Autumn on our Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia–Beth Trissel


An excerpt from my nonfiction book about gardening and country life,  Shenandoah Watercolors, a 2012 EPIC eBook Award Finalist:

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.” ~ Anne Frank

(Image by my mother, Pat Churchman. If you look closely you can see my daughter Elise as a child and her little friend, James, peeking our from behind the trees.)

“A cold autumn wind blew as my younger daughter, Elise, and I scurried about the garden in the last of the light to gather in our treasures. She heaped great orange Cinderella pumpkins into the wheelbarrow and picked the rest of her pink and blue Indian corn. Beams of sun touched the crimson cockscomb flowers just coming into full bloom, an antiquated variety that I seeded late and coaxed through our wet summer. (Cinderella Pumpkins, image by Elise taken this fall)

The vibrant color of the plumes stood out against the grayish black clouds like a king’s velvet robes. This wealth will quickly dwindle if the temperatures dip too low tonight. The weather is quite cool here today. Forecasters are calling for the chance of frost tonight, but only if the gray blanket covering the sky clears and bright cold stars come out. Then maybe Jack Frost’s chill breath will silver the hoary earth.

I must get myself to the garden and pick the last of the orange persimmon tomatoes–truly the most luscious variety in the world–and the heirloom lima beans, called Christmas limas. These beans are mottled a lovely wine color and very tasty. Perhaps I can get our dog, Mia, to help me. But I doubt it. She takes no interest in vacuuming or dusting either, just wants to know when its time to eat.

I have this wild hope in the back of my mind that maybe I will wake up one day and find the house ordered and gleaming, all put to rights while I slept. I suspect this delusion comes from my having read The Elves and the Shoemaker too often, and other fairy tales. I have also seen too many Disney movies.”

(Colorful maple tree near green rye field on our farm in the Shenandoah Valley, image by Elise)

***Shenandoah Watercolors is available from Amazon in kindle and now paperback with lovely photographs taken by my family.

***For a seed link to the Christmas Pole Lima Beans click HERE.

***For a seed link to Cinderella Pumpkins click HERE

***For a seed link to my favorite Orange Persimmon tomatoes click HERE.

After your initial purchase you can save the seed.

11 responses to “Autumn on our Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia–Beth Trissel

  1. What a lovely way to start my week. Thank you, Beth!

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  2. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. I love Autumn, but get very short-changed living in Southern California. I’ve gone to great lengths to see “real fall” over the years. Even went to Nova Scotia one October. I think I need to come to Shenandoah Valley 🙂

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  3. Lynne, you do need to come to the Shenandoah Valley. This is its loveliest time of year, in my opinionl.

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  4. The quote by Anne Frank is so true. I love all the beautiful autumn colors. No autumn beauty today. Rainy and dark. Your book cover is so pretty. That would be a great place to sit and admire all the beauty. Now that I told you I never heard of Cinderella pumpkins I have started seeing some around here. LOL. Usually we just have plain oval/round ones.
    Sue B

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  5. Absolutely love the Anne Frank quote. Often, when I’m dealing with writer’s block, I’ll go outside and take some time to meditate. But, once fall rolls around, Mathair and I prefer writing on our porch. The Smoky Mountains are never more beautiful, then when they’re on fire with autumn colors. Great post, Beth.

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  6. Both wonderful to read and delightful to see- thank you!

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