How Do We Cope with Eugene Summer Surrendering into Fall?

Leaves starting to change color. Fine. Be that way.

There's no denying it: summer was in short supply this year. Summer's end is being forced on us, but like you I'm not ready to let it go yet. With one hand, we hang on tight to the fading summer, and with the other, despite ourselves, we begin to reach out to fall — to accept, if only begrudgingly, that the time of year is changing. Summer fades, the sky grays — and we go on.

What to do, though, in a short summer? I notice that Jodie and I surround ourselves with bright colors, the reds of ripe tomatoes and raspberries, the zing of fresh green chiles, the yellow flesh of apples simmering into the soft, autumnal brown of thick sweet apple butter. We haven't talked yet of making cider, or of the fall's first homebrew batch, or even when we'll get around to washing sweaters and getting out clothes that have sleeves. All in due time… but man oh man, not yet. Not quite yet…

We adapt. If there's anything we in the Pacific "Northwet" are good at, it's taking the seasons as they are, and making of them something even more wonderful. Here are just a few of the things happening now, that can help you bridge that hard transition from our too-short summer, to the here-too-soon fall:

Farm-Fresh Produce

Surround yourself with summer colors and flavors, and get first dibs on autumnal goodness. The main Lane County Farmers Market runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Various other farm stands are open too, usually at least through Halloween (check with each for their dates and hours). You'll often find me and Jodie at…


I must admit, the cooler days this summer have been nice for doing boiling-water canning. The kitchen stays far more comfy while we work up time-delayed deliciousness. Our summer canning and food preservation adventures have so far included apricot butter, fermented dill-garlic-chile pickles, flavored vinegars, plum preserves, applesauce, apple butter and dried tomatoes. As the season truly becomes autumnal, we'll also be putting up beer mustards, salsas, more apple goodness, cranberry this-and-thats, and who knows what else (pickled mushrooms or kohlrabi, anyone?).


Maybe that's not a word, but as far as I'm concerned, it is now. Whatever time we have left to be outside without waterproof yet breathable layers, let's drink it up in all its sunshine glory. Jodie and I recently road tripped to Seattle for a friend's wedding, and though there was plenty of rain, we also indulged in plenty of sunshine days and not-too-cool evening air.

Back home in Eugene, I'm writing my current draft of this blog post at a picnic table in riverside Maurie Jacobs Park. Yesterday, I mowed the backyard, then picked a ridiculous amount of tomatoes and raspberries from our garden. I'll be outside as much as I can, as long as I can — changing things up only to put on a raincoat and hat before going out to walk the dog, or to chop and carry firewood.


OK, that's not even close to being a real word, but the hell with it. Recent weeks have been packed with outdoor festivals, from the Eugene Celebration to the Fiesta Latina. From Eugene to the rest of the Northwet, we're partying it up outside as long as we can. For local events you'll want to check out, see:

Summer fades, fall approaches. All we can do is enjoy what we have, for what it is — the first moment of sunshine after burned-off morning fog, the sharper edge of crispness as each day fades into twilight earlier than the previous day. All changes, but so do we. Summer pleasures give way to fall pleasures, outdoors for indoors; whooping joy and celebration, for quiet pleasures and reflection.

Come on then, fall, and come on then, summer. We'll love you both, each in our own ways, for all we can while we've got you.

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