The farm garden in the cycle of the year: Golden treasures in autumn

The days are already getting noticeably shorter, the temperatures are falling, as are the red and golden coloured leaves, the mist is drifting across the countryside - all harbingers of autumn. Autumn has also arrived at the Jäger family's Buschberg Farm. On my third visit to Elisabeth's farm, I was able to learn about the processing and preservation of the rich harvest and take home some practical tips and tricks (and freshly harvested fruit).
Again, a lot has changed in the garden - while last time there were still onions, lettuces and herbs in the beds, most of the vegetables have now been harvested and eaten, stored or processed. Some carrots are still allowed to stay "outside" in the soil "inside" - for fresh carrots when needed. The strawberry cuttings have grown well and give hope for a good harvest next year. Despite the cool temperatures, some flowers are still in bloom in Elisabeth's garden and offer bees and bumblebees important nectar sources before winter comes.
The farmer also has to pay attention to the temperatures of the plants. The winter lettuce and tomatoes are covered with blankets or fleece to protect them from the cold at night. Before winter sets in, the still green tomatoes are cut off together with the panicle - and then left to ripen. So, there are always fresh tomatoes from the Jägers' cellar until January or even February. The potatoes are also stored in the cool cellar. Elisabeth likes to cook carrots, tomatoes and onions into sauces - on the one hand, this preserves her harvest and, on the other, there are always delicious sauces on hand :). Vegetables can be preserved just as well if they are pickled. Elisabeth uses a mixture of vinegar and water and seasons it as she likes. Very important: Boil the preserving jars beforehand to sterilise them. It is best to boil root vegetables twice so that they do not start to ferment.
Suitable for the cold seasons, Elisabeth has already dried all kinds of herbs for tea blends. Marigolds, red clover, blackberry and strawberry leaves end up in the mixed herbal tea. She uses the leaves and flowers for tea, boils the stems separately and makes an herbal syrup from them - so that as much as possible is used. In addition to the mixed tea for everyday use, there is also homemade lady's mantle tea, peppermint tea and nettle tea for the medicine cabinet. Elisabeth also has a tip for kitchen herbs: herbal salts. Simply chop up your favourite herbs a little, add salt and blend in a food processor or with a blender. This way you can not only preserve your herbs, you also always have a salt with that certain something ready.

She has also dried the seeds of the stinging nettles, which, as she explained to me during my last visit, can be used in many ways. In order to attract many insects with colourful flowers next year, the farmer collects daisy seeds, for example, and dries them to sow them in spring. Some of the plants, including dahlias, hibernate in the cellar.

Autumn feelings are also created by the fruit that is finally being harvested. The delicious apples, plums, blackberries and co. provide the necessary vitamins. Clearly, fruit tastes best when freshly picked. What has not yet been eaten is made into jam. Elisabeth also freezes apricots, plums and cherries (without pits). The thawed fruits are great for baking cakes. Maybe we'll even have a taste next time ;). The fruits are frozen, too.

Autumn is a special time for our local farmers and producers. This is reflected above all in the Salzburg Harvest Festival, which for over 20 years has been highlighting the traditions, stories, culinary delights and crafts of the Alpine region at numerous events and bringing them to life - here in the Salzburger Sportwelt too! At the numerous weekly markets in Radstadt, Altenmarkt and St. Johann, the "treasures" of our producers are available, fresh or already processed. How do you prefer to enjoy fruit and vegetables? Let us know in the comments!

How do you prefer to enjoy fruit and vegetables? Let us know in the comments!
photo credits: Angi Pfuner