Harvest Time

Here at Under Orion Farm, harvest time gets to be kinda crazy. Our greenhouses and gardens are full….what  Under Orion Farm and Dancin’ Carrot Farm ( Shane and Christy from Dancin’ Carrot have been a wonderful asset for for us. check out underorionfarm.com for more info)
have been working so hard for all summer, the field prep, planting, watering, and endless weeding, is all for the last month of summer and early fall.

So here we are, fall has arrived. Shane & Christy  are working hard on harvesting at their other, “off-farm” job (on somebody else’s farm – Blackwell Roots). On normal years (there is no such thing) I am trying to finish up 2nd cut hay, working up sugar wood for spring maple syrup season, and trying to finish up with the custom sawing. The bountiful harvest at Dancin’ Carrot and from the gardens and orchard around the farmhouse usually seems to be last on the list.

Purple Gooseberries

Red Currents

While recovering from my shoulder surgery, and not able to do my normal fall work, I have been spending more time harvesting, and a lot more time in the kitchen. Below are some of more interesting (for me) things I have been putting up for                                                       winter or cooking with.

Chocolate zucchini cake with brandy crab apples and maple whipped cream

Crab Apple, Pear, Mint pie filling

The Crab Apples were fantastic this year, and I was determined to use them. Mary Tebbetts always looks to my Crab Apple tree to signal when it is time to go to school again. With lots of help in the collecting and cutting from Wes and Wyatt, we made some great pie filling with crab apples, pear and mint (will have to make the crusts later when I have two usable arms), Crab Apple Liqueur (for Thanksgiving), and the leftover apples that had been steeped for the liqueur became topping on Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

Crab Apples

It was a banner year for elderberries as well. I made juice and mixed it with apple cider, and the rest I froze in bags. I learned a new trick. Once your bag is full, put a drinking straw in the top. Suck all the air out through the straw, then pull the straw out and seal the bag. There will be very little frost in the berries when you go to use them. I add them to pancakes, oatmeal, coffee cakes, mixed fruit salad, and pie.

Salsa Fixin's


With the exception of cilantro and garlic, it was a fantastic year for salsa making ingredients. Tomatoes were abundant, and blight free until fairly late in the season. The peppers were beautiful. The sweet and red onions did very well. On one of my salsa batches I added Butterfly Bakery’s Rhubarb Onion Hot Sauce, very good call! These hot sauces are new to the Butterfly Bakery stall at the Montpelier Farmers’ Market; Claire collects ingredients from other vendors at the end of each week’s market and turns them into hot sauces for the next week. I also made tomatillo salsa with sweet roasted tomatillos added a little of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce.


We have loads of apples. We have pressed cider, made pies and apple sauce, experimented with putting hot pepper in the crust – which makes an ugly crust that tastes great with a big slice of cheddar cheese tucked in underneath it. And I’ve done a lot of eating!

Wesley pressing cider

Harvest time is crazy, but the rewards are well worth the work. Dancing Carrot has closed down the traveling stand for the year, but still has some kale, root vegetables, and some odds and ends. Under Orion Farm still has maple syrup, and beef, as well as lumber. I hope to be flying fall foliage flights by next week. Check out my websites for contact info: underorionfarm.com and catamountaviation.com.

SO, I want to hear from readers. Tell me if your are interested in these recipes. I will post the ones I get the most requests for. Here is a the recipe for my whipped cream…..enjoy!


whip 1pt of heavy cream until stiff (I put the bowl and beaters in the freezer in advance)

add 1t of good bourbon vanilla, and 4T of granulated maple sugar (available at UOF), and beat just enough to combine the sugar.



10 responses to “Harvest Time

  1. Wow you have been busy. It all sounds great. An amazing year for apples. We have made lots of apple wine. I haven’t had any luck with elderberries. They just migrate around the property and produce a couple of berries… They make the best antiviral medication out there!
    I did get lots of garlic though…

    I wondered if you would be flying yet. Sounds like you are really on the mend. It was peak in Franconia today and Stannard is looking bare.

  2. Will,
    these photos are very beautiful! Glad you have been so busy with harvest and food prep and creation. Bet it will feel good to get back in the air again.

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