September is a changing month in the Midwest. Each year when it arrives, we witness transformations - some not so subtle - in the weather and environment. Leaves are tipped with gold and warm afternoons give way to sweater-wrapped evenings. Summer’s coming to a close which means our winter prep is about to begin in earnest. Sure, we’ll still have some divinely comfortable days enjoying our backyards and One Small Gardens, but today heralds the time to start the transition to the quieter months of the year.
This week, we’ll pull the last of our summer fruits and veggies from our raised beds, reinvigorate the soils and seed for cold weather growth. By raising the nutrient level in our gardens with nourishing compost and starting new seeds, we keep the soils living all winter long. Spinach and kale will be staples in our fall and winter dishes, as will the foods we canned or froze recently. As the tilting earth shifts, so does our rotation of home-grown seasonal foods. When we take cues from the earth in this way, we tune in at a primal level. It helps us to connect with the cycle that promotes growth and supports all living things.
The first day of Autumn comes with the recognition that the small changes we see are going to add up to a big fall in the next month or so. Summer’s vibrant leaves will surely begin to make their way back down to the ground to provide vital nutrients to the tree roots below. These leaves can do the same for your compost pile, so don’t throw them away! Composting is a simple way to reuse what your yard has to offer you - add in your plant-based kitchen scraps, and you are well on your way to creating beneficial compost for next winter’s garden!
Indeed, Autumn is a time when we embrace the breakdown and decay of that which has flourished in these past few warmer months. And we look forward with grateful hearts for a summer well-spent with our One Small Gardens that gave us so much again this year. With the busy holiday season just around the corner, we hope you take a moment to reflect and honor this turning point as you embark on your own colorful journey through Fall! 🍂🍁