Two big seasonal firsts this week here on the farm: the first frost of the cold season, which has been followed by several more. Which means that we are officially done with the extended summer offerings! Along with the frosts came weather than seemed to plunge us forward several weeks, from that crisp late summer glow into some truly frigid, gray days. Fall is really here!
And, so thus came our second “first” — the building and lighting of the first fire in our house’s wood stove. Even though that first fire marks the end of easy, warm days (and the start of daily work of splitting and hauling wood), we are always so excited to see our home transformed into a deeply cozy space. Since our cat Nelson’s passing, we’ve invited farm cat Mokum to come back inside again occasionally. And so, the five of us snuggled up in front of the fire, soaking in the inner warmth of the cold season.
The third “first” was a result of the growing darkness. On clear nights in the winter, our family likes to take sleeping bags outside and lie and look at the stars. It’s a special winter treat because in the summer it’s light too late for the kids’ bedtimes (and the sky is often less clear because of summer dust, smog, and smoke). Casey and the kids went out for their first sky-gazing session last week while I did Zoom-choir.
These three returns to the cold season all felt so festive and welcome. January and February can be rough seasons, when the cold and the gray has lost all appeal. But this time of year, it feels fresh and restful after a summer full of very full days, heat, and lots of activity. I’ve been spending more time curled up with a book again (recent faves were Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor and The Great Believers: a novel by Rebecca Makkai). This weekend we read spooky stories around an outdoor campfire, something I’m so excited the kids are actually ready and excited for now (it feels like one of those milestones that should be in a Baby Book … first steps, first words, first listening to scary stories around a campfire).
As we go into this next level of fall, I am trying to keep my focus on all these things we can still do to be present in this phase of our life in this season. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s an important things for me to remember as I look at the calendar and see blanks where in previous years we would have gone trick-or-treating with friends or attended big family gatherings. We will still find meaningful versions of these seasonal markers, some of them with family (we are bubbled with my parents, which is a continual blessing) or at a distance with friends (Zoom games! Phone calls! the occasional outdoor visit!).
I hope that you too have found some small or big seasonal delights amidst this rapidly changing season and landscape. Enjoy this week’s [very autumnal!] vegetables!
Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla
~ ~ ~
Dates for your calendar
- Final CSA pick-up ~ Thursday, Nov. 12 (place orders by Tuesday as usual)
- Thanksgiving Holiday Harvest ~ Tuesday, Nov. 24, 3-5 pm (place orders by Sunday evening before)
- Winter Holiday Harvest ~ Friday, Dec. 18, 3-5 pm (place orders by Wednesday evening before)
~ ~ ~
Meet this week’s vegetables: