Early November Homestead Happenings–Goodnight Garden and a Good Cup of (Elderberry) Tea

with Special Thanks to the next Veal

By November in New England, many of the outside tasks of homesteading are coming to an end. We’ve had some frosts and even some snows, though it seems Mother Nature cannot make up her mind, and here I sit inside trying to keep myself seated and not out playing in the mid-60 degree weather.

There is always something going on on a homestead or backyard farm. As the winter starts to settle in, those tasks and chores are sometimes less obvious. As a writer and homestead information publisher, this is the time of year that I “get down to business” a little more steadily. I try to refocus my time on writing, publishing, and information sharing, which is one of our means of support that carries us through the more active warm weather months. Still, some final gardening and harvesting tasks remained before the coldest temps set in.

Final Garden Harvest 2020

Walking in New England in November

I’m not going to lie. By the time September and October roll around, I’m looking forward to a frost. I don’t publicize that secret wish and it’s not something I say out loud in local circles with friends already whimpering over the snow and cold that lies ahead, but by that time I’m a little tired of weeding, harvesting and tending the garden.

There I said it. And the best way to get out of gardening? A good, hard, killing frost. It seems those frosts come later and later in my area these days, though.

Does this make me a bad backyard farmer? A hypocrite homesteader? An imposter gardener?

I think what it makes me is someone who appreciates the cycle of life and loves a good set of seasons, ready to move into the next season…which will eventually grow old, too, just in time for me to get the itch to garden and tend and grow again next spring.

So what HAS been happening on the homestead this week? Final garden harvesting, digging some herbs to grow inside this winter, working on an Elderberry Tea book, submitting my first article as a contributing blogger to Mother Earth News (waiting for a link to share!), and saying “Thanks” and goodbye to the veal–humanely raised, not in confinement, respected, well-treated, and appreciated. Today, though, it was time to see him off. Raising veal is one way to maximize the use of our homestead dairy cows and their milk and to affordably, healthfully, feed the family. (More on raising veal in another post.) Questions and respectful comments welcome, but abusive, rude comments will not be approved.

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