Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn harvest

Welcome, welcome, this season of the harvest, yellow leaves, crisp evenings, shorter days and longer evenings.  Welcome, this season of soups and chilies and soul-warming food that we look forward to reacquainting ourselves with.  Welcome, apples, pears and plums and simmering kitchens of sweet-smelling goodies.  Welcome migrating birds, who are stopping only long enough to fill their bellies before continuing on their long trek south. 

We welcomed autumn as a family this afternoon.  Shortly after lunch, we uncovered some very simple window art I had drawn up the evening before and the branch gnomes that stood guardians.  My hope is that these sweet gnomes will act as guardians for our nature bowl as well and that their little felt hats will change colour with the seasons.  We read We Gather Together:  Celebrating the Harvest Season.     

 We did a little harvesting of our own as well this afternoon.  We read the story of Benjie and the Turnip (from Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour), where Benjie learns to ask permission from the root gnome to pick the turnip he's tended all summer and would like to make a lantern with.  Our gnomes joined us in the carrot patch, and the children repeated the root gnome request...

Gnome, Gnome, good Gnome,
May I take your carrot home?

Now, the soup pot is simmering with chicken vegetable soup.  We'll enjoy a simple harvest meal of soup, cornbread, and applesauce tonight, followed by warm baths and a story by candlelight before bed.  While the children slumber, I'll continue my own harvest work...checking on the onions and peppers dehydrating, making what is hopefully the last batch of pickles, checking the ripeness of the pears and perhaps making a batch of pear chips tonight.  Tomorrow the work of the harvest will continue...tomatillo salsa, pasta sauce, canning pears, sourcing some plums for plum sauce and more canning.  I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed by all the work that lies ahead and that must be balanced with the needs of my little ones.  I'm optimistic they will be eager to help, as we continue to read, write and draw about the changing seasons around us and all they inspire.

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