Fall Coming On

It may still, officially, be Summer, but the day I put on my woolen socks is, to me, the first day of Fall. That was yesterday.

Last night the temperature dropped to 47 F and my mind races to what we need to get done before the frosts come. Give our hoop house a “spine” (a cross beam) as well as doors. Turn the compost and a week later distribute the finished soil on the beds that will be in action over the Winter. Then transplant the Fall and Winter seedlings into those beds and cover with small hoops and, when the tomato and pepper plants are spent, move the hoop house over the 4 chosen winter beds.

Stock the bird feeders {DONE}. Buy new straw and burlap for wrapping up the bushes.

Fall also means, each year, a cold or flu. Amie was the first to get it and to recover (she literally burned it out with a 102 F fever). But she seems to have picked up something new. She is pretty sad about it, because today is the second day of Kindergarten and she so intensely enjoyed the first day.

Most aptly, my side of the big bed – Amie wants me near and anyway it’s Sunday – is covered with books on herbal medicine. I subscribed to HerbMentor.com and it has got me going. So far I’ve studied, on paper, Dandelion, Licorice, Elder. I’m making a first pass through these herbs that we might need most often in the next few months, the cold, flu and immunity herbs. Then I’ll purchase them from a herbal supply store, because I’m not growing them yet, and don’t yet have the local and herbal knowledge to wildcraft them.

The plants in their wisdom also know that Fall is coming. They are redirecting their energies and nutrients to their roots and seeds, the parts of them that have the most chance of surviving the Winter. I am waiting for a nice day to harvest the flower heads of what I do have growing – chamomile, feverfew, calendula. Then I’ll use my new Excalibur dehydrator, which arrived a week ago, to dry them. And at the Farmer’s Market this Wednesday I will buy lots of local apples, to dry as well. We still have apple sauce that I canned last year: it’s just not that popular in our house.

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