Fall Frenzy

Here on our farm and across the central Massachusetts landscape, the fall plant frenzy of foliage, fruits and flowers is in full swing. The bright colors everywhere feel like Nature’s Disney World and the falling leaves sound like a gentle rain…

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 Haying is done for the year so plenty of time to admire the scenery from the hilltop at St. Joseph’s Abbey:

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It’s harvest time on our little farm!

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Still lots of food and blooms in the veggie beds. Single-blooming Marigolds support late-season pollinators looking for nectar, and the Arugula is going to seed for next year’s crop.

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Wild Asters don’t look like much all season long, but this time of year is when they do their thing:

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When New England Asters are in full bloom, they can take on the form and shape of a flowering shrub:

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Billows of native asters and grasses with Sugar Maple in a park in Peterborough, NH:

aster peterborough keith

Keith Tetreault photo

Speaking of asters, if you want to find bumble bees and other pollinators this time of year, just look at any blooming aster, that’s where you’ll find them:

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The native woodland viburnum berries are ripening:

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If these Witherod Viburnum fruits look like little candies, it’s no coincidence. The bright colors of both foliage and fruit are the plant’s tactic to attract birds to eat its fruit and disperse its seeds…

Most native Viburnum fruits are edible by people too – as the berries ripen, they turn dark and shrivel like raisins – hence one of their common names Wild Raisin.

The fluffy seed attachments of Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) are ready to blow away with the wind….now is the time to collect the seeds to sow this beautiful orange-blooming plant for next year’s garden…

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In a few short weeks, the bright leaves and most of the color will be gone, but for now, it’s time enjoy the spectacle of a fruitful New England fall!

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