Fall is here, for real. After a terribly dry summer the rains have come. It’s a little disorienting but also comforting. We can stop trying so hard now, out in the gardens. The compost is turned. The harvest is in. Time to rest.

I canned 27 pints of applesauce made from our own apples, this year. The best kind has lots of fresh ginger in it, so as soon as I figured that out, I did the rest that way. I made 24 half-pint jars of blackberry jam from our blackberries, too, and heaven knows who’s going to eat it. The tomato harvest was late but bountiful and we ate as much caprese salad and BLTs as we could hold, never mind eating them out of hand, while still standing in the garden. Basil was good, too. I’ve made pesto three or four times.

And now that it’s rainy and chilly, everything outside is succumbing to the inevitable creeping mold, and we turn our attention to the real “fall foliage” around here: mushrooms.

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll keep saying it: I love all these beautiful things that grow in the damp. Fungus, lichen, slime mold, primitive plants. The desert is interesting to visit, but give me trees and moisture. My skin needs to suck it up.

And since it’s coming on mushroom season, my husband is starting some of his own: shiitake and oyster mushrooms. We have plenty of old logs sitting around the place. He drilled this one full of holes and inserted the mycelium plugs. Fingers crossed that they grow.


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