Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Most Difficult Time Of The Year

   I imagine seasons go by for some folks as little more than a change in the weather. Some have yard work, some have professional challenges that change with the season. When I lived on the SE coast, fall was the beginning of the end of tourist season and the start of college season, meaning a significant shift in material as an entertainer. In the NW, it means the end of the outdoor season and more business for entertainment.

   Trying to eat locally and live sustainably, it's a whole new world. This is the time of year when the ant and the grasshopper begin to haunt a person. This year's growing season was not great and optimists like myself were caught off-guard as September passed. Fortunately we had access to local produce. We were able to use our garden to supplement canning projects as we had no real excess of our own. We also made a point to stock up on basics like beans, rice, flour, pasta, sugar, and salt for a few bucks.

   Still, there is much to be done. I harvested a couple cords of hardwood for the woodstove, but we still need more -- preferably some seasoned fir or other softwood for kindling. Onions and carrots in the garden need to be harvested for beef stew to be canned. Egg production has dropped off dramatically with the hens as the days grow shorter and darker. The maple tree will continue to dump leaves for the compost pile for a while. The freezer needs re-stocked either from the butcher shop (and the cushion fund was spent on vacation earlier this month) or by elk or late deer season. The latter, of course, just requires a serious time commitment (and a bit of luck). At this moment, I don't really care about Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. I just want to stock the pantry.

   Of course, by January it will all be out of my hands. We'll take stock of what we have and live accordingly because there's really nothing else we an do until spring.

   That is when I'll be able to relax.

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