Autumn is my favorite season. But I like them all. I think, mainly, that I appreciate the fact that we have, here in New England, four distinct seasons. Sure, sometimes spring seems to go by in the blink of an eye, and temperatures go from late wintery forties and low fifties (on a warm day) to humid eighties and nineties.
But for the most part, we have winter. We have spring. We have summer. And, best of all, we have autumn.
Not sure why I like autumn best. Could be as simple as drier, cooler weather after a horribly humid summer. Could be the leaves changing color. Could be the start of the school year (I still want to buy new notebooks and pens and things for ME, never mind my kids).
It’s also the garden. The later harvesting, after the bulk of our fruits and vegetables have been picked or pulled or snipped and either consumed or somehow packed away for winter meals.
Right now we’re still getting tomatoes, but that’s winding down, so each bright red gem is precious.
Yesterday, in preparation for our winter garden(s), Bill pulled some of our tomato plants out of one of the 4’ x 4’ raised beds. Two of the plants were cherry or other small tomatoes, and there were still lots of green and pale red fruit on them, so we had the kids pick all the tomatoes off so I could do something with them. Same with the white tomasol tomato plant.
The picture above is the haul from yesterday. We also have bouquets of assorted hot peppers hanging above one of the windows above our kitchen sink. Bill needed the space, and so the peppers will finish turning red inside. I like seeing them there; a reminder of what a great pepper year this was for us.
The soil in that garden is now turned over and replenished with compost, ready for a winter planting. This winter garden is new territory for us, and we’re hoping to expand on things if all goes well this winter. Perhaps a full sized greenhouse that we can break down in the summer and reassemble for the winter. We’ll see.
Maybe that’s why I like autumn best. More than any other season, autumn allows (or forces) me to look at the whole year at the same time. It’s kind of, in the part of my head with the film projector, like I’m standing on a hill, looking out over the whole growing year, seeing all the seasons as they ebb and flow into each other. From autumn’s vantage point I look at the winding down of most of the growing season. I can look back at summer, when the garden was overflowing, and I look ahead to winter, when maybe, if we’re lucky, we can make fresh salads for ourselves with greens we’ve grown ourselves (we have vowed not to buy any more prepackaged lettuce or lettuce blends again). And I look ahead to spring, when the asparagus will poke through the soil once again, and we will plant broccoli rabe and peas early, because they don’t mind the cold.
I guess that’s it. In autumn, more than any other time, I feel, and I embrace, all the seasons, and all the changing, the turning, from one part of the year to the next.