Staying in tune with what each season asks and offers brings us into greater harmony with nature. There is a sweetness to early autumn - the bending light and cooler nights hint that summer has bedded down. It’s worth our time to tap into the richness of this season.
Nature is very much alive in the early fall. Crickets are chirping. Winter squash may still be filling out. Meanwhile, the forest floors are beginning to fruit with mushrooms at the slightest whisper of rain.
Vegetable harvests are being transformed into sauerkraut, pickles and chutneys; abundant fruit into leather, jams and school snacks for the coming months. Pies might even be prepped and frozen – setting the stage to bring summer back to mind and palate when there is snow on mountain tops.
Farmers’ markets slow or move indoors, usually after a celebratory Fall Fair, as in the qathet Regional District on September 24 and 25. It’s not too late, though, even after this, to check in with local farmers to see what they have to sell for canning, freezing and fermenting. This is also the perfect time to stock up and plan a feast for Thanksgiving, which is not too far around the corner.
Leaves are starting to yellow and pepper the ground, feeding the very trees that gave them life. Gathering them from eves and gutters prepares your home for the deluges to come. Storing dry leaves now is also a great way to plan ahead for a healthy backyard compost down the road. Dried leaves are carbon-rich and balance out nitrogen-rich food scraps that typically overload household compost systems.
It’s not too late to give your woodstove some TLC, either. Ensure that there is no creosote build up and source dry wood or build a shelter to store yours to prevent any in the future.
Moisture meters are a good investment as well, giving a quick reading of how dry the wood you have really is. Woodstove exchange rebates are still available as well, if you feel motivated to upgrade to an electric heat pump, EPA certified woodstove, pellet stove or electric fireplace insert. Learn if you qualify for a rebate of anywhere between $400 and $1,150 on the qathet Regional District’s website (qathet.ca), and then begin the application process through Let’s Talk Trash.
The autumnal equinox often arrives at a frenzied time of food preservation and tucking belongings away from the elements, but fall soon quiets as the light fades and rains come. It’s only natural that we would follow the pace and tone of each season.
Now is the perfect time to extend the abundance of goods available at this time of the year. Soon enough, we will be able to dust off books ignored in the summer months and stoke up the fire to dry out our boots during the rainy months to come.