Our harvest baskets are bigger than ever this month and we are buried in tomatoes! I am happy to report our later-ripening Brandywines are in full swing. That means we have mounds of Sunburst cherries, San Marzano sauce and fat Brandywines all coming on at once.

September harvest basket

I have been chained to the canning pot, putting up batches and batches of stewed tomatoes. But don’t think I’m hogging them just here in the kitchen. Oh no, there are enough tomatoes for everyone on our little homestead to share.

The chickens and ducks have been the happy recipients of the leftover bits: skins, cores and any over-ripe areas. Giving them some variety in their meals means tastier eggs, happier birds and saved money on feed. It all makes it way into the compost bin somehow – either putting food scraps in there directly or indirectly through their nitrogen-rich manure. Nothing goes to waste!

The only one not getting to eat tomatoes is little Junebug – not yet anyway. She’s too young to chomp down on all these ripe tomatoes herself, but come wintertime she will get to enjoy the fruits of our fall labor. For now, she’s incredibly entertained watching mama peel, core, can. She just laughs and laughs at her crazy mama!

Baby Juniper, aka my tomato helper, at six months

I’m almost afraid to harvest in the evenings… More tomatoes! More beans! More broccoli! I can feel it getting colder and the days getting shorter. Are you going to have enough preserved before the first frost arrives?

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Written by Renee Wilkinson