Preparing For Autumn
Autumn is coming quickly, I can see it everywhere now. it is possible to breathe it right in outside. The local orchards spread the apple scent all over town as the air cools from the mucky sludge it has been all summer into an intoxicating gentler and brighter consistency. The sky is bright and clear. Last night I could see the stars as the moon stole their thunder. Tonight, she will steal even more before she begins gradually returning it to them little by little every night until she disappears altogether and the sky will seem empty without her… But tonight she will appear as the mother big and round. She will tell all those stars who’s light she takes a story, perhaps a bit like Scheherazade, each night as she takes up more of the sky. For those who know how to listen, the stories she tells are endless and all consuming, beautiful, a fiber with a texture only the moon can spin, and only she can weave. She tells tales of the coming autumn lately.
And so, as any good homesteader, I begin prepping everything collecting my harvest from my messy gardens, Mixing things in the house to create a nice apple cinnamon autumn fragrance for all things to be utilized over the fall, so that we can be more closely connected to true nature of abundance and gentle peacefulness that is this part of the year’s special gift. An easy time to do further preparation for the winter. The coming days, will have me apple picking, and harvesting, it will have me canning and dehydrating. Squirreling a bit of the summer away for the darkest winter moments when the reminder of brightness and warmth will keep us going through the long New England usually snow ridden winter when the wildflowers go to their rest with the Fairy Queen of the forest and the trees shed their leaves in mourning for the loss of their sleeping monarch. In the house, the wood stoves will be busy, as will I baking, reading, doing the quiet things that make winter restful. Winter Hygge, before the spring calls me back out to work like a crazy person preparing the gardens once more.
Today finds me with all the windows thrown open to welcome in the autumn, largely in the kitchen, baking some fresh savory whole wheat english muffins which I will freeze and pull out as wanted and needed to be fried in an old cast iron frying pan. Earlier had me harvesting some herbs for this projects, rosemary, thyme, and what little was left of one of my basil plants.
I have been busy, making moisturizing cream for after I wash my hands. A regular occurrence on a farm with animals, and gardens, plenty to clean, and an endless supply of projects always going. I have done some soap both for the guest of the B&B as well as just for the house in general that match the cream.
I also made time to mix up some really nice anti age acne fighting face cream. It contains some beautiful things such as tea tree, moringa, rose, yarrow, frankincense, while adding some SPF from carrot seed to help protect my skin.
In addition to these projects, it was also time to make some autumn scented laundry detergent and of course fabric softener to go with it. The fragrance I chose for autumn this year is a creamy apple cinnamon. Perfect for the fall I thought.
So why prep like this for fall? Because fall is a season designed for prepration making for the long winter. So the best way to be prepared, is to prepare to prepare. Already the winter wood has arrived and along with the trees we cut down in our woods it too will be consumed by the wood stove fires this winter.
We try to be environmental in how we live. One way we do that also benefits our piggy bank. We keep our heating turned up through the winter just high enough to keep the pipes from freezing and to keep us in hot water. Beyond that, we heat entirely with wood. A replaceable resource using as little oil as possible through the winter months. And we hope that we have stored enough solar power to get us through the winter on that front as well. Through the winter the food waste goes out across the snow to the chickens as there really is no way to do out door composting in the winter in New England.
Soon much of my days will be spent by the fire, reading books and trying to work on my own sad little worthless writing projects. I will wrap myself in a small quilt and sip tea or spiced cider and I will yearn for the return of the wildflowers and I will miss them until they return. But for now, I will just prepare for their eventual rest, by preparing for the autumn and winter, and by helping to stack the wood that lays strewn in the still green grass, laying there looking upward into the trees who’s leaves already are beginning to change color. Soon my tree friend Tess, will clothe herself in red. I can’t wait to see her in all her autumn glory. The best of autumn is on the way…. And as they say…. Winter is coming, John Snow.
Thank you for reading,
I hope your autumn is full of reds and yellows, and full of beauty and gentle winds as well as stories told by the moon. If you listen hard enough you will hear her whispering them to the stars.
Amanda of Wildflower Farm