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I’ve always thought that the Gregorian calendar does a disservice to those of us in temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. Starting the year in the cold depths of winter, after the holidays, blunts an otherwise festive event. After all, what really gets a fresh start in January, other than desk calendars and root vegetables?
The Roman calendar started the year at the end of March, which makes far more sense to me. I’d love to celebrate the New Year just as crocuses start popping up (and after February ends). A clean start to me means spring produce, quickly segueing into summer plenitude. But all too soon I begin to take those piles of ruby tomatoes for granted, come to expect the raspberries to wait for me, forget that every fruit has its season. First the berries disappeared, then the tomatoes grew paler, and now apples have replaced nectarines on farmers’ market tables. First I started wearing scarves to the market, I’ve since added a jacket, and pretty soon I’ll have to find a hat. Ever so subtly, and ever so insistently, the seasons (and my wardrobe) change.
Still, I don’t look at fall as the year ending – I look forward to Concord grapes, winter squash, and homemade applesauce. Agriculture follows its own calendar, and the harvest we’re now entering will carry us all through the next few months and well into winter. Next spring, I will greet a new year. In the meantime, I look back on this summer and its gifts in the Season-a-Belle: Summer Recipe eBook, packed to the gills with fresh produce and recipes. As always, it’s free and downloadable, printable and savable. Keep it on your shelf to remind yourself that just like hot bikini bods and icy cold margarita jell-o shots, the summer sun will rise again.