Hints of Fall

The crisp breeze is blowing through the open window and rustling the curtains.  The heat of the day slips out the windows, and the house is refreshed with the clear, night air.  Although tonight is not the first night we’ve turned off the AC and slept with the windows open, it is the first night that it feels like fall.  Summer’s coming to an end and before we know it, we’ll be immersed in autumn.

I went in to school today and felt excited, rejuvenated by the summer and ready to go back to the job I love.  I ran into a few of last year’s students, there to give tours to incoming freshman.  They were as excited to see me as I was to see them.  I got to hear about their summer adventures and their excitement about coming back to new courses.  I’ll see a few of them in my electives, and I even have one girl doing an independent study in zoology, which will be fascinating for both of us.  My classroom is clean and fresh, and the greenhouse is empty and waiting for students to fill it with flowers and vegetables.

Yesterday I saw a maple tree beginning to change colors.  I was headed to my parents’ house to pick a few ears of corn for supper, and I gasped as I saw the vibrant yellows and oranges of the neighbor’s maple tree.  Is it that time already? As I drove up their driveway past the apple orchard, I spotted the hints of red on the Macouns, slowly ripening and waiting to be picked.  The pumpkins are beginning to turn orange in the field, and the cool fall nights will beckon for a slice of warm apple or pumpkin pie.

Fall at the farm is our busiest time.  Before long, our orchards will be filled with smiling families coming to pick apples and select the perfect pumpkin.  Children will delight in a hayride around the farm, through the orchards, down through the woods, by the river, and, for the first time, under the newly constructed covered bridge by the pond.  Families will share a run through the hay maze, sip cider and eat some pie a la mode or caramel apples.  My family members will spend our weekends at the farm, leaving each Saturday and Sunday night exhausted from the busy day.  We’ll take home the leftover pies, if there are any, and enjoy them.  We’ll each return to our normal jobs on Monday, knowing that unlike our coworkers, we did not have a restful weekend.  The reality of a New England farm is that we have to work hard to keep the doors open, and we all need to have other jobs.  The fall is the final leg of the marathon, until we close for the winter.

I love all of the New England seasons, but I especially like fall because it means back to school, foliage, apples, pumpkins, pies, hayrides, and fairs.  In addition, for the first time, I’m planning a fall garden.  So, while I’m sad to feel the chill in the air and know that my summer is over, I’m looking forward to fall.

11 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Local Agriculture, Outside

11 responses to “Hints of Fall

  1. I almost had a panic attack when I noticed the leaves changing around here this past week… but I am over it now. This only means that I will soon be swimming apples and pumpkins and CHRISTMAS is coming!!!!
    And I am incredibly jealous of your opportunity to teach biological studies, etc in such an awesome setting. When I graduated from college I was all set to thrill people with my instructional abilities in ecology, but alas and alack, none of the schools in this area were interested… AT ALL. So instead, I am teaching my niece’s and nephew and poor husband. 😀 Everyone else… well, I have to teach them spelling and grammar. So keep the classroom updates coming… I love reading about them!

  2. I don’t think people realize how many farmers have other jobs. Even here, with large acreage, there is usually a second imcome in the family to make it all work. If nothing else, the property taxes are killers!

  3. I just came across your blog through the APLS carnival and I feel right at home! I am in Colorado and starting to substitute teach this fall. My hope is that I will like teaching and then I will go back to school to get the equivalent of a BA in Biology and a Masters in teaching (I currently have a BA in Anthropology). I should have done this years ago, but I didn’t. As such, it is inspiring to read how much you love your job and it is very cool that you get to teach AP Ecology. I didn’t even realize that they offered that at the high school level!

    Cheers!

    Alison

  4. Believe it or not, I noticed a few red leaves on the trees behind our house here in Virginia. I love the autumn though, so I’m not too sad to bid summer adieu.

  5. farmersdaughterct

    Laura- I’m a big fan of Christmas, too. I love the decorations, the parties, and the snow, if we’re lucky enough to get it by then!

    Joyce- It’s true, everyone I know has a “real” job that pays and supports their farm “hobby.”

    Alison- Hello! Good luck with substitute teaching! I’ve done a little bit of subbing, but outside my content area and grade level was tough. If anything, it gives you the skills you need to control a classroom. I taught biology for 5 years, and this year I’m totally focused on environmental science and botany. I didn’t even know how much I liked it until I started teaching it! I wanted to teach anatomy and physiology when I was in college.

    Green Mamma- I forgot to mention holly when we were talking about winter plants. The berries are so vibrant and the leaves are shiny all year long.

  6. Melanie

    I just found your website while searching for lessons on sustainability. I too teach Environmental Science, along with Chemistry and Physical Science! I’m so jealous of your surroundings. In town Atlanta is nothing like a farm. And we don’t have any signs of color that is for sure. We are good at brining in local growers and hosting in-town farmers markets although they are rather small.

    I also checked out your dinner section! Yummy. I’m definitely going to try some of these out this weekend.

    -Melanie

  7. farmersdaughterct

    Hi Melanie! How hot is it in Atlanta now? You must be back at school already, right?

  8. Everyday woman

    Abbie,
    What a beautiful, poetic piece! You’ve captured fall on the farm so perfectfully! It’s so nice to hear about teachers feeling excited to go back to school! I feel exactly the same! Your students are so lucky to have such a dedicated, with-it teacher!

  9. Melanie

    Yes I’m already into the second week of school. I’m so excited about being able to teach E.S. this year since Earth and Atmospheric Science was my major.

    The weather has been fairly mild for August (86-90) compared to July when it was about 100. I do spend most of the day inside right now so my view is only from when I leave for work and get home which is pleasant. I love cold weather though so I can’t wait for fall and winter to get here.

    You are so lucky to be able to show your students a diverse climate. Plus they probably know when they predict a snow day it might actually happen unlike here.

  10. oh!! children in your apple orchard! I’m jealous. we don’t have any of those close enough for an easy trip with kids. it sounds wonderful.

  11. farmersdaughterct

    Melanie- Yes, we do have a few snow days a year. I hope for delays more, since we have to make up snow days at the end of the school year. Last year, we got out on June 23.

    GB- It’s nice, and the families have a lot of fun. I know my family gets a little tired of having people wandering all around our home, so we’re happy when the season’s over. Of course, now that I don’t live there I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

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