It's fall in New England. Everybody likes that, right? Gorgeous red and yellow leaves splashed against clear blue skies. Dry mild sunshine. A chance to wear boots and vests and scarves again.
But no! Some of us wail, some of us quietly grieve. What it means to me, most of all, is a virtual end to locally grown produce. The Ipswich Farmer's Market had its farewell appearance a week ago, and when I stopped by the Rowley market the next morning, hoping for a few more local pears and a head of Romaine, they weren't there, either. The couple of large farm "stands" around here will shut down after the pumpkin and corn-maze craziness of Halloween; only one stays open all year round, but the produce they stock won't be their own until the first spinach of spring.
Until the ground freezes, I'll have a few bits of lettuce and mizuna to harvest. Snips of oregano and rosemary. The farm potatoes and carrots I've been stockpiling. Tomato sauce and blueberries in the freezer. Locally grown chicken and meat from Tendercrop, the one farm that stays open for business. That's about it.
So what's a writer to do in the dark days of late fall and early winter in the north with nothing local to eat? Get writing, obviously! Of course, make stews, roast chickens, bake bread, create pies. Tend the wood stove. Dust off last winter's knitting project. Mostly, though, finish the revisions on Speaking of Murder and keep writing on Death on the Neck (or whatever the next book is called) until the first draft of that one is done.