Fall seems to have come and gone before I could really wrap my mind around it. As is usually the case, harvesting lasts until just about the end of October, and then it is time to put the gardens to bed, move the hardier crops to sheltered cold frames and make a lot… A LOT.. of spaghetti sauce.
The gardens did well through all of September. By the time the first snow fell on October fourteenth, the Swiss chard was the only thing still growing. I managed to use everything that came from my gardens this year. Not much made it to the freezer at all. This means more gardens will be built for next year. From halloween onwards it is time to move indoors, await the seed catalogues that should be turning up any day. It’s time to curl up with a good book, surf the web, play video games or Cheekybingo and experiment with all kinds of herbal teas.
“Every life needs a little space. It leaves room for good things to enter it.” ~ Sarah Addison Allen, The Peach Keeper
Putting the gardens to bed is the process of cleaning them out and topping up soil where needed. It’s a good time to dig out the roots of any weeds that may have popped up. Rhubarb and strawberries and other perennials will benefit from mulching or covering if you are so inclined. Mine are in perfect little microclimates that protect them from cold and snow. The composter is getting fat on trimmings and leaves. Now the days are chilly and the nights are even colder. We are well into bonfire season.
It surprises me that Guy Fawkes, or Bonfire Night is not celebrated in New Brunswick. It’s one of the things I miss about Newfoundland. I miss gigantic community bonfires with the fire department managing things and the whole town standing around chatting and drinking hot chocolate cut with too much water, or something else.
“All night I dreamt of bonfires and burn piles and ghosts of men, and spirits behind those birds of flame. I cannot tell anymore when a door opens or closes, I can only hear the frame saying, Walk through.” ~ Ada Limon
When the air turns cold and hard frost finishes the rest of the garden off, my focus shifts to inside tasks. It’s the time for getting ready for winter, decorating for Halloween and eventually Yule. I no longer wake up wanting to go outside and putter. My mornings are filled with warm slippers, hot coffee, procrastinating under the blankets and this year, oddly, pinterest.
Fall is the time of pumpkin spiced everything, and homemade soup. It is the time for cayenne and cinnamon, for good books, and epic movies. There is no time quite like fall for cleaning out and organizing cook books, closets, drawers and all the myriad crafts and projects I began with good intentions and abandoned for shinier things the year before.
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Winter is arriving any day now. The first snow was not enough to cover the ground and no snow has managed to stay yet. I am looking forward to mild nights with fat snowflakes falling in the moonlight and digging Trixhe out of snow that is deeper than she is tall.
In the town of The Pas, Manitoba
It snows on the first of Octoba
From then, for six months,
It thaws only once
And never when I am quite soba.