The 2020 Harvest
Astronomically, autumn is the period of time between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. Physically, it’s the time to cultivate and reap what we’ve sown. This year, we’ve had more time than ever to sow seeds of change into the gardens of our lives. With the world going through crisis after crisis, many of us have decided to focus on love and personal joy as a means to brighten what has been such a gloomy year. As we move into the fall, here are some ways to keep that same energy – and benefit from it.
Suggestions for Your 2020 Harvest
Yeah – like… literally go harvest something! Apple picking is a great post-pandemic activity that gets you outside and moving. Google orchards in your area for their offerings – some have carriage tours! Take your harvest home and make a fresh apple pie or a soothing cider. No apple orchards in your area? Try searching for local farms or community gardens near you.
Are you someone that says, “I’m from here but I’ve never seen…” fill in the blank. Well… fill in the blank! If you live in an area with a temperate fall, it’s a great time for sightseeing. The weather is (mostly) accommodating, the scenery is gorgeous, and there are tons of seasonal events to enjoy along the way. Every city (or nearby city) has something to offer, whether parks, monuments, museums, or architecture. Tripadvisor is a great place to start if you need recommendations for your city.
Attend a Cultural Event
Immersing ourselves in the cultural traditions of others enriches our lives and helps to build community! Cultures around the world hallow the fall for its astronomical timing and its plentiful harvest. Additionally, the fall is a time to honor ancestors and spend time with loved ones. Dia de Muertos from Mexico, Chuseok from South Korea, Kwanzaa from America, or Loi Krathong from Thailand might be observed right in your own city! You can check out Eventbrite for celebrations in your area.
Lastly, eat good! Try roasting some butternut or acorn squash. Why squash? It’s loaded with tons of vitamin A and K which will keep your skin glowing long after the summer months have faded. Add mushrooms to boost your immunity when the outside winds turn crisp. And don’t forget the kale! We all know that it’s the ultimate superfood and its flavor is the perfect fall pairing. Try the recipe below for a simple, delicious fall dish.
For the Squash
1 small Acorn Squash, seeds removed, sliced
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ tsp Sea Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tbsp Seasoned Salt (I used The Bamboo Chef Asian Seasoning)
For the Kale
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 clove Garlic, minced
¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1lb Tuscan Kale
¼ cup Vegetable Stock, Chicken Stock or Water
Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the sliced acorn squash in a mixing bowl then drizzle the olive oil over top. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. Toss to coat the squash with the seasoning. Arrange the squash on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, then flip. Bake for 5 more minutes then remove the squash from the oven.
Warm the olive oil in a cast iron skillet or non stick pan over medium-high heat. Sear the mushrooms on each side for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium then add the garlic, red pepper, and kale to the skillet. Sauté for 2 minutes then pour in the stock. Cover and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Serve the kale together with the acorn squash.