Fall is an amazing time of the year, one of my favorites. Nature surprises us with a gorgeous array of colors virtually overnight.
This year I started something new that I’ve wanted to do for years, but haven’t previously taken the time. It occurred to me a couple of months ago while walking the puppy early one morning that I wasn’t utilizing the time I was already spending outside with him.
He needed his morning walk and in my continual haste to get back to work/chores/family, etc, I was always in a hurry, tapping my foot impatiently for him to “do his business”, so I could go about my morning.
While I was “busy” hurrying, my sweet little lab literally stopped to smell a newly blooming passionflower that had appeared overnight. He didn’t just smell one, he walked along the entire row of them, smelling each one and it was the first time I had noticed they were all in bloom.
Not only the passionflowers but the moonflowers too; the persimmon trees lining our property were already growing heavy with small green fruits. Thus, it finally dawned on me to keep a journal of the progress of the plants, fruit tree’s, etc that are available around me.
Each morning when I walk the dog, I make a note of the changes, the ripening of the persimmons, the neighbors’ fig trees whose branches grow heavier with fruit each day, the blackberry brambles that I hadn’t noticed until it was too late to enjoy their offerings.
It is amazing what one notices when time is taken to stop and smell the flowers, or the sweet muscadines and scuppernongs that have ripened beneath the vines, nearly unnoticed.
It’s easy to flip back through the pages and tag the best time of year for harvesting herbs, fruits, and vegetables. I also jot down the prices of items at the farmers market in this journal.
Earlier in the summer (late June) a 25lb box of tomatoes was $12, in early September, only $7.
Jalapeño peppers were available in July, but I couldn’t locate a single one in early September. In my cheapie journal, I tag the best deals with colored post-it stickies, yellow for the farmers market, green tabs for the items growing right in my backyard. I write 2-3 things on the tabs, the item that is ready & the date (& occasionally the price)
Example: Tomatoes ~ 9/6/08 ~ $7.
That way when I am looking for something in particular, I don’t have to read the past entries completely.
Making a note of these little differences saves our family hundreds of dollars a year.