Friday, September 23, 2011

September blow soft,-Till the fruits’ in the loft…



(art and title from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden)



That quote seemed appropriate with so many of us canning, freezing, drying, and storing food by for the coming winter


(Earl of Sixth Avenue, inspecting the harvest)


(Peppermint wondering if it is for her)

erics picture 405

(the old pear tree Eric and I found a few years ago, in the woods)


(my forager basket was full! How blessed I am to live in our beautiful world, eat of her fruits and hang with my bro!?)

We spent a whole afternoon peeling and chopping up those pears. (All while watching the first season of the Walking Dead! lol! Myths and lore of all flavors fascinate me, and when mixed with survival type situations, I can’t resist! Even if I do have to cover my eyes occasionally). We then canned these pears in a water bath canner. We spiced ours with a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, crushed spiced bush berries, (you could use allspice), and tiny pinch of cloves, into each jar before processing.

We are pleased to even have our modest amount of homemade preserving to help nourish us this winter.


Do you see Comfrey Fairy watching over all? Some of this years harvest. Top shelf is herbal honeys, and oils. Then we have violet jelly, spiced pears, peaches, jams, tomatoes, green beans and others. I love to give specialty preserves and jellies for special occasion gifts.

We made peach vinegar from the trimmings this year. Peach pit tincture, and my favorite, I can tell all ready…Mrs. Reppert’s  recipe for fruited Peach Vinegar!


Note the sassafras roots we  managed to harvest, when transplanting some sassafras saplings from my stepsons hedgerow, to the hedgerow we are planting.

Our Mother Earth sent me another gift, just yesterday. One of her own, who passes between the worlds, came and danced for me :) She seemed to be trying to lead me down this ravine…. I was on my way to our beekeeping meeting and it was near dark… so thought best to go back and look, with Eric in tow this weekend. I do not know if there was anything physical she was trying to show me, but I do know what she means as a totem animal when she addresses you. I have recently found friends who enjoy discussing the same things I am into, and amongst other topics, we talk about our dreamland experiences. Today I explore what it might mean for Groundhog/Woodchuck to choose to invite your attention. I am ready to follow….


See how she looks over her shoulder? She would dance, then go a few feet, look over her shoulder at me, dance and go a few feet, all the while heading down the ravine…

Marmota monax, travels between the worlds of burrows dug into the earth, water, and land. She will be entering true hibernation and trance dreaming when winter comes. When I see her I think of her messages and reflect she is a powerful creature, often the totem animal of Mystics and Shamans. She symbolizes altered states, like lucid dreaming, Shamanic journeying, and trances. She reminds me to mark my boundaries, store for winter, build my home, be prepared, manage my metabolism, know when to go to ground and to burrow deep into my journeys… I will embrace her presence, now when I enter dreamland and allow the experiences there to develop and be learned from…I feel very honored that she has come forward to be my guide as I explore these others realms..they have been calling to me and I have held back from the whole experience…I was waiting for my guide..

How appropriate she appears on the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Harvest Home. Which reminds me of one of Eric and I’s favorite book, Harvest Home! lol! I am Widow Fortune and he is Worthy:) See? Otter still is with me as I had to lighten up a bit before I entirely lost those of you who aren’t into Woodchuck’s message!

And I wanted to share with you all a very nice video on Edwardian Herbs. I love this whole series, so explore around enjoy the other videos also

And in case you have not read this series, by Susan Wittig Albert, and enjoy Victorian and Edwardian books, I highly recommend Bill and Susan’s mystery series, The Robin Paige Victorian- Edwardian Mysteries!

I will hopefully get permission to post the spiced peach vinegar recipe soon! I will explain my steps for making peach scrap vinegar, and why in the world I would make peach pit tincture then. Those of you interested in trying some of this tincture or vinegar for yourself, stick around, I will be having a fall giveaway:)

Big hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx



Anke said...

Leslie, your pantry looks great so nicely stocked up! I wish I could have canned more, but this year was a bit of a gardening let down for me.
Have a wonderful weekend! Anke

Comfrey Cottages said...

Gardening wasn't good here either Anke. Most of these jars are pints or even smaller... not many quarts this year. It just was too hot and dry for too long. Maybe next year, right? You have a beautiful weekend also Anke xx

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Wonderful, wonderful! I loved your tale of groundhog, your full pantry, your explorations of myth and the natural world...and of course, anything by Bertha Reppert twangs my heartstrings. She was such an inspiration (as are you).

All joys,


Comfrey Cottages said...

Awwww big hugs and thanks Sharon! Do you know what book I am reading again, right now? Trowel and Error:) You are such an inspiration to me xxx thanks for visiting oh yes, i love Bertha's works. Her daughters are so lovely and wonderful women. I would have loved to have met their mom!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, such a lovely post! I too just love Edith Holden's book - I have a little ritual where I read it at the beginning of each month - and it so helps me to tune into the magic that the coming weeks will hold. I'm a little jealous of your beautiful peaches - do you have a peach tree? We've also been busy canning away and our up to our elbows now in jars! Don't know where we'll fit them all but it does make one feel very comforted looking at them all :) Your experience with the groundhog sounded so magical and I loved reading about the mythical symbolism there. Happy autumn to you :)

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thank you Danielle:) I am organizing my home this week. Putting Edith's book with several others that are meant to be read throughout the year, so hopefully will have a similiar ritual soon:) No, my daughter's neighbor has a lovely peach tree. They hadn't harvested it, so I just asked:) I gave them some peach preserves, and peach jam in return!
Oh jars... oh heavens, part of what I am trying to do now! Make room for jars! lol! Glad you had a happy harvest:) Happy Autumn to you also xoxoxo oh and thanks! I am so thrilled to embrace Groundhogs messages:) Putting things in order now:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie,
Ummm look at all that wonderful produce. I love the pictures of Peppermint and the Earl, they really look like the Lord and Lady of the manor inspecting what the peasants have bought for them!!
My husband made me watch Walking Dead too, it was definitely a bit too gruesome for me but quite fun all the same. :)
I'm another big fan of Edith Holden, the pictures are just so lovely.
Happy Autumn days to you, the family and the cats xxxxxx

JoyceAnn said...

Wonderful harvest , enjoyed seeing your Comfrey Angel watching over the goodies. Peach vinegar sounds delish , never heard of that before. I look forward to the recipe and your final taste results.
Glad you've found your animal totem , there's so much we can learn from animals. It also reminded me I wanted to look-up dragonflies , we attended a Pow Wow a couple of weeks ago and they were everywhere.

~ Be Blessed ~ JoyceAnn

Laura of said...

Long time coming... glad I picked now to get back! This was a wonderful post... everything looks lovely! Especially that pantry! Happy October, Leslie!

Mike said...

Great post - I enjoyed it all the more for reading that you were peeling pears whilst watching The Walking Dead!

Sarah Head said...

Lovely post, Leslie. I'm amazed you have the Edith Holden book. I live in the same road where she lived in Olton when she used to cycle out to Earlswood Lakes to sit and paint. Her house was number 11 and mine is 212 - hers is Edwardian and mine was built in 1957. It's a small world! I'm seeing cormorants everywhere this holiday and need to look up what they mean so I can think about their wisdom.

Comfrey Cottages said...

LOL Lucinda, it is a bit gruesome for me too:) I hide my eyes alot:)
Oh JoyceAnne , please do share about what dragonflies mean:) Will let you know how the peach vinegar tastes!
Hi Laura! glad you are back! I will pop over:)
Sarah, that is so cool about you living on same road Edith did! How cool! Cormorants are wonderful totems! I will post to your fb about them:)

Crone said...

Leslie, I truly enjoy your insights everytime that I read your blog. What you said today about the groundhog really hits home with me. I have had a groundhog living under my shed for 4 years now and I enjoy watching her forage and play on my land. I didn't know her message before today and now I feel so gratified and blessed to have her living her. I watched her come up from the creek a half mile from my home and walk across my land in the late afternoon before she went behind my shed into the woods. It wasn't until later that I found her digging out her new lodgings under my shed. Since then I do leave fruit and veggie scraps that I don't use at the base of my steps out back. I have watched her enjoy by day and the possums_raccoons enjoy by night. Our resident groundhog has been prancing and dancing through my gardens quite a bit this year -- tasting this and that. I'm glad there's extra for her to enjoy. Always so happy when you've added a new post. Bless you always. Linda

Comfrey Cottages said...

Hi Mike:) thanks for visiting and oh yea, walkers made peeling pears not so humdrum:)
Hi Linda, thanks for stopping in. that is so cool that groundhog has been making a home with you:) I am so very happy her message speaks to you and that you do so much to make the wildlife feel at home with you:) I don't have any groundhogs in my gardens, so I knew immediately she was talking to me when she appeared suddenly and made a point of leading me... her message was quite timely for me also. So very lovely to hear from you Linda. I think of you often and think how we would have so much fun if we lived closer... blessings to you always dear one xoxoxo

Rita M said...

How did I miss this post?
What a wonderful harvest Leslie, your closet is filled with goodies for the winter.
And Comfrey Fairy is watching over your harvest :)

Have a nice autumn my friend.