The gutters have been cleaned, in advance of the last curbside pickup of leaf bags and the last Saturday that the town’s compost site was open. The garage has been flipped from workshop to, well, garage and two cars are now parked where projects rested on sawhorses a few weeks ago. Two cords of wood have been received and stacked by my editor (she insists on doing that job herself) and several other racks of firewood are seasoned and ready for the stove. We have had the first fire in the woodstove. The garden shed is in disarray but the snow blower will soon take center stage.
But these aren’t the only signs that winter is approaching.
Things are missing. Things have been moved. Those telltale seasonal items are out, and doors – are – closed.
Things that are missing include outdoor displays. Oh the hardware store might roll a snow blower out during open hours and there might be a pile of “one-night fire” firewood in the entry way at the grocery store, but storefronts are pretty bare. The seasonal displays, for those of you in the warmer climes, include 40 pound bags of salt, unfreezable windshield washer fluid and shovels of all shapes and sizes.
Of the doors that are closed, the one featured today is the saddest. Roadside farm stands are one of the first signs of summer and one of the happiest sights after a long winter without fresh vegetables. Yeah, the good farmers in Florida and California ship stuff to us, but truck-ripened tomatoes just don’t have the appeal of vine-ripened. Even if those vines are in a greenhouse. Those farm stands are offering locally grown tomatoes in June. By mid-June, they have added small cukes, peas and green beans. We are starting to see strawberries and we are thinking about corn.
Some of these businesses are big enough and diverse enough to stay open year-round or nearly so. These are the ones that sell other things to make your landscaping and hardscaping interesting. They are larger, they sell more stuff and they start to see customers in early spring. The true farm stands, the ones run by farmers, don’t have anything to offer until late May at best.
It’s OK. We can wait.
As is the case on every Thursday, this post is part of the recently-recognized-by-WordPress but longstanding amazing series brought to the world by Norm Frampton. Visit his site. Check out his door. Click on the blue-linky-thing and add your door or check out all the other doors.