good morning autumn

“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

unknown.

My heart is filled with joy at the quiet arrival of autumn. The harvest is nearing its end, and we’ve savored the last sweet dregs of summer’s nectar. The pantry is fuller than it was, the apple cheeks are rosy, and the mornings are getting meeker by the day. Now, it is time we focused on our woodstores. It is time we began the transition from outdoors to indoors and preparing for the coming cold.

To get ready for the rain.

Autumn is a time for growing still. The busyness of summer is coming to a close, and we are finally given the chance to slow down, to make time for the simpler, softer things. Autumn is the season of comfort, coziness, and all things ‘home’. To put it simply: a falling back, with the rains, the leaves, and the temperature.

We’ve all been so busy over the summer. The start of a new season feels like a goodbye. And yet it’s also the turning over of a new leaf.

The summer, for me, has been a whirlwind of excitement. I launched Rhythm & Green back in July and since then time seems to have simply flown by. And yet, so much has been achieved! There is always so much in store when you become rooted in seasonal living – there’s always something to be looking forward to. Autumn feels like a wave of relief, like I’m finally allowed to rest, to look after myself, and take a break. The shift in seasons has been more exhausting than usual and most days I find myself being completely burnt out. I’ve been looking forward to autumn since the end of august which I know is just not at all healthy, but I have simply been so excited for this opportunity to find peace in the fall. I truly am letting this new season act as a reminder to cultivate an inner quiet, a peace, and to notice the beauty amongst the decay.

My intention for the autumn is to focus on myself and grow inwardly.

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumn face.”

John Donne.

The past few weeks, outside of work, have been spent preparing for autumn as much as possible. There is always something to be doing at this time of year! To help keep on top of things, I decided to split my to-do list into categories. That way, I was sure to get the majority of things done.

To get ready for autumn I have been:

Building a winter apothecary – this year I’ve been trying something new and have started making batches of 4 thieves vinegar, fire cider, and rosehip syrup. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of homemade/herbal remedies and, after doing thorough research, have decided to try using these remedies for things like blocked sinuses, sore throats, and general wellbeing. Don’t worry, I will be taking necessary action if I get seriously ill over the winter and need to visit the doctors.

Preserving the last of summer’s profits – the pantry is full of goodies that I’ve been putting up (canning) over the past few weeks, my favourites among them being apple juice, apple jam, tomato salsa, pickled cucumbers, cabbage serve, pear sauce, and blackberry syrup. I managed to put up most crops that we couldn’t stay on top of over the summer and I just know that all of these goodies will taste delicious in the cold, dark months of winter.

Recipe testing day-in day-out – yes, this counts as getting ready for autumn! I am excited to announce that I am going to be launching an e-book this October and you guessed it, it’s a recipe book! I’m really looking forward to sharing my latest set of works with you all very soon and I hope that you love every single recipe as much as I do. As usual, all of my recipes are vegan, and I never publish a recipe that I don’t love. So, put it in your calendars folks and be on the look-out! I really appreciate your support.

Tending to our potager – I have been trying (and failing) to complete the ever-growing list of garden chores and harvest work that need doing around the place. The corn is still growing strong, our rhubarb is ripe at a really weird time of year (everything in our garden seems to think that it’s spring…), I’ve eaten about 50 too many apples, and am patiently waiting for the squash so that I can make soup. Other chores include repotting the lettuce and herbs into the greenhouse before the first frost, building more vegetable beds, clearing up the dead crops, and ordering fall/winter plants (we’re going to try growing our own garlic this year which I’m really excited for). The list goes on and on! I would absolutely love to hear what you’re up to in your garden as well – as always, windowsills count as gardens too!

Creating a home – homemaking is something that I really want to invest more time in over the coming months. An intention of mine over the winter is to learn how to knit so that I can make blankets for our sofas (the house gets cold very easily). To make our back porch (its not really a porch but I like to call it that) more ‘homey’, I recently purchased some autumn-blooming flowers (my favourites are the summering orange rudbeckia). I’ve also been investing time in perfecting my pie-making skills (really I just needed an excuse to eat pie more often) and I’ve been practicing a lot but still haven’t found a piecrust recipe that I love – if you have a good vegan one then please let me know!

Of course, the autumn brings with it an abundance of new fruits and vegetables too! Seasonal eating and seasonal living are things that I have been really investing my time in and I think it’s about time that more people were aware of the importance of this lifestyle.

Eating seasonally is a lost art.

I’ve talked before about being able to buy certain produce at crazy times of year. Today’s supermarkets and consumer systems focus too much on convenience and not enough on consciousness. When was the last time we all really thought about what we were buying? Or where it might have come from? I used to be someone who rarely thought about these things until quite recently. But, it has come to my attention that I should not be eating strawberries in December and that they don’t actually taste at all good at that time of year anyway. December has its own fruits! As do all the other months of the year.

I encourage you to enjoy what is seasonal, and a new season is the perfect place to start!

Here is a short list of the fruits and vegetables that are in season in autumn:

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts (after the first frost)
  • Cabbage
  • Cranberries (late November)
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Pumpkins
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips

The list goes on! This is only a few of the fruits and vegetables that are in season in autumn. To find out what’s in season for you throughout the months of the year, the easiest thing to do is to research a ‘seasonal produce calendar’ for a really easy-to-follow guide on what’s in and out of season each month. Of course, another great way of knowing what’s in season for you is to visit your local farmers markets and farm shops. The produce you buy at these places also has the added benefit of being locally grown and sourced, meaning that you’re also supporting your local small businesses.

Over the autumn, I’ll be sure to post a couple of seasonal eating blog posts and recipe for you to enjoy! If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see or if you have any questions, then please let me know! And if you try any of our recipe then be sure to tag us on Instagram @rhythmandgreen so we can see what you’ve been up to!

For me, autumn is going to be spent working quietly on creative projects, investing time in learning new things, and focusing on growing inwardly.

It is time that I learnt how to be still again.

I invite you to re-ground with me, and take things softly, along with the light of late September.

“…a distinct smell… a mixture of the dried leaves on the ground and the smoke from chimneys and the sweet ripe apples…”

Arlene Stafford Wilson.

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