As I write this column on a scorching hot day in mid-August. The thermometer says it’s 107°, but still, I am dreaming of fall. I love the fall season–the coolness of a fall breeze on an October day is a blessing after a long and blistering hot summer full of grasshoppers and thousands of acres of land burned to a crisp from forest fires. This year we had millions of grasshoppers and little rain.

As I harvest the last of the tomatoes and green peppers from my garden and pick the last of the summers bounty of strawberries, I am thankful for what has been given to us this year. We escaped the hailstorms that devastated so many crops and pastures and the wild fires that destroyed anything the hailstorms left behind.

This is the time of year when I begin gathering things to use for fall crafting and the upcoming Christmas gifting. I also go into full mode fall cleaning. The days are so much cooler and I find I can stay on task longer without having to stop and take a breather. It’s time to move the plants from the greenhouse back to the house for winter. This means it’s also time for repotting and pruning. I have some old-fashioned geraniums–the kind that will get very tall if you don’t give them ‘a haircut’ once in a while. I inherited these from my mother, who had received them from a friend years and years ago.

The Farmer’s Markets are filled with baskets of late tomatoes, all manner and kinds of squash and pumpkins, late corn and of course, the decorative corn I love to stand alongside the old cream can by my dining room doors. If I can find a pumpkin or two to put next to the cornstalks, I truly feel like fall has finally arrived.

This is also the time of year when many small towns host their annual craft fairs. I love to see what new things have been made from ‘what’s on hand’. Last year, I found several gifts made from old barn wood and barbed wire. These were really beautiful, and I am so glad someone has the imagination to reuse these materials.

I also found some wonderful crocheted hats for my grandkids. There were so many colors I had a hard time choosing which ones to purchase. These hats are warm, wash like a dream and can be carried in a pocket to use when the cold north wind comes blasting down.

I have a notion to make some bird feeders from straw wreaths and the big sunflower heads I collected from my brother’s field. I wire the head in the middle of the wreath and then fasten millet and wheat heads around the outside.  Hung in a tree, these bird feeders attract all kinds of visitors in the winter when food is hard to find.

October is also the time of year when those who heat their home with wood are busy cutting up fallen trees and hauling in huge pickup loads of logs to run through the splitter. These are then stacked in long rows and ready for the blast of cold from the north. Sure, it’s backbreaking work–but when it’s negative 20 degrees below zero, that big woodpile is a comforting sight and the heat is wonderful!

In October, the small grain harvest is done and farmers are busy putting the machinery to bed for the winter, doing any needed repairs so when the new season rolls around they are ready to roll.

Make sure you take the time to enjoy the fall season and that beautiful Hunter’s Moon this October.

Till next time,

Paula


by Paula Vogelgesang | Paula Vogelgesang is the author of the monthly column "Pennywise", and is a monthly contributor to the Farm And Livestock Directory. Email her at [email protected].  Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond.