Fall is finally here, but in Chicago you wouldn’t necessarily know it right now. A few leaves are falling but the temps have been in the mid 80s for the past week or two. Even so, garden season is coming to an end. I still have tomato plants producing, lettuce and Swiss chard too. I don’t know what’s up with those carrots I planted last month though, but I’m going to give them another couple of weeks to get their act together. I also have one butternut squash hanging in there. Literally. As soon as it’s ripe the vine is coming out.
I would say my first attempt at urban gardening was a success. (You can read my previous post Grow Your Own: Urban Farming in a Raised Bed Garden for a more detailed explanation.) Growing my own vegetables served many purposes. The first purpose: it gave me a purpose. I was responsible for planting my seeds and getting them to grow. I was required to water and weed the garden on a regular basis. Having a garden to focus on is a good way to help you stay focused on other areas of your work and creative life. Taking care of a garden can help fight depression too.
I love fall. I love cool weather and the chance to keep the windows open after the hot and humid air conditioned months of July and August. I also like the cooler weather because it’s time to start cooking and baking more. Chilly weather is chili weather and homemade pizza weather and tomato sauce, lentil loaf and hearty soup weather too.
For me, fall is also a return to higher productivity. I get inspired to create again after the slog through August. No matter how many years (decades?) I have been out of school, August still feels like the end of something. It is the end of summer, sure, but more than any other season, for me there is sense of ending and a new beginning. Fall is a new beginning and I look forward to sharing more recipes, cooking ideas and money saving tips. Fall is also great bike riding weather, so don’t let the fact that summer is gone deter your from jumping on your bike to run errands or for exercise and exploration of your neighborhood, town or city.
Enjoy the Autumn weather, keep creating, stop starving!