Autumn has arrived. Though the leaves have not really begun to change, the signs are here, and you can feel it in the air.
The mornings now have that crispness that so remind me of my grade-school days, and for the first time this summer we are actually chilly when we step out of the shower. We've taken to wearing slippers and socks around the house (which we normally avoid at all costs - we truly are a barefoot family!), and even my cooking has changed.
I have the urge to bake more; this very morning I was up just after 6:00 to make a batch of our oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies and a bunch of squash tarts and a pie. I have also started making more heartier meals; and plan on making some stews and curries for next week's dinners; meals that were just too hot to eat during the summer. Even breakfasts now include hot cereals, though despite my best efforts I cannot make one from scratch that my boys like as much as the Quaker instant oatmeal.
I feel torn though: Autumn is by far my favourite season, yet now that we have the garden I am not sure I want Autumn to come. On one hand, I look forward to the frost in the morning, the crisp sweater-weather days, the blue-grey skies. Yet on the other hand, all those mean the end of our growing season, and that I am not happy about.
You can see the change in our garden already, the once vibrant light and dark greens are slowly being replaced by gold and brown tones:
Right next to a new flower is a sign of the decay to come:
The zucchini, acorn squash, and cucumber plants just about took over half our garden this year, but the yield of zucchinis and cucumbers was well worth it. We lost a lot of squash to blossom end rot this year, so hopefully with some more nutrients they'll do much better next year. Even still we'll get at least 4 or 5 when all is said and done, not bad for our first attempt!
Chris was disappointed in our tomato yield this year, and even as the last few cherry tomatoes cling to the plant, it is already dying:
My herbs however, did amazingly well; here the sage and basil plants threaten the whole bed!
Despite it being the end of the growing season for most of the vegetables, a few winter crops have just sprouted, such as these beets:
Chris dug up half of the potato plants a couple weeks ago, and the rest have just started falling over. They'll be ready to dig up soon!
After a shaky start and a war with some Japanese Beetles our little fruit trees are finally settling in well. We though that one of the cherries trees was dying on us, but it may have simply been a case of over-watering. So far they've done much better.
I am sure we'll have at least one more heat wave before the summer is officially over, but on our walk today the cool breeze coming in off the harbour was definitely not summer-like. The thought has put me in panic mode, as I begin to think of everything I want to accomplish before the next holiday; the Autumnal Equinox (September 22). I have the knitted creatures to finish for the nature corner, the shelf itself to finish, as well as plan for putting in the new floor in the playroom. This in addition to the harvesting and freezing/canning that must be done as the rest of the garden ripens for the last time!