The autumn season arrives at its mid-point in early November, when we return to Standard Time and clean out the garden. While the sun seems to tilt to the south, my querencia includes the Growers Markets all through the area, to exchange smiles with farmers and buy local squash, beans, chile and apples. Upcoming seasonal market days are posted in COMMUNITY EVENTS until Nov. 9.
Halloween has changed over the years, with fewer homes and neighborhoods embracing “Trick or Treat!” and community organizations taking up the slack with indoor events. Social norms may change, but the pleasure of displaying ourselves in costumes hasn’t budged. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated with altars and the Marigold Parade through the next week. One of my favorite memories includes Halloween nights in chilly upstate New York, when all the kids would walk the local streets as dusk became very, very dark, with real jack-o-lanterns and lit doors welcoming us at many houses. While walking, I watched the sky turn dark, and began to love the night.
If you have real pumpkins this week, share the remains at the Pumpkin Smashing Festival at the International District Community Garden on Nov. 2. Celebrate fall, contribute to their composting system, and be part of a community project in the Southeast Heights.
Our gardens and farms hold beauty as the process of decomposition becomes apparent. In our arid landscape, compost is an essential component of productive soil. Start composting this fall, when there are plenty of plant materials to mix with your kitchen’s green waste. Collect dry leaves and store them in a wire cage or in a pile covered by a tarp. Do some research to select your composting method before you start; composting classes and useful information are easy to find at Bernalillo County Master Composters.
Too much plant material to handle? Ask a gardening neighbor if they can use it to build up their compost piles. The City picks up brushy and leafy plant materials on green waste pick-up days for their compost and mulching operations, which is a better way to decompose than in the landfill!
What’s your activity to participate in the changes of autumn and care for your favorite place?