Every season has its special, unique things. Fall is no different. Make the most of these unique things with these 10 simple ways to enjoy Autumn.
Gather Rose Hips
These fruits are some of the most amazing (and most often overlooked) parts of fall. They're healing and tasty. Dry them for use in tea, turn them into jelly or syrup.
Preserve Winter Squash
Winter squash is a notoriously long-storing vegetable. There's no need to create extra work unless one starts to get soft. However, they tend to be large and finding ways to use the extra bits is always a good idea. Freeze leftover winter squash and use it for a pumpkin pie inspired smoothie. Dehydrate it into pumpkin pie leather.
Roast those Squash Seeds
Don't let those winter squash seeds go to waste. Roast some. Do it simple – preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Roast for about 40 minutes stirring now and then being careful not to scorch. Remove from the oven when they get a light brown and crunchy texture. Let cool and then store in airtight container. Seasoning choices are endless go with your favorites.
Dip Leaves into Wax
Melt some paraffin or beeswax in a double boiler. Dip colorful leaves into the wax then hang the leaves from a string (over some newspaper) and let it dry. String the leaves together for some colorful garland. Write names on the leaves before dipping and use them for place cards. Use the dipped leaves as part of a table centerpiece around some candles.
Dig Up Some Medicinal Roots
Fall is a great time to dig up medicinal roots. This is the time of year that plants put their energy into the roots, making them chock full of beneficial properties. Dandelion root tea can help cleanse the liver. Make a tincture of echinacea roots to boost the immune system during a cold. Create a spicy tonic with horseradish root and other vegetables. Use a tincture of valerian root to ease insomnia.
Save a Few Seeds
Gather a few seeds from a favorite flower, vegetable, or fruit and save it for next year. Start with easy things – marigolds, calendula, peas, and beans for example. Keep and dry a few seeds from a favorite winter squash variety. This doesn't have to be enough to fill a full garden, but having a few to plant next year or give away to gardening friends is always a treat.
Fall is apple season. Applesauce is one of the easiest things to make and it takes nothing more than apples and water. Cook until soft, mash or puree and done. Applesauce can be canned or frozen to eat later. It's worth having some in the pantry for snacking and baking.
Plant a Tree or Perennial
This is a great time to get deals at the local nursery or greenhouse on plants. Take advantage of a sale on a tree or perennial and plant it before the ground freezes. Planting now gives the plant time to establish strong roots so that it can bloom and fruit better in future seasons.
Fall truly is the ideal season for planting trees and the fact that many go on sale makes it a bit easier to get a home orchard established.
Go See the Color
Take the drive, go for the hike, or simply stroll around the neighborhood to take in the fall foliage. Be in awe of nature's wonders. This simple, unplugged activity can do wonders for the body and the brain. Take it all in, before the colors disappear for a year.
Take in the Community Events
Go to the harvest festivals and drink copious amounts of freshly pressed cider. Do the corn maze. Take the hayride. Pick apples at a local orchard. Save and preserve what is available. More importantly, make connections that build a stronger community into the future. Talk with the farmers and other patrons, get to know to neighbors and other community members to build a town that is strong and friendly.
As the seasons change and Autumn works its way to winter, be sure to take it all in. Enjoy Autumn by just getting outside and taking advantage of the foods and pleasures that are unique to this season.