As our glowing summer suntans recede and we brace ourselves for the crisp autumn air it’s time to start thinking about Halloween and the earthy fall comforts it brings. For home décor enthusiasts, Halloween promises beautiful pumpkin displays on our dinner tables and brimming pots of mums in our back yards. This is the time of year to frequent farmers’ markets for corn cobs, squash, apples and other fall produce straight from our fertile fields. Steveston Highway’s Richmond Country Farms (countryfarms.ca) is a great venue for Fall harvest produce and décor, and its famous pumpkin patch starts October 7 – an annual highlight for the under-five crowd with music, a petting zoo and fields littered with orange pumpkins.
There’s something celebratory about Fall and it’s a feeling that culminates with Halloween and the excitement it brings to our streets. This year consider bringing your neighbours together on Halloween for a communal hot chocolate outdoors while the kids trick or treat nearby. One Steveston neighbourhood has continued this tradition for years, gathering the grownups in the driveway for a warming beverage as ghosts, ghouls and goblins fired by too much candy, walk by. A get-together like this doesn’t take much planning – a few flasks of hot chocolate, some disposable cups and a sign on a shared mailbox is often all that’s required. But it brings people beyond their front doors, fostering relationships and conversations that might otherwise not occur.
If you have pumpkin carving enthusiasts in your household, remember to save those pumpkin seeds as the carving takes place. Roasted with salt at 400F, those seeds make a healthy, tasty treat. When you display your pumpkins, consider illuminating them with a flashlight or tea light instead of a lit candle, to avoid fire hazards. And if you’re keeping them indoors sprinkle the insides with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to add a great fall scent to your interior.
The dark and the cold go hand in hand this time of year, so it’s more important than ever to keep our families safe. If you’re sending trick or treaters out onto the streets, be sure to decorate their costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers so they are clearly visible to drivers. Glow sticks or flashlights are useful and plastic or rubber masks that obscure children’s vision should be avoided at all costs. Send kids out in groups, preferably in the company of at least one adult when they trick or treat, and stay away from darkened doorways, a sure sign that that particular household is not welcoming visitors.