I absolutely love this time of year. The sun lights up the golden leaves on the trees and fills the house with light during the day, and the chilly, dark nights encourage us to go inside, light a fire, and read a book. It’s time to catch our breath, and breathe deeply the fresh air. It somehow seems more acceptable to go to bed early and sleep in a bit.
In the kitchen, it’s time to take stock of the harvest, and there is finally time to enjoy cooking our tasty bounty. Nothing satisfies after a day of working in the garden like a hearty soup or a stew that has simmered all day. It tastes even better when shared with friends.
In the garden, we are just finishing raking in the harvest… the fruits of our long months of labor. We pulled in the winter squash, zucchini, green beans, and outdoor tomatoes before the first frost, cataloging our successes and salivating at the thoughts of all the wonderful winter meals to come. After the first frost we pulled in the potatoes and chard. This past weekend we brought in the last of the root vegetables, turnips, carrots, parsnips, sunchokes as well as the kale, hops, herbs, horseradish, and remaining broccoli.
Lucky for me, I had an amazing army of friends turn out in the sunshine to help me. It might be the hormones, but I was really touched by all the busy people that stopped by to help. My vision with this garden has always been that it would involve a wider community of people, and on Saturday, that vision came true. It was amazing how a huge list of garden chores suddenly became doable, and instead of a lot of work, it seemed like a lot of fun.
Last night we hosted a Permaculture potluck here at the Farmhouse. A network of people sharing ideas and inspirations with each other and striving for functional interconnection. We began the meeting each sharing a success and a challenge from the summer, and as we went around, I noticed that many of the success were events where multiple people were involved, whereas the challenges happened when people were trying to do something on their own. It was a great reminder for us all to reach out when overwhelmed by a big project or too many little projects.
On a similar note, the Bioneers conference is this weekend in San Rafael, Anchorage, and many other cities around the nation. Climate chaos, peak oil, and social injustice may seem like insurmountable issues, but this weekend we get to hear about real people making real change in their communities and around the world. Inspiring and uplifting, I always finish the weekend with renewed energy to do my part, however small it may be. If we all chipped in, imagine what a different world this would be!