Six pumpkins

“What about the big one?” my boy queried.

It was an innocent enough question when mention was made of the poor pumpkin crop this year. For as long we can remember there was at least one giant pumpkin. This year not one made it.

Instead, there were a half dozen pie-sized pumpkins pulled from amongst the weeds. A summer vacation and a busy office workload at the wrong time for gardening purposes wreaked havoc on some of the production this year. 

Similarly, the cucumbers didn’t work out either so there are no fresh dill pickles for family events stretching from Thanksgiving to next year.

Despite the poor results, poking around the garden was still a lot of fun. Mounds of potatoes plucked fresh from the hilled rows, beets, squash and turnip were plentiful. Dinner on Thanksgiving Monday will be enjoyable – made more special by eating what we grew.

The Indian corn, a perennial favourite for decorating, was excellent this year. Pulling back the sheath off each cob uncovered colours and patterns hard to describe. Deep browns and reds were offset by pastels and almost neon blues and pinks. 

My faithful gardening sidekick (daughter Chloe) has been helping with this job since she could walk. From planting to harvest, she can easily take over.

Cool mornings and evenings are offset by afternoon spells of sunshine. Two big frosts at the farm this past week suggest it wise to enjoy every moment possible because winter is around the corner. The loss of daylight, morning and evening, confirms the point. 

The peace that comes with outdoor work is priceless. Fresh air, exercise and a list of tasks are great distractions from the fast-paced world around us. Unrushed on weekend afternoons, taking in the colours and smells of fall is like a holiday in itself.

Enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Curious note

Amongst various platitudes about saving the planet, addressing childcare, riding a bike and building houses, we were a little surprised to hear very little about tax relief at a recent Centre Wellington all-candidates meeting.

Of course, times have changed and money doesn’t seem to have the hang-ups it once did, but by best guess only three or four Centre Wellington candidates directly addressed taxation at the meeting. There was a time when tax relief or at least holding the line were standard fare for campaign promises. 

Those of us with an affinity for fiscal prudence may have been satisfied with even a commitment to review current practices and ensure best value for funds spent. 

Little was said, suggesting a measure of contentment amongst current and potential policy makers.

While some are already feeling the effects of a changing economy, chances are inflation and interest rate changes are going to swell those ranks within the year. 

Prioritizing spending, reviewing programs for value and making strategic investments are skills we see as indispensable for the next term of council.