RAIL FENCING AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE on the familiar hills along Hwy 97.

Autumn means the harvest is here

Hard to believe that Summer is over and Fall has begun, but it's not all bad news.

Somebody please tell the grasshoppers that gardening season is winding down – it’s time to move on. Like the osprey and other migratory birds and animals.

I know that we had a summer because I’m picking ripe tomatoes and chili peppers from my garden these days, and looking nervously at the calendar, hoping that this year’s frost is going to be a late one.

Friends in Venables Valley tell me that they’ve already had their season-ending frost. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it’s hit some of the higher elevations as well.

Hard to believe that Autumn just arrived. We should have another month or two to enjoy our gardens, our decks and backyards.

Although “the weather” has been early this year – Spring was early, the heat came early…. – I’m holding out for a late frost. Late, as in November. Maybe even December.

Believe it or not, even way up in the north country, Hudson’s Hope, the frost didn’t come until December one year. The snow came on time, but not that hard frost. That year – 1992, I think – it even rained on Christmas Eve. Very strange.

Then again, the year after, we had an early frost in August. Guess that’s what you call evening the score. There were a lot of sad faces around town that week.

Judging by the fruit stands and Farmers Markets around the local area, it’s been a good growing season. Horstings Farms in Cache Creek is open again, and along with Desert Hills in Ashcroft, we have a joyful abundance of locally-grown fruit and vegetables, for which we are enormously thankful.

Delicious locally-grown peaches, pears, apples and plums are being traded by locals who have a surplus on their backyard trees, and maybe the resulting deserts will find their way onto our tables at Thanksgiving.

Yes, October is closer than you want to believe! But October means pumpkin pie, so it’s all good.

And then, because we’re crazy, we’re all going to start planning our gardens for next year. Grasshoppers and all.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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