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October

Today is the first day of the best month. The earth is settling into a quiet rest with one last party to bid farewell to all of her rowdy summer guests. She's hung out the best colors on every mountain top, dressed the ponds and fields in tasteful morning fog, and planned a star show to woo the masses. By mid month, she'll put forth her final harvests to feed us all through winter. Chestnuts, acorns, autumn olive, apples, persimmons! They're all here, feeding any who seek them.

It's time again to clean out the chimney and carry wood to the porch in preparation for the days that just won't get warm enough to heat the house up. 50 feet of row cover arrived this week to cover the smaller front gardens as we receive our first few frosts later this month, and we're planning a pig butchering in less than a week. It's funny how old fashioned our lives sound as we follow the path of ancestral footsteps laid down by necessity before we were even born.

The seasons dictate their own order of business. In fall, we butcher, the temperature keeps the meat cool as we work, and lessens the flies. In summer, we feast on abundance and pack the pantry. In winter, we eat from the pantry and a simple winter garden. This isn't new in any way, even though it's new to most of today's knowledge bank. Before the grocery stores trucked in produce from all over the planet, people simply grew it in their backyards. It feels good, and natural, to be falling back into this seasonal embrace. It takes a lot of the burden of decisions off of us.

As we ebb and flow with the patterns of October tradition, this is the fun month. Birthday picnics, weekend foraging trips, FolkFest at the local college, and gatherings with fellow farmers as we all pitch in to get each other ready for winter. None of us turn down the invite to the Autumnal party, and soon? We'll rest.

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