Most people bid farewell to summer after Labor Day. That’s the end in the really summer for the most part – a last hurrah. It’s when many people and their families take their last possiblity to get away within the still warm weather. The children enjoy their last summer adventures before school begins. That last chance for the beach vacation or summer home to make memories together and think back on on the long cold winter ahead.
For me, that isn’t the end of summer. For me, summer really ends in October if the variety of local foods changes in the farm markets. The last of the peaches and nectarines vanish, not just a ground cherry rolling around in its thin, papery skin to wear anywhere. No more blackberries or raspberries attracting bees using their sweet scent. Catch your last fresh locally grown herbs if you possibly could before they’ve gone. To make them last, a whisper of summer, I buy several varied bunches and dry them out for a week or even more on paper towels. (They must be completely dry or they’ll go moldy.) Then I put them into glass jars to work with throughout the winter or until they are gone. No more fragrant baskets full of fresh basil and summer flowers. Say ‘bye-bye’ for the tables of heirloom, field and yellow tomatoes. The last Lima beans, corn, and carrots are leaving about the summer train.
Gone will be the myriad salads of summer, fresh cold fruit shakes. Finished include the backyard meals and shared laughter with friends over grilled seafood, chicken, hot dogs, burgers, steaks, ears of corn and vegetable kabobs. The pleasure of an ice cold beer along with a burger smothered in caramelized onions while using a lounge chair. We’ll ought to wait until next summer for these warm weather pleasures (but not the beer necessarily).
Now comes the new season of apples – Gala, Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Mutsu, Ida Red, Honey crisp plus much more. Parsnips, heads of cabbage and cauliflower, stalks of broccoli, asparagus, pumpkins and squash of countless varieties make their appearance. Jack-O-Lanterns are being cut and put on stairways and in windows. Children commence to anticipate Halloween, and it’s sweet candy corn they’ll seek. Cobwebs and spiders, skeletons and Ghouls… these and also the ghosties is likely to make them all shriek!
There’s that nip inside air that says have a care! It’s time to sign up for our heavier sweater or jacket for the first time since past Spring. The leaves for the trees have begun to change color. This is when I ought to acknowledge the summer months are truly gone. I look back sorrowfully on days when I could stroll across the street in just shorts as well as a shirt to my local farm market. I’d meander from stall to stall greeting the farmers, vendors, and neighbors I’ve come to know as I admired the colors, the wafting fragrances and types of foods while making my selections.