After a strange year weather-wise, which began with a Winter that really didn't exist (ask anyone who's from this area and they will tell you this is true) and then a Spring which began a month early and acted like Summer in terms of temps, how in the world are we to tell when one season ends and the next begins?
Strawberries and other berries in May, Peaches and tomatoes in June--all signaled the arrival of an early local market season; a trend that lasted tastefully sweet throughout the Summer. And likewise ended early too--especially orchard crops like peaches and pears. They came and went so quickly.
So how can we tell when the seasons change from one to the next if the weather runs amok and produce production is delicious but unpredictable? Well I cheat a little and check the Farmers' Almanac. But how do they know?
In the Northern Hemisphere the changing of the seasons are officially marked on our calendars by the solstices and equinoxes which are calculated by the tilt of the earth's orbit in relation to the sun. When we're tilting away from the sun, temperatures become cooler as the daylight grows shorter.
"Fall for 2012 begins in the Northern Hemisphere on September 22, 10:49 A.M. EDT." All around us nature is showing signs of change. From animal and bird behavior to the colors on the trees, we can see evidence of Autumn's arrival.
One of my favorite places to notice the changing of the seasons' guard is at my local Farmer's Market. Market-goers arrive at a more leisurely pace because they're not trying to avoid the heat. Produce stays fresher longer and what we used to call winter veggies--dark leafy greens, radishes, pumpkins and squash--colorfully arrive at Market.
So come on by this Saturday, September 22 and celebrate the colorful arrival of Autumn and the 2012 Fall Equinox at the Clayton Farmer's Market.
This week's Family Fun at the Clayton Farmer's Market:
Music at Ten: The Ramblers Our Music Friends in the Cowboy Hats are back! Country and Bluegrass at its Best
Children's Activity: St. Louis Artist Guild Join Adrienne and Friends who Always Bring Fun Art Projects for Kids
Culinary Demonstration & Sampling Extraordinaire: Chef Cassy Vires of Home Wine Kitchen Creating Grits with Poached Eggs and Goat Cheese