Fall in Northern Idaho

It was hot.  Then it was not.

We had mid to upper 90s in August, a week or so of 80s in September, then it dropped into the 60s mid-month.  On October 3rd, we had our first freeze.  That left us with a bunch of green tomatoes still on the vine, so we canned green tomato chutney.  I was a little skeptical, but it’s tasty.  Goes great with Indian food or over cream cheese with crackers.

Green tomatoes with red onion, raisins, dried apples, vinegar, and spices

We also harvested our onion crop.  We got quite a few, but they were small this year.  We will be better prepared next year and hope to get large onions like our neighbor’s.

The onions are small, but they have great flavor
Our neighbor’s onions were huge, 1-2 pounds each

Shawn grew some pumpkins, but like the onions, they came out small.  However, the few small pumpkins we got made a great puree and pumpkin bread.  He’s in the kitchen now whipping up a pumpkin pie!

Mini pumpkins make mini pumpkin bread loaves

We’ve also been doing more canning.  Our next-door neighbor got an elk and gave us some ground meat, so Shawn canned that with potatoes, onions and carrots.  While it tastes good, it was not pretty enough to warrant a picture.  I’ve been buying dried beans in bulk and canning them.  It’s very handy to have pinto, black, white, kidney and garbonzos readily available.

Soon it will be time to bottle our first experiments in fruit wine.  We will have a couple gallons each of plum, peach, and apple.

Improvements continue to be made outdoors.  We ordered seedling trees from the Pitkin Nursery at the University of Idaho in Moscow.  Shawn planted 20 Tamarac trees on the south end of the property and then potted maples, chestnuts and others for planting in the spring.  Most of our trees are evergreen, so it will be nice to have more fall colors in a few years.  We are also working on the planting area around the house.  We moved dirt to join to small hills.  Shawn plans to put a pond behind it.  I planted 120+ bulbs and divided and re-planted the existing peonies.  I hope I didn’t kill them!

Seedlings
New planting area behind the logs
Gratuitous pig photo

The kids and grandkids visited mid-October and the weather was picture perfect.  We went to Green Bluff for pumpkins and apples; we played at McEuen Park in downtown Coeur d’Alene, and we hiked the Cougar Gulch trail.  It was great having them visit!

Cougar Gulch Trail
We didn’t spot any cougars, but we found this old tractor

Cooler temps also mean more time spent in my new sewing room.  I made flannel jackets for the grandkids and started a new blue and white quilt.

While we are enjoying the changing of the seasons, we recently learned of another type of seasons in Northern Idaho.  Bug Seasons.  During the summer, we experienced yellowjacket season.  Now we are in stink-bug season.  There was also a brief two-week period of gnat season.  I’m sure you’re thanking me for not posting photos.

Fall in Northern Idaho