Autumn at Ethical Superstore

Foggy autumn morning by James Jordan

Foggy autumn morning by James Jordan

The 22nd of September is the Autumn equinox, which means that the nights are now longer than the days. Here are some of our favourite things to see and do now that the nights are drawing in…

Garden Calendar

When the leaves on the trees start turning brown, it’s a signal to get out in the Garden and start tidying up.

Crisp, clear mornings are an ideal time to be clearing up leaves. This might be seen by some as an unavoidable chore, but to organic gardeners they are a rich source of nutrients that can be released in time for spring planting.

Not everyone has a compost bin and if you do, it might not be big enough to accommodate the enormous amount of leaves which one small tree can produce. Nether Wallop’s 100% biodegradeable leaf sack (£1.99) can hold thousands of fallen leaves. Once filled you just leave it in the corner of the garden and let nature take it’s course. The leaves and the sack will degrade and you will have that corner stone of green gardening – wonderful compost that doesn’t cost the earth.

Feed the Birds

The 18th October is the RSPB’s Feed the Birds day. This event is held on the third weekend in October, before the clocks go back and (hopefully) before the first frosts arrive. It’s time to fill up the feeder, clean the bird table and start putting out some water.

Find out more about how to keep your feeding station hygienic and free from pests at the RSPB’s mini site.

You don’t have to compromise your own ethics when it comes to keeping our feathered friends happy throughout the cold months ahead either with great value, giant bags of organic peanuts (£2.99 for 1kg).

Make Room For The Mushrooms!

Autumn is also the season for mushroom hunting. Wild mushrooms grow throughout the year, but this time of year is particularly good as there are an abundance of edible varieties. Make sure you know what you’re picking, as many fungi are poisonous.

Check out Tom Volk’s Fungi of the Month, or go for a guided tour with your local Wildlife trust.

Vegetarian chef Leon Lewis organises mushroom walks in Essex and cooks up the harvest back at his kitchen, all washed down with “liberal quantities of wine from my cellar”.

Hallowe’en

Autumn means Hallowe’en and bonfire night. This year, stock up for the trick or treaters with ethical alternatives to the usual sweets – we’ve found Organic Jelly Bears, Organic Cola Bottles and Fairtrade Divine Minis (£21.00 for 200).

We’ve also discovered these fairly traded, hand made fairy costumes, which are great for dressing up at any time of the year.

Ghouls and boys will love the wind-up bat torch (£4.99), which is perfect for finding your way home after dark, while a pair of  hand knitted, fairly traded 100% sheep’s wool People Tree kid’s gloves (£10.00) will make sure they don’t get cold fingers.

Happy Mais, one of the top selling Christmas Gifts for kids last year, have released two new collections this autumn, one of which has a distinctly Hallowe’en flavour. Insects and Monsters is a eco-friendly craft set made from corn starch that you can stick together with water to make things (monsters and insects, I suppose). There’s also a flowers and jewels set, if you’re not into monsters.

As for me, you’ll find me cosying up on the sofa with a glass of fair trade red wine or a steaming mug of Divine Hot Chocolate (£2.99). Now, if only we could find some fairly traded, organic marshmallows…

Photo credit: James Jordan via flickr.com

Ben

Ben is our resident marketing monkey, and spends an unhealthy amount of time obsessing about keywords, ranking and other marketing voodoo.

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