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Fall in New Hampshire
People travel from all over the world to enjoy New Hampshire's Autumn splendor and it's right outside our front doors! Take some time this fall to appreciate the many sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of New England fall - bright leaves, marigolds, and pumpkins; honking geese and crunching leaves, hot cider, and crisp apples. There is still a veritable smorgasbord available from local farms in Autumn - apples, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, corn, greens, onions, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, and turnips - and lots of local fairs and festivals to enjoy.
IN THE KITCHEN: PUTTING UP
There was a time when everyone in New Hampshire would have known how to make apple butter, berry and fruit jams, tomato sauces, pickled vegetables, and every kind of preserved food. Channel your ancestors and save some of this seasonal goodness in your pantry to enjoy all winter. You can also store potatoes, pumpkins, winter squashes, onions, garlic, carrots, and apples grown here in New Hampshire. And thanks to freezers, we can also save fresh berries, peppers, broccoli, corn, and tomatoes from the summer to use in cooking and baking.
IN THE GARDEN: PUTTING TO BED
In the Autumn, we need to put our gardens to bed for their winter dormancy, but don't worry about raking all those leaves. It turns out they are good for the soil, for the animals, and for the insects we need in our garden. As you cover your garden with leaves or mulch of some kind, don't forget to plant your garlic on Halloween so it'll be ready to harvest next summer! Want to keep growing? I have ben able to grow kale outside through most of the winter using low tech methods, but, if you have the resources, an unheated or solar heated greenhouse will let you grow many cool season crops all winter.
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
Autumn means school and school means pencils, paper, backpacks, lunches, and shoes. Instead of buying new this year, choose high quality used clothing, shoes, and jackets. Fill your kids' lunch boxes with local food, unpackaged snacks, and a reusable water bottle. When it's time to send in a snack for the class, choose to bake cookies or cupcakes in reusable silicone liners instead of sending packaged snacks. Want more back to school ideas and products? Visit this post.
Mabon and Thanksgiving are two of our favorite holidays because they are all about being grateful for the bounty we have been given and spending time with the family and friends we love. We can decorate with natural elements like pumpkins, fall flowers, and berries and we can eat lots of delicious, warm foods like roasted root vegetables, baked beans, fresh bread and local cheese, squash soup, pumpkin and apple pie, homemade apple sauce, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, fresh-squeezed Concord grape juice, and local wines.
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