Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Autumn Work

The weather forecast promises a wee bit of rain soon.  I dunno.  It's clear skies as far as the eye can see right now, and warm and beautiful.

The air has that autumn bite to it.  Makes me want to wander, explore, hike, get stuff done in the garden ....  The natural cycle of things makes me restless.  Is it a deep instinct written into my DNA, to either migrate to warmer climes or batten down the hatches for a long winter?  I can't say either way, but it feels good.  The grapes are getting sweeter every day, and the akebia fruit is starting to darken from a pale green to a deep, dusky purple.  The apples are ripe.  I still have tons of pears on the trees.  Though this year was kind of a bummer as far as the veggie garden is concerned, the arbor and orchard didn't fail.  In fact, they're better than ever.

If you're a gardener, now is the time (or past time, if it were a normal year!) to get out there and clean up stuff like crazy.  The work done now is work that won't have to be done in the spring.  Put fresh mulch down, weed, edge the lawn, prune trees and shrubs, and make everything tidy.  Note to self--put away all those tools still laying around before they're covered in snow.  A rake in the face kinda puts a damper on that first fun walk through fresh snow.

It's also time to start stocking up on winter supplies.  Rice, flour, sugar, butter, etc. will go into dry storage or the freezer.  If we're snowed in, we want to have plenty of stuff on hand.  I used to have lots of canned food too, but it actually takes up a lot of room, is usually over-salted and over sugared, and it's under-nutritious.  Better to keep the raw materials around.  This year I'll probably add a big bag of frozen sausage patties and frozen chicken patties.  That one year we were stuck for an extended period, they really came in handy and unlike the rest of our frozen protein, could be cooked without thawing.  I'll get those last.  The things that keep the longest and are the least expensive I'll get first, and I'll do it in installments this year instead of making one big trip.  The one big trip thing is fun, but sure hurts when it all gets added up at the register.  And this year, I won't forget a nice big box of hot apple cider packets and two big containers of hot chocolate mix.  Yum!

Happy Autumn Weather, everyone.  I hope your last days before winter are as beautiful as mine are.

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