Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fall, Pumpkins, and Apple Butter

Dear Brianna,

I hope you’re well, young lady. Your mother and I miss you, and we can’t wait for your next visit. I recently wrote your brother, Sean, and told him to take care of that new wife of his. I’m sure you agree – Shannon fits well within our family. Brianna, you and the girls did a great job with the wedding and the bridal shower. You should all start your own business!
Shannon's Bridal Shower at Fair Lawn Farm

In my last letter to Sean, I updated him on what’s been going on at the farm – getting ready for the Hands & Harvest Festival, finding apples to make our apple butter, the growing pumpkin patch and apple orchard… the list goes on! The farm is growing by leaps and bounds! We have so many plans for the future. There are just not enough days in a week. We’ll get there though!

The Highland County Fair recently ended, so it would seem summer has officially come to a close. That’s the typical Highland County tradition anyway – the cool, fall air seems to roll in during the Highland Fair. And it did! The nights were cool; however, summer and its hot humidity came back with a bit of a vengeance the week following the fair. The ground is browning, streams and creeks are drying… it will feel good when the crisp, fall air sticks around. It will be a nice relief from the heat we’ve felt this summer. We're busy getting fire wood. Fall and winter are definitely my favorite times of the year. Mom will agree with one of the two. Can you guess which one?

We recently went to 2 Pond Farm in Mount Sidney to make apple butter during one of their music festivals. We met a lot of new friends and promoted Highland County and the farm.

As for the apple butter, we have two cookings down and another one this weekend here at home. Our goal is at least six for the fall.

Visitors Love Stirring the Apple Butter!

We'll be in Huntersville, West Virginia, the first weekend in October. Next to our Hands and Harvest, it's our favorite. Peggy and Lud Creef will be helping again. I don't know what we'd do without them. 

We're breaking ground next week for the first of the cabins. When you come home in October, you'll see the progress. I won't tell you which one or where it's going to be. It will be a surprise!

As usual, we (I) over planted the pumpkin patch. Now that the leaves are dying back you can see all the orange, and white, and stripped, and ........ you get the idea. It's fun watching all the kids running through the patch. They all seem to have to touch each and every pumpkin before they decide on which one, and their pick usually ends up being the first one they picked up! Like last year, when you leave, we'll fill up your car with pumpkins, and apple butter, and gourds and whatever else will fit.

Despite the dryness, the pumpkins are growing larger and larger, and they will be ready for kids and families to pick during the Hands & Harvest Festival. Folks love to pick their own pumpkins during the festival. I think its one of the highlights. Of course, there are a lot of different things going on at the farm – smoked trout and cheeses, the maple sugar camp, tractor rides – its so much fun. As you know, we truly love welcoming families to the farm. Hopefully, with all the work we’re doing to the farm, we’ll be able to make new opportunities for folks and families to visit us more throughout the year. Like I said, lots of great things going on!

Stay tuned for more letters with more updates! In the meantime, remember how much your mother and I love you. We’re looking forward to your upcoming visit home. I have a hug waiting for my little girl. Take care.