Eric and I build a small bonfire outside at least once a week. We sit around it and talk, share stories, play our banjo and ukulele, respectively, and throw all of our stresses and negativity into the fire. Fire is a cleansing spirit, a powerful thing that can get out of control if not treated with respect.
I use the fire to clean things physically, too. Stale herbs, stems from herbs recently harvested, tree trimmings and even some of our old personal papers get added to the flames.
As the days get darker, what do you do to keep yourself in the light? Even if it is just a simple candle, I encourage you to use fire as a tool for meditation, for scrying and divination, and just for the simple, comfroting golden light that has been with our species for a long time. It’s far different from the glaring light from our myriad of screens, and has a very different story to tell us.
October is also the time where Asheville and our surrounding areas prepare for our first frost. The plants are being tidied and tucked away, yard plants getting leaf mulch to keep them a bit warmer over winter, and the pruning of the orchard is right around the corner. It’s also a great time to plant winter sown crops, including….
I haven’t tried growing my own garlic yet. Because we just moved here and are working to get to know the property and get settled in for winter, I’m not going to sow any this year. Hopefully, I’ll be ready for it this time next year!
Sow True Seed is a company located here in Asheville. They are a great source of seed garlic (especially if you are in the Western North Carolina area, their realm of expertise!). They are also currently having a sale on some seeds and garden kits.
High Mowing Organic Seeds is another reputable seed company, and they are having a garlic-related giveaway. 🙂 Enter to win a book, The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks by Ted Jordan Meredith, and a handy garlic press!
I need to get to the farmer’s market and get a few heads of freshly cured local garlic so I can get a new big batch of Fermented Garlic together – I’m running low!
October is also a great time to start lining up the winter projects. Utilitarian tasks that need some attention include sharpening knives, oiling and polishing our boots, and cleaning and oiling garden tools as you store them away for winter.
Fall and winter is also a great time for personal crafts and making art. I’ve been beading again, and coloring, and finding all sorts of forgotten and half-started projects to play around with. We’ll often put on a lecture or documentary and craft merrily for hours!
Crafting and Projects
My friend Kim from “Under the Kimfluence” has made a tutorial on how to make a hooded shawl from a fleece blanket. It’s easy enough for a beginner like me to follow, and it looks so warm and cozy!
Simple Remedies for Cold and Flu Season – The lovely folks at Schneider Peeps have put together a 4-module course to help you prepare for the sniffles this winter. From smelling salts to syrups, preparing these now might spare you a trip to the drugstore when you get the aches and pains of a winter cold. Check it out! Both a physical book and ebook are available.
Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living has a new, free e-course starting this November! It is a short course, 7 emails in 7 days, so it isn’t a huge obligation during this shifting season. If you want a gentle guide to connecting with the rhythms of the Earth during the shortened days of autumn and winter, go sign up today.
One of the ways I get through fall and winter slumps is by baking. I’ve even managed to keep a sourdough starter alive! Thanks to Dawn from Tree of Life Apothecary for sending it to me.
I have successfully kept a #sourdough starter alive for a whole week! And baked something once. A whoooole new wooooorld….this starter was shared w/me by Dawn of Tree of Life Apothecary: https://www.facebook.com/tolapothecary #fermentation #pixiespocket #fermentedfoods #fermentALLTHETHINGS #mmmbread #breadisgood