Planting The Autumn/Winter Garden

“I thank you, Mother Earth, for the bounty you give us! I thank you, gods and goddesses, for your guidance and protection. As my goddess matures and her pregnant belly grows, so the harvest grows. The Sun God is waning, but his energy still warms my body and his strength strengthens my mind. I give you both this share of my harvest as a token of my thanks.”

August 1st is Lughnasadh, the Pagan feast in celebration of the first Harvest. It seems crazy to think that I’ve barely picked my first carrot and it’s already time to plan and plant the Autumn/Winter Garden. I’m spending the afternoon at the table surrounded by seed packets planning what needs to be started. The winter squash says 75 days to maturity which means if I plant today I should have squash by October. It’s been an very hot few weeks so although some of the Autumn/Winter harvest seedlings could have been started indoors in June, I’m going to take a chance and sow them directly into the garden.

We’re blessed on the coast with mild weather even into the colder months. I’m growing food in containers so the soil will be more forgiving than planting seeds straight into the ground. They’ll also be protected from rain and winds.

Some of the foods we can grow here in the PNW (zone 7/8) throughout Fall and Winter are:

-Bussels sprouts







After harvesting what was planted in Spring (carrots, peppers, spinach) , I’ll have room to plant new seeds. Late September is a good time to plant garlic so I’ll make sure to store some good quality organic bulbs to plant. Garlic is happy overwintering and takes 9 months to mature – fresh garlic next June!

I used to think that I needed a large piece of land to grow food but this year I decided to start my little homestead in the city as part of my goal to teach myself as many skills for self sufficiency as I can learn. It’s been very rewarding to see the garden grow, to pick kale just outside the door for a summer salad and have so much green onion I’ve had to freeze some.

I’m not sure how it is where you live but Summer’s here are short, dry and hot. July and August are the warmest months so to even fathom the idea that Autumn is close feels foreign. But, there’s that one night, near the 3rd week of August where suddenly the winds change, it’s cooler and I always know: Mother Nature is preparing to slumber and inevitably the carefree hot days of Summer are coming to an end.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

Gardening of any kind is a wonderful way to relieve stress and eat seasonally. I’m enjoying the planning, the time spent outdoors (with the kitties) and the anticipation of picking the perfect veg for a home cooked meal. Gardening is slow living in essence and living slowly, mindfully will always fill your soul with calm and contentment.

I love hearing from you so if you have any suggestions or tips for this new “avid” gardener, send them my way.

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