Wild, unkempt pumpkin vines transcend the imposed lines of the wood chip walkway; mammoth sunflower heads bow to the sun from the weight of its seeds; the fruit of the chile plant shifts from emerald green to deep red as it basks in the radiating light of our high desert sky. Monsoon season has ended and as the plants prepare for the coming changes, sending thanks first for the cleansing summer months of moisture and humidity, we prepare too. It is fall in the garden: a time of balance and harmony, a time for celebration, and most importantly a time for learning from the rituals of the natural world.
As we stroll through the garden space, which has been gifting us hundreds of pounds of produce a week, we observe the varying degrees of appearance of our plant friends. The broccoli sprout is peaking up from below the soil, anxious to start harvesting the warmth of the sun. The sunflowers no longer appear majestic and powerful and are prepared to share their seed.
Saving seed is a sacred tradition that has carried our people through the ages. In the transitional edge of the fall garden there are infinite opportunities to pass on this knowledge. The radiant sunflower head is a vehicle to discuss life, death, rebirth, and everything in between. Our plant counterparts are just like us, transitioning from young seedlings to awkward teens to mature fruiting beings and eventually back to the Earth, providing a beautiful display of the dynamic nature of life.
The fall garden reminds us to give thanks to the Earth and prepare for the long winter ahead. Winter squash and pinto beans are gleaned to sustain us over the frigid months, providing us the ingredients needed to cook together even when the temperature is below freezing. Root crops, cocoas, and stouts become our sustenance. We say good bye to long, warm days and flowers in bloom and tip our hats to the heavier, more filling things in life.
Cheers to the seasonal shift and all that it may bring to you.