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How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. ~John Burroughs
I love this quote. We can actually learn a lot from nature on how best to live out our life.
This year, though, leaves aren’t full of their usual brilliant color. It is November 4th and so many leaves are still on the trees, some of which haven’t even started to change! “Peak” time for leaf-peeping used to be Columbus Day! What difference does it make, we say? Well – with the most recent Nor’easter, or “Stormtober” as the newscasters coined it, on the East Coast, the heavy wet snow sitting on green leaves was a devastating combination – trees and large limbs are down everywhere, power outages are still going on. Even though my husband is an arborist and maintains our trees meticulously, we lost several giant limbs from our beautiful, majestic silver maple! The crack of those limbs falling on our deck was shocking! This isn’t the natural order of things – the first snowstorm before the first frost, shoveling snow before raking leaves?! Scary and strange……. And we need our big trees!
Is this a symptom of climate change? Do what you can to cut your carbon emissions. Simple steps do make a difference. To read more about carbon footprints, click here.
For greener ways to clean up your yard this fall, click here.
Image by Tony Libby
Autumn’s crisp blue sky and the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges of the trees make it a special time of year. Fall is also harvest time when the growing season ends and mature crops are gathered. The cranberry harvests on Cape Cod are a sight to behold. CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and Farmer’s Markets are winding down and farmers put their fields to bed and get some much-needed rest from the busy season.
This year, think about eating locally as much as possible throughout the fall and winter. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Markets, mostly root vegetables, apples and cranberries in New England, and store them in your basement or cold storage area.
Canning and freezing are great ways to extend the life of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a garden, you probably already know how to make and can fresh tomato sauce, applesauce, jellies and jams with the abundance of summer fruits. Herbs freeze well too, so gather some before the first frost. “Fresh” herbs are a welcome surprise to winter dishes.
Eating locally all yearlong is getting easier with winter CSAs and winter Farmer’s Markets. Many communities now offer them.
Eating organic food grown locally is important for many reasons – its fresher, more nutritious, supports local farmers and requires less oil because it is not transported far and grown organically. As Barbara Kingsolver says in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, (a wonderful book about her family’s experience eating only seasonal and local food for one year – I highly recommend it.), “If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. … Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast.”
Celebrate autumn and the harvest this year and enjoy great food all year long.
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence
Autumn is a beautiful and very special time of year. In this fast-paced, high tech world of ours, unplug and take a look around. It’s good for the soul.
I recently read an excellent article in the Huffington Post by Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, called “What the Environmental Movement Can Learn From the Wall Street Zombies”, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-rogers/what-the-environmental-mo_b_994964.html) that really struck a cord with me. In it she says, “We need to ask ourselves why, given our extraordinarily long list of scientific facts about the likelihood that we are destroying our planet, can we not engender the type of reactions and feelings that are certainly everywhere on Wall Street.” Is it that the environmental movement is too vast, too confusing, too threatening to our way of life, too threatening to big business, too scary? This Native American proverb simplifies the issue,
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American Proverb
We must each do our part to protect it.
In addition to my weekly green tip, I am now adding green tip quotes. I love quotes and proverbs – they are so wise and simple and to the point. Let me know what you think, and if you have a pertinent quote, send it to me and I’ll check it out for posting! Here I go -
When my sisters and I discussed any contemporary political, economic or social issue with my elderly mother with Alzheimer’s, she would remark, “This is nothing new.” And, she was usually right, as this old New England proverb about “green” living exemplifies…
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”