Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Ohio. It’s only drawback is that there are too many things I like to do in the fall. The house, the garden, the hiking trails all call to me, and the homeschooling has started.
Garden Chores for Fall:
* Planting spring-blooming bulbs
* Mulching for winter protection
* Preparing ground for spring planting
* Planting new trees and shrubs
* Storing tools, etc. for winter
* Saving seed in cool,dry,frost-free place
* Dig and store summer tubers and bulbs
* Remove pond pump
* Prepare pond for winter
But the Fall time is not just about chores, here in Ohio it has many pleasures. Already the coolness is on the air in September, and the color of an autumn sky is bright blue during the good weather, which is most abundant in this season, for us. There is crispness and often the tinge of woodsmoke on the air, especially in the country where we don’t have the stringent city rules about burning. Although not as famous as New England, we have our share of brilliant autumn leaf color. Our family usually makes a trek to the hills of Southern Ohio for the wooded views in the Old Man’s Cave area.
The Hocking Hills, which includes Old Man’s Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, Ash Cave, and the Rock House, is where my family likes best to hike. It is full of fairy tale settings and always keeps its allure…No matter how often we go.
When my children were younger fall was a time of leaf collecting and identification.
It is Apple Cider Time par excellence, with apple delights of all kinds. The best apples come from the fruit orchards of Northern Ohio, I think, but everywhere are “pick-your-own” and farm stands of bags and bushels with varieties that aren’t available at other times of year.
Apples have their own world of information. It used to be commonly known which varieties were best for such uses as baking, fresh eating, or salads… And as with wine tasting, there is an entire spectrum of connoisseurs who can describe the “banana-like” or “winey” flavors and aromas of specific apple types. Some of the older kinds of apples went out of fashion for reasons of modern aesthetics, they were misshapen or not the right color, etc, for modern supermarket standards. But the apple is the queen of fruits here in the Midwest, and it is surprising how many recipes and even crafts put this fruit to good use!
There are some good apple farmstands with fresh cider along the way from the Columbus area to the Hocking Hills State Park. Amish Country to the Northeast is a whole ‘nother universe… And it has many of the good apple ( haha -little joke there) farms and stands, and homemade desserts, too. These are strung between many little towns with quaint shops which creates any number of interesting day-trips. But the best fruit growing area is up around the Lake, with its moderate temperatures, September is a beautiful time to visit there… The Lake ebbs out quite far, the water is still somewhat warm, the weather is usually clear, and the blue is just intense…While the farm stands are bursting with late season bounty, and really excellent cider.