There are so many reasons to love October or specifically Fall...
It's my favourite season for a lot of personal reasons (wedding anniversary, birthdays, important milestones), but the best things about Autumn/Fall are pretty much universally acknowledged: Leaves crunching under brand new boots. Wrapping up in a snuggly scarf. The smooth feel of chestnuts in your pocket.
The gorgeous light this time of year highlights the contrasts all around...
My kids personify the contrasts of autumn in the way they eagerly and almost obsessively collect every last walnut or hazelnut from the ground but still moan and groan and feign deathly illness at the prospect of picking up their toys!!! It's uncanny.
A PUMPKIN ALTERNATIVE...
If you've never been apple-picking, this should be the year you try it. Our local apple orchard has kiddo-sized trees and gives little hands a very Important Job. Last year, we picked about 10 crates worth and kept them in our garage for a good few months. They lasted us until well past Christmas, but by then we were using them for pies and apple sauce, mostly.
I usually try to decorate the house according to the seasons, just because it's not something I grew up with. We only ever decorated for Christmas when I was a kid, but that really made the season magical. So why not do this all year round? I'm especially big on bringing the outdoor world into the home, so I usually take bouquets from our garden, though sunflowers and zinnias are not the longest-lived cut flowers. But it doesn't matter. Having a constantly changing floral arrangement keeps things interesting. And the littles learn so much from it! All I need to hear is, "What's that yellow dust coming off the flowers, Mommy?" to launch in on my highly educational lecture on pollination and the circle of life. Cue Mufasa!
At this time of year we have an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini and pumpkins (primarily decorative, but I'm sure you could eat them if you really had a mind to). I wish I could say the secret to a great garden is something other than having a fantastic gardener for a husband, but lucky for me, I can't. He does all the work and I reap all the rewards. But I feel like the opposite was true when I gave birth to three kids, so maybe now we're even.
But I think having a pumpkin patch is do-able if you have the right conditions. Unfortunately, you can't really do a window-box pumpkin garden, but if you have a yard with some room to spare, it's worth planting some pumpkin seeds. (for details check out my How to Plant a Pumpkin Patch in 6 Easy Steps article.
My child-like enthusiasm for my garden is perhaps because I have three small kids and I love to see them enjoying it. But it's super easy to turn a pumpkin garden into about a million teaching moments: counting, colors, sorting, shapes, differential equations, I could go on. And seeing their proud little faces as they diligently harvest every last pumpkin is the stuff of mommy blog dreams. We had a huge pile of pumpkins and then took so many pictures of our offspring posing cutely among the gourds, but of course as soon as it was time to actually pick them all up and bring them to the house the kids disappeared like leaves from a tree. And that's how you know that autumn really is everywhere.