To everything, there is a season, unless you live in the burbs and the seasons are totally obscured by shipments from Mexico and California.
Reduces Your To Do List
Pioneer homesteaders lived seasonally. There were no tomatoes in the winter, no acorn squash in May. In the burbs, though, we can have anything we want almost any day of the year. While this flexibility allows us the freedom to have salsa in the winter, it also means that there’s no OFF season for something. There’s no time when you say, well, it’s too late for THAT, I’ll think about it again in nine months. It never leaves the list of possible options and too many options make life overwhelming! The mental to-do list grows and grows and GROWS.
I was talking to an acquaintance yesterday about bees. She wants to talk to the bee people and set up a hive. It’s one of the many things on her mental to do list and it would sit there until she got around to it. But unless she already has a hive set up, ordered bees last November, or a friend caught a swarm for her last month, it’s too late to worry about bees this season. Sweet! One less thing to worry about right now.
Reduces Your Costs
Buying up all the apples in APPLE SEASON and knowing how to store them through the winter reduces the cost of apples throughout the off season. You already have them in your attic. Preserving sweet potatoes during SWEET POTATO SEASON means that you can have sweet potatoes fries year round for $.25 a pound.
And choosing a season for your crafting allows you to buy in bulk as well. It’s much more economical to plan out your needs for a particular craft and shop once a year when everything is on sale, than to run to the store every two weeks.
But How Do I Do It?
Well, I can provide some basic guidelines that I use to set up my year.
Baby animals arrive, baby plants arrive, eggs, honey, and milk start revving up for the year. This is the heavy lifting time for the garden and the barn. Baby animals need more care than grownups. Baby plants too, but by summer, it’s just harvest, harvest, harvest.
While I have the canner out and the mountain of freezer bags handy, I just do it all. Herbs, summer fruits, pesto, the works. And while the mama cows are producing the most milk, it’s time to make the cheese. And summer is the time to order your grass fed meats before the October slaughter.
Fall: DIY Season
If you give teacher presents, your soap needs to be curing at Halloween. While we’re doing that, might as well get all the crocheted washcloths done, the household cleaning supplies mixed, the lip balm and body butter set for the year. And it’s the last chance for fresh eggs or raw milk soaps and lotions. And since your grass fed meat just arrived, it’s time to make the bacon and jerky for the year. While you’re out and about, be sure to pick up any clean bags of leaves you see. Tis the season for hoarding!
Winter: Wood Season
Building, planting trees, lasagna bed making, ordering animals. This is the time to get out the catalogs and be thinking about next year’s garden, bees, rabbits, chicks, goats, or what-have-you. Get your research done and your orders in before they sell out. If you’re going to build a hive or a bunch of raised beds, now is the time. Get all those bags of leaves out you robbed from the neighbors and start layering for next spring. If you want to put in that new apple tree or cut down that old pine, do it before the sap starts running again.
Now, all of this might sound like way too much, but you can build your own seasonal rotation based on your own habits and hobbies and sports. Maybe you have to attend game after game in a certain season and you can get all the knitting done for Christmas. Maybe you don’t garden at all but you do something else that puts you in touch with a person who has mountains of pears; that can be drying season for you. The important thing is not just to establish an ON season, but to establish an OFF season. Deadlines are good for us accomplishing things, and additionally good for us letting things go once they pass.
Simple living isn’t simple if the to do list never ends.
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