Founder’s Forum

JB Lester The Healthy Planet

By J.B. Lester

October Offers Great Potential

October is one of my favorite months of the year. The goldfinches are finishing up the spent cone flower seeds. Flocks of birds are gathering for their migration south. Kids are trying to decide on what costume to wear for Halloween. My 10-year-old grandson Jackson was named student of the week at his grade school. His teacher said it was a pleasure to have him in class and he was the politest little guy. My fifth-grade teacher just said I didn’t live up to my potential. I doubt I was all that polite either. Unless you count mischief as part of Miss Manner’s book of etiquette and proper behavior.

The unbearable heat and humidity of the hottest summer on record has appeared to have waned a bit. I can take my walks without the threat of melting into the asphalt. This crazy climate change has created some of the worst weather disasters in years with hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, draught, and flooding. I wouldn’t be surprised if recent earthquakes weren’t affected by climate change, too. We are certainly smart enough to try to undo what we have created. Otherwise, we are just doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result … and you know what they say about that.

Our family of feral (community) cats has weathered the heat well. They spend their waking hours lying flat on the front porch or sidewalk trying not to expend much energy. Then night comes and they leave on their nocturnal adventures. Then back in the morning for breakfast. Our mouse, vole, mole, and chipmunk population has dropped remarkably. So, they are earning their keep.

My neighbor, the beekeeper, is also a prize gourd grower. He grows one big round gourd this time of year and then takes it to a competition in Minnesota for the big weigh-off. I think he said some weigh in at nearly 2,000 pounds. His gourd appears bigger every day as I pass it on my morning walks. It’s about the size of a round hassock (pouf) right now, some 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide and still growing. Yards and yards of vines are feeding that one gourd as all the other blooms are pinched off. Good luck to my beekeeper neighbor. That’s using the old gourd!

I am looking forward to the cooler nights of autumn. It will send all those mosquitoes of summer packing. My tomato plants are offering up their last harvest of cherries which we enjoy in all our salads. It’s time for the mums and stoking up the backyard firepits. I know lots of people love cloves in their food and drinks at this time of year, but I can’t stand cloves. Don’t like cilantro either. Not sure what that says about me but as a culinary curmudgeon. I am certainly not living up to my potential. My fifth-grade teacher had it right. I wonder if my grandson Jackson likes those things. I doubt it, but he is too polite to say.