Fall Time on the Farm

After a couple days in New York City, I had some time to go up to Rhode Island to spend some time with my best friend. Since we don’t have much of a fall in Los Angeles, it was such a treat to get a little taste of the crisp air and changing colors of an East coast Autumn. And nothing says fall time like apple cider, pumpkins, and a corn maze! So we took a trip to her aunt’s and uncle’s farm.

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DSCN3861They don’t have many animals on this farm, but we were sure to say hello to the donkey and the llama that live by the barn.
DSCN3859 DSCN3855 Every fall they sell Indian corn, gourds, pumpkins, and apples.

DSCN3837DSCN3842 DSCN3844All their maple syrup is home made, and they’ve even posted instructions on how it’s done for any curious eyes.
DSCN3848 DSCN3845 Heated only by this stove (which was really quite warm), the inside is lined with all sorts of antique farm goodies, including a collection of old tractor seats.DSCN3849

DSCN3847The best antique of all is this massive antique cider press, which they use to press fresh cider every year. We missed the last pressing by only a couple of days, but I still got to enjoy some cider and it was delicious! Fresh, perfect apples in liquid form. No added water or sugar or anything else, just pure perfection in a bottle.
DSCN3813 DSCN3812 Next we headed past a small field of sunflowers for a walk through the corn maze, which they create every year. All are welcome, kids and adults alike.DSCN3814 DSCN3815 DSCN3817 DSCN3819 Each intersection was marked with a fun, educational fact about farming and some of the critters who might live on a farm.DSCN3821 DSCN3820 In the center of the maze, we came across this giant, friendly hay-spider.DSCN3825 When you exit the other side of the maze, you are left right in the middle of a pick-your-own-pumpkin patch. If I hadn’t had a flight ahead of me, I certainly would have loved to bring some home and carve them into wonderful jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. DSCN3832 DSCN3833As we left the farm, I tried to imagine what it might be like to run such a place. Undoubtedly it is a tremendous amount of work, but how I would love to spend my fall days surrounded by pumpkins, cider, and maple syrup!

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DSCN3829Happy Autumn, everyone!

What’s your favorite part about this time of year?

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The Fruits of my Neighbor

One of the things I love about California is how lush and fertile it is. Even though we are surrounded by desert, you really can grow almost anything here. It has a lot to do with the mild temperature (no frost or extreme heat to worry about most of the time), and also our ability to irrigate. The hubby and I love to take long leisurely walks around our neighborhood, and we love to discover the fruit trees that our neighbors all have in their yards. We have a mature orange tree and a young lime tree that producer fruit, and soon we will have guavas, avocados, figs, and strawberries to enjoy once they all grow a little older and wiser. So today I’m sharing with you the fruits and other edible plants that can be found around my neighborhood. Try not to drool to much.

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Orange

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Kumquat

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Rosemary

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Nasturtium

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Quince

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Blackberry

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Loquat

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Lemon

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Pea

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Peach

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Prickly Pear

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Fig

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Avocado

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Grape

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Grapefruit

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Hibiscus

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Apple

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Sunflower

Also, check out our herb garden.

What sorts of surprises have you found in your neighborhood?

*All photos were taken by my dear, supportive husband.

**This post was inspired by a friend’s recent discovery of loquats in her own neighborhood. You know who you are. Thanks!  😉