Fall is a beautiful time on the homestead. The leaves are changing colors, the air has a crisp quality that begs to be perfumed with wood smoke and hot cider. Fall is also fickled, because as beautiful as it is, there is so much to do that it’s often hard to find time to enjoy the beauty. There’s lots to do before you can put the homestead to bed for the winter. Barns need to be cleaned and prepped for the upcoming cold and wet weather, gardens need to be pulled and planted with a cover crop, animals need to get bred and of course all those half done projects need to get finished up before the weather completely turns nasty.
One of my favorite parts of fall is the bonfires. There’s something primal about them that attracts my inner caveman…or rather, cave-woman. There are few things in my book that can top working hard on the farm all day and then when you are bone weary, lounging on the back of your tailgate while having your dinner. Except maybe catching a little nap, before getting back to work.
If you aren’t familiar with bonfires there are a few things that you should know. The first is to always wear a hat. Trust me your stylist will thank you for not making her create some wild and new post-singed hairstyle. Secondly, if you happen to be a girly tom-boy and enjoy wearing make-up (like me) you should be aware that if you stand too close to the fire the heat will make your mascara melt. If you aren’t going for that ‘one giant eyelash look’, you probably want to take a step or two backward. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, there is always going to be that one person at the fire that will be a smoke magnet. No matter where they go, despite the direction the wind is blowing, the smoke will magically follow them everywhere. Don’t be that person! Now that you know the basics, kick back, sip some cider and enjoy.