We still have a month until the autumn equinox on September 23, but it sure feels like fall started early! The mornings have been misty and the sky is a lot less bright as I do my evening walks though the yard.
Tomatoes are harvested daily and all the pumpkins and winter squash are relocated from the vines into the pantry. For the past month, my counters have been covered in rotating trays of pears, apples, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The canning pot has taken up its late summer semi-permanent spot on the stove and I’m regularly turning out batches of preserved goods.
The leaves on the fruit and walnut trees are turning yellow and starting to fall, creating a carpet of yellow around their base. My persimmon tree is so fully loaded the branches are touching the ground. The drying beans are also turning color, the plants slowly dying back, and I’ve stopped watering that bed to facilitate faster drying. Fronds from the asparagus are browning and the red berries are standing out like glowing ornaments.
My mind and body is making the shift as well. While our mid-days are still warm and bright, in the evenings I’m sensing the urge to curl up with knitting needles and tea. The high path of the summer sun is shifting, and without its bright light beaming in my window first thing has made me start to sleep in longer. I’m no longer wanting cool refreshing foods but craving heavy winter foods like roasted squash and cheesy gratins. As my friend Diana recently said, “I want rain rain rain and pumpkin!”. I’ve heard (i.e.- read on the interwebs, so it must be true!) that Starbucks has already released the iconic seasonal pumpkin spice latte.
The chickens have noticed the change as well, and I’m getting significantly less eggs than I did a few weeks ago. Yesterday, only 5. The one turkey left from a raccoon massacre at the pallet palace, who’s taken up residence with the chickens, is growing nicely.
I’ve been mostly preoccupied in the kitchen, trying to get pound and pounds of pears and tomatoes into jars, but I’ve slowly been working on transitioning the garden into the winter growing season. Eggplants and pepper that never really did anything have been pulled, as well as spent squash vines and the dead tomatillo plants that gave up promptly after forming husks but never set fruit. Hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll make some more space and get kale and beet seeds in, soon to follow by brassica starts.
Late summer and autumn is my favorite season, with the busyness of harvest and I’m reveling in the change of the weather! How are things where you are? What do you love best about fall?