared to ya’lls

      • Ruth G says:

        @Anais, Well, that’s because we need to plan for harsher winters. Our water conservation methods are petty pathetic compared to yours. I guess we all attend first to what we need most. 🙂

        Thanks for your blog and all the encouragement it gives to everyone, no matter what our geography, circumstances and goals.

        • Anais says:

          @Ruth G: Thank you and all the best in your winter preparations.

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