A Cord, A Peck and a Whole Mess of Greens

The changing leaf color is one way to tell its autumn, but my signals tend to be a little more quantifiable. On my fall check list are a cord of firewood, a peck of apples and a whole mess of greens.

Even though it might still be too hot for a fire, the arrival of a cord of wood means to me that cooler temperatures are soon to follow. Even more than smoke from a fireplace, the smell of split oak still green from the cutting puts me in an autumn state of mind.

Next on my list of signs of fall? Picking up a peck of apples from a roadside farm stand. Just in case you don’t know four pecks make up a bushel.

If you’re at the farm and I’m serving greens, you can bet it’s fall. Greens such as kale, collards and turnips are usually better when they mature in cool weather. A light frost will make them sweeter. Definitions of a “mess” vary with the cook, but to me it means just enough to feed everyone at the table.

All this to say that autumn has arrived at the farm. I’ve got a cord of firewood stacked up by the house, a peck of apples in the kitchen, and just this past weekend I cooked up a whole mess of greens.

What’s your favorite sign of fall?

11 Responses to A Cord, A Peck and a Whole Mess of Greens

  1. The crisp mornings and the balmy, warm days…the organic smells in the air. The birds busy feeding on my flower’s seed heads. The beautiful colours of gold, yellow, orange, red and brown. And the fact that I find I am baking more… peach clafouti as we speak.

  2. Cindy says:

    For the past few years I’ve enjoyed watching the squirrels gather pecans from my neighbors tree in the fall. I’ve admired how they will work at this task from sun-up to sun-down. They’ve “planted” them all over my yard. However, with the serious drought, the pecan tree is barren. Guess I’ll be making a trip to the market to buy the squirrels this year’s pecan treat! :)

  3. I’m ready for Fall love to read this post <|;-)

  4. linda Faatz says:

    Fall for us this year in Maine has been warmer that usual. Maple leaves have has a fungus and many have dropped early. As I mow the grass that is still lush and growing, I look up at the the outline of the bare trees( especially the white birch) against the cloudless blue sky and know that this is part of the beauty of fall.

  5. JeanMarie says:

    We are having our first mess of greens tonight. I cannot get enough of the beautiful gourds, ornamental squash and pumpkins.

  6. Faye says:

    I am glad to know what a mess of greens means.

  7. Linda L. says:

    I just returned home from northwest Arkansas where there wasn’t much tree color-yet. But in the northern Ozarks we are getting a lot of color right now. All my maples are beautiful.

  8. Lisa L. says:

    My favorite sign of fall is the crows, blackbirds, magpies and woodpeckers. In Colorado they come around in the fall. I love to hear their noises and watch them. They are very intelligent birds.

  9. Nancy Wagoner says:

    Hi P. Allen,

    Besides the colors appearing on my plants and trees, I notice that the angle of the sun has changed and more shadows have appeared, Fall advertisements and articles in newspapers and magazines, Halloween decorations in peoples’ yards, AND the sound of the local high school band marching and playing music. Fall is truly a magical and beautiful time of the year……for me, the most beautiful!

  10. christine says:

    My favorite season is fall. All the maple leaves are a beautiful red right now, we live in the Baxter County, AR. Every year my kids and I take a walks through our woods and pick the most colorful and perfect leaves and then we bring them home and press them between books for next year fall decorations. I use clear tape and stick them to windows, mirrors, ect. We get just as excited at looking at them as going through Christmas ornaments. It was a very hot and dry summer with nobody’s garden producing this year. The only thing I got to can was green beans. Our tomatoes boilded from the heat before they were even close to ripe. I do have a couple of tomato plants that I started for the greenhouse this winter to have fresh tomatoes. To me fall is the season of relief after the hot dry summers, everything looks revieved and peaceful, the animals go back to running and playing, the flowers starting blooming profusley again and God’s paintbrush on the trees is like a rainbow. THere is not one thing I dont love about fall.

    I have a question on your last blog I think you talked about plants to keep or throw anyway one that you said you would save is the angel trumpet. This is my first year to have one and its just now starting to bud out. When you bring it in do you cut it back or just leave it. I cant wait to see the flowers. I love your blogs and your books. I wish I could watch your tv shows but we dont get PBS. Thank you for all that you share.

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