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PRICELESS

Autumn Activities

Upcoming Autumn Events

What Locals Love About Autumn

Seasonal Selections Awesome Autumn Recipes

State Park Spotlight Belmont Lake State Park Photo Credit: Long Island State Parks Belmont Lake State Park

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or the majority of gardening enthusiasts, gardening is a warm weather activity. While some people live in climates that make it possible to enjoy gardening year-round, those who don’t often lament the end of the gardening season.

Winter might not be conducive to gardening, but the arrival of cold weather does not necessarily mean a gardener’s work is done until the following spring. Taking steps to protect plants from winter weather is an important part of maintaining a healthy garden that thrives from year to year.

Timing is of the essence when winterizing a garden. The online gardening resource Get Busy Gardening!TM advises gardeners that the best time to winterize is after the first hard freeze in the fall. A hard freeze occurs when temperatures dip below freezing overnight. When that occurs, annual plants and vegetables are killed off and perennial plants, which grow back year after year, begin going dormant.

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Better Homes and Gardens notes that perennials are the easiest plants to prepare for winter, as they require just a little cutting back and mulching to be safe from cold weather. But no two perennials are alike, so homeowners should consult their local gardening center for advice on how to prepare their particular perennials for the coming months. The steps necessary to winterize annuals depends on which type of annuals, cool- or warm-climate, you have. Cool-climate annuals should be covered with polyspun garden fabric when light frost is in the forecast. In addition, Better

EDITION SIX

Homes and Gardens recommends pulling dead annuals and adding them to a compost pile after a killing frost. Any annuals that developed fungal disease should be discarded. Mulch annual beds with a three- to four-inch layer of chopped leaves or similar materials, spreading the mulch only two inches thick over self-sown seeds you want to germinate in the spring.

Warm-climate annuals also should be covered with polyspun garden fabric when light frost is expected. Seeds of cold-hardy annuals can be planted for extended winter bloom, while gardeners also can collect seeds of warm-weather plants that will breed true to type. Even though you’re winterizing, Better Homes and Gardens recommends that gardeners continue to weed and water their plant beds and plants while also keeping an eye out for pests. If organic mulch has decomposed or thinned out, replace it with a new layer.

Get Busy Gardening!TM notes that the bulbs of tender plants like dahlias and tuberous begonias can be dug up and overwintered in their dormant state. All dead foliage should be removed after the bulbs have been dug up, and the bulbs should be allowed to dry out a little before being stored. Container gardeners can overwinter their tender bulbs in their pots inside, but be sure to remove their foliage and store them in a dark, cool place that maintains temperatures above freezing. Winterizing may mark the end of gardening season, but it’s an important task that can ensure a healthy, beautiful garden next spring, summer and fall.

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State Park Spotlight: Belmont Lake State Park

B

elmont Lake State Park, located in West Babylon, is a 463acre day use park bisected by Carll's Creek and Belmont Lake. The park, established in 1926, had been owned by August Belmont and served as farmland for some of Belmont's equestrian activities. Robert Moses chose this park to establish the regional headquarters for all state parks on Long Island in 1935, which serves the public today for region-wide permit sales, park administration and as headquarters for the New York State Park Police.

The park is primarily visited by families seeking outdoor gatherings, picnics and informal sports activities. It provides a bucolic feeling adjacent to the Southern State Parkway at exit 38 among densely developed neighborhoods. Carll's Creek stretches 4.2 miles south to the Great South Bay with a trail for hiking and biking. Horseback riding is available through the nearby Babylon Riding Center (for information call 631-587-7778). The 42-acre Belmont Lake is encircled by a similar path, making a total of 7.6 miles of multi-use trails.

Other waterfowl that can be easily spotted include Northern Shovelers, Mergansers, Teal, Great Blue Heron, and Egrets.

Patrons enjoy activities such as picnicking, playgrounds and using the various courts and fields. The lake attracts trail walking, fishing and non-motorized boating. The 7.6 miles of trails throughout the park are available for hiking, walking, biking, nature observation and weather permitting, cross-country skiing.

Pedal boats and rowboats are available for rent on the lake through the summer. They also allow kayaks and canoes to be launched from the boat dock while the boat dock is open (they can't be inflatable, must be hard bottomed, no motors, no surfboards or wakeboards, and no paddle boards). If you cannot bring your own kayak, kayak rentals are also available for a nominal fee.

The seventh annual Great JackO’-Lantern Sail will take place at Belmont Lake State Park on October 26, 2019. This year’s event will run from 3:00pm-6:00pm and the Pumpkin Sail will begin at 6:15pm. The first 50 carved pumpkins received are placed on flotation devices with candles inserted inside and are sailed around the lake behind kayaks. Children’s activities include crafts, games, inflatables, funny photos and trick-or-treat stations. They can also visit the not-so-scary ‘Spooky Den’.

Photo Credit: Long Island State Parks

The park's significant natural features include the 26-acre, spring-fed Belmont Lake and a significant wetland complex. The lake provides springtime trout fishing and summer bass fishing for the avid anglers who use the park. It is home to permanent and migratory waterfowl populations. Park visitors enjoy watching Osprey diving from high above to catch fish for their young in the spring.

Plan your day trip today to visit Belmont Lake State Park, it truly has a lot to offer!

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The origins of Oktoberfest

A

lthough Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest celebrations now take place all over the globe. They are a chance to enjoy the early autumn weather with music, food, entertainment and, of course, German beer. Oktoberfest is a 16-day folk festival that begins at the end of September and runs through the first week of October. Roughly six million people travel to Germany each year to participate in the official Oktoberfest, while many others attend festivities closer to home. While many people are familiar with the foods, beverages and pageantry of Oktoberfest, they may not be so sure of Oktoberfest’s origins. According to History.com, the first Oktoberfest took place on

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October 12, 1810, when Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later to be known as King Louis I of Bavaria, married Princess Therese von

Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited, and the festivities were held on the fields in front of the city gates. Horse races took place and eventually concluded the festivities, both at the city gates and elsewhere across Bavaria. The festival and horse races were

held once again the following year, giving rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. To increase the potential for fun and take advantage of longer days, the event was expanded from one day to a few weeks, stretching through September and into October. The tradition-rich horse race no longer takes place and hasn’t for more than 50 years. But the festive atmosphere still prevails. Huge tents are erected to accommodate the large crowds. Since 1950, the traditional festival opening has been a twelve-gun salute and the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at 12:00 by the Mayor of Munich with the cry “O’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped!”). Millions of people participate in Oktoberfest celebrations. An abundance of food and millions of liters of beer are available to enhance the fun.

EDITION SIX

Did you know? The style of beer most widely consumed during Oktoberfest celebrations can be traced to a time before refrigeration was available. According to the online beer resource BeerAdvocate.com, brewing beer in the summertime was nearly impossible in the days before refrigeration. Hot weather and the risk of bacterial infections complicated brewing in summer, so many brewers would cease brewing beer in spring and begin again in the fall when temperatures dropped. As a result, the beers available for Oktoberfest celebrations were the Märzen style of beer, or those brewed in the month of March, shortly before brewing ceased for the season. These Märzen beers were kept in cold storage throughout the spring and summer or brewed at a higher gravity so they would keep and be available for consumption during Oktoberfest celebrations.

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Interesting facts about fall

W

eather is often the first indicator that the seasons are changing. For many people across the globe, the hot days of summer will soon be giving way to the more crisp days of fall.

For those who live in regions where summer only subtly gives way to fall or is seemingly gone before the end of August, the 2019 autumnal equinox occurs on September 23. That marks the official beginning of fall, also known as autumn. In fact, that the season the follows summer seemingly goes by two different names is just one of many interesting facts about fall. • A season by any other name … Fall is the term most often used to reference the season succeeding summer in the United States. But the season is referred to as “autumn” in other parts of the world, including Great Britain. Fall was once even known as “harvest” because of the harvest moon, which appears close to the autumnal equinox. • The colors of fall foliage are actually present year-round. Fall

is known for its colorful foliage. But the pigments responsible for those colors are actually present year-round. According to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, green, yellow and orange pigments are present year-round. However, during spring and summer, the leaves serve as factories where many foods necessary to help the tree grow are manufactured. That process takes place in the leaf in cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. This process ceases as hours of daylight decrease and temperatures drop. As a result, chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and the vivid colors of fall foliage begin to appear.

nuts closely to one another, they will each return to the precise location of their personal cache. Recent research also has shown that squirrels bury their stash based on certain traits, such as the type of nut being buried.

• Squirrels have a (sophisticated) plan out there. Squirrels hiding food in autumn for the upcoming winter is a familiar sight. And squirrels are more organized than many people may know. Groundbreaking research released in 1991 found that, even when squirrels bury that stash of

• Babies born in fall are more likely to see the century mark. Researchers at the University of Chicago studied more than

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1,500 centenarians born in the United States between 1880 and 1895. They then compared birth and death information with those centenarians’ siblings and spouses so they could compare their early environment and genetic background and their adult environment. Their research found that most centenarians were born between September and November.

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Autumn Activities! Fun things to do this Fall! Seasons ÂŽ Magazine

Sag Harbor's 2019 Harborfest

Friday, September 6th Sunday, September 8th Village-Wide Festival in Sag Harbor www.saghrborchamber. com/events/harborfest Once described as the largest block party extending out over the water, the 2019 Harborfest will be village-wide. There will be live music, boating and fishing vendors, a farmers' market, children's games and activities, a kids' corn shucking contest, a clam chowder contest, boat races and more! Visit their website for more information, including event times.

Dockside Family Festival

Saturday, September 7th Sunday, September 8th 11:00AM - 5:00PM Captree State Park 3500 E Ocean Parkway, Bay Shore 631.669.0449 The Dockside Family Festival is back and is celebrating its 36th year! This nautical themed event www.seasonsmagazineonline.com

provides activities and entertainment for people of all ages. Highlights include live music, vendors, pony rides, crab races and interactive demonstrations! Come down and enjoy a wonderful day on the Great South Bay!

7th Annual Montauk Seafood Festival

Saturday, September 7th Sunday, September 8th 12:00PM - 5:00PM 32 Star Island Road, Montauk 631.668.5077 www. montaukseafoodfestival. com Enjoy two days of delicious seafood, live music and family activities in Montauk! Parking is free and admission is $2/person, free for children under 12. The festival will be held rain or shine.

Harbes Orchard Apple Festival

Saturday, September 14th Sunday, September 15th 9:00AM - 6:00PM Harbes Orchard 5698 Sound Avenue, Riverhead

631.369.1111 Don't miss this weekend full of apple activities for the whole family! There will be games, apple cider donut eating contests, apple rolling competitions and much more. Don't forget to go apple picking on their 15-acre apple orchard that has apples that are even within reach of the smallest of hands!

Harborfront Park 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson 631.473.1414 This event will bring local and regional teams together to race against one another. Spectators are encouraged to come to the harbor with their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities. There will also be music and food vendors.

2019 Long Island Pet Expo At Tanner Park

10th Annual Over 50 Fair

Saturday, September 14 Sunday, September 15 11:00AM - 6:00PM Tanner Park (Kerrigan Road in Copiague) www.familypetshows.com/ long-island-pet-expo-in-thepark Head to Tanner Park for the Long Island Pet Expo, which will feature performances, exhibits, petting zoos and more. The event is free for all! Rain date: September 28-29.

Port Jefferson's 6th Annual Dragon Boat Race Festival

Saturday, September 14th 8:30AM - 6:00PM

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Sunday, September 15th 10:00AM - 4:30PM Hilton 598 Broad Hollow Road (Rt. 110), Melville www.over50fair.com Join others at this celebration of life on Long Island for adults ages 50+! There will be 80+ exhibitors/vendors on hand along with 30 classes including a yoga class, a dance demonstration, sports memorabilia, essential oils, current real estate trends, financial talks about estate planning, social security, Medicare and more! Plus, learn about products for you and your home, learn about

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different activities you can participate in, hear about travel opportunities and even meet that special someone in their Singles Lounge, compliments of MTN Matchmaking! Cost is $6/person in advance (go to their website) or $8/person at the door. Veterans can attend for free with their ID.

Family Program: Forest Explorers

Saturday, September 21st 10:00AM - 11:30AM Connetquot River State Park Preserve 3525 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale 631.581.1072 www.parks.ny.gov How often do you truly look at the forest while walking? Come and discover all the little things that make strolling through the preserve special...it may surpise you! Family Programs are recommended for children 5 and up. Cost is $4/person and there will be an $8 parking fee. Reservations are required. Please call to RSVP.

2019 Long Island Fair At Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Saturday, September 21st Sunday, September 22nd & Saturday, September 28th - Sunday, September 29th 10:00AM - 5:00PM Old Bethpage Village Restoration 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage 516.572.8409 www.lifair.org Every fall the Old Bethpage Village Restoration hosts the Long Island Fair. There will be tons of exhibits, as well as a variety of performers and www.seasonsmagazineonline.com

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demonstrators. Come down for a day of old fashioned fun!

2019 Tobay Boat Show

Friday, September 27th Sunday, September 29th 12:00PM - 6:00PM Friday 10:00AM - 6:00PM Saturday & Sunday Tobay Beach Ocean Parkway, Massapequa www.strongsmarine.com/ event/tobay-boat-show The Tobay Boat Show is the place to be for super savings with exclusive boat show discounts, special dealer incentives and on the spot financing. There will be hundreds of new and used boats in the water and on land, allowing there to be something for every taste and budget. There will also be food, drinks and live music!

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery's 2019 Fall Festival

Saturday, September 28th 10:00AM - 4:30PM Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor 516.692.6768 www.cshfishhatchery.org/ event/fall-festival This event will feature plenty of activities and exhibits for the entire family, such as kids fishing, a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch, environmental exhibitors, music, games, food and more. Admission is $6/adult, $4/child or senior and free for members. Rain date is October 5th.

Wildwood Fall Festival

Saturday, September 28th 10:00AM - 4:30PM Wildwood State Park 790 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River 631.929.4314 The 26th Annual Fall Festival at Wildwood State Park will be a fun filled family event featuring a variety of craft vendors, live entertainment and refreshments. All activities will be free! Some activities include, pony rides, petting zoo, inflatables, build a scarecrow contest, pumpkin weight raffle and children's games.

Long Island Job Fair

Fall Festival Weekend At The Shoppes

Catholic Health Services Suffolk County Marathon & Freedom Fest

Sunday, October 6th 10:00AM - 5:00PM The Shoppes At East Wind 5768 New York 25A, Wading River 631.929.3500 The Shoppes are welcoming Autumn with a celebration of pumpkins, scarecrows and family fun, including a special Riverhead Ford Roundup Car Show until 3:00PM. There will be local vendors, great food and of course, shopping!

Famous Food Festival

Saturday, October 12th Sunday, October 13th 10:00AM - 7:00PM Tanger Outlets Deer Park 102 Arches Circle, Deer Park www.famousfoodfestival. com This festival will feature over 60 food vendors, live music, a beer and wine garden, a virtual reality gaming area, multi-sport simulator, butterfly exhibit and much more. Cost is $5/ person and children 10 and under are free.

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Tuesday, October 15th 11:00AM - 2:00PM Holiday Inn Plainview 215 Sunnyside Blvd, Plainview www.eventbrite.com Come and open the doors of opportunity when you meet and interview with hiring managers at companies ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. This fair will allow you to learn about businesses that are hiring and what their hiring needs are. Register online today!

Saturday, October 26th Sunday, October 27th 8:00AM YMCA 255 W. Main Street Patchogue www.suffolkmarathon.com Join others as they run either a marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K to support our veterans! The Freedom Fest will begin at 9:00AM, shortly after the first half marathoners will finish. This festival will take place right in the heart of downtown Patchogue and will feature live music and showcase the rich and diverse collection of food and beverage options available across Suffolk County. For more information, please visit their website.

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Autumn 2019

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Autumn 2019

What I Love About Lon Grace S of Oceanside: Autumn weather is much cooler and vegetables you can't grow in the summer bloom: spinach, broccoli, lettuce... all the good greens which keep us healthy. I go down to the beach and get the endless amounts of seaweed and put it around the plants because the trace minerals are in the seaweed. HAPPY FALL GARDENING! Grace to You.

Natalia K of Westbury: I love the crisp fall air, going outside with a cozy sweater on and going apple and pumpkin picking out east… and of course getting an apple cider donut and hot apple cider!

Jo-Anne O of West Islip: What I love about Long Island in autumn is the fresh smell of the new fallen leaves on the ground from the trees, the crisp air, the cool nights, the evenings spent with the family watching the fires in our fire pit and/or our fireplace with the crisp dead leaves that we’ve collected as a family from our yard while drinking hot cocoa. It’s a great time to experience the changing of the seasons and still be able to enjoy the outside with the family.

Dorrine L of Smithtown: I love autumn on Long Island because it is a very peaceful time of year! The days are still lovely and warm and then the nights cool off…it is generally quieter with all the kids back in school and there are still plenty of beautiful beach days to enjoy! And of course I love all the beautiful fall foliage!

John W of Bay Shore: I love the autumn for it's reminders of my soccer season playing days, my cool weather jogging workouts and the fall festivals on Long Island that I attend with respect to local businesses.

Diane J of Coram: I love autumn on Long Island for all the brilliant colors our leaves turn here…for the fresh smell of the cool air…all our farms with apples and pumpkins to pick…and all the fall festivals…a lovely time of year here!

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ng Island In Autumn... Diana L of Port Jefferson: Fall on Long Island is such a beautiful and cozy time. A simple drive out east always leads to an unexpected adventure. Between apple picking, pumpkin picking and fall festivals, there is always something fun to do! You can also pick up fresh fall crop harvest at a variety of lovely farm stands throughout the island!

Susan & Bob D of Lindenhurst: What I love about Long Island in autumn is my Autumn Birthday, September 26th! Of course Halloween on Long Island with all the home decorations to see among autumn foliage/ colorful leaves. Also, autumn weather is just right…not too hot and not too cold!

Hilary S of Commack: How could you not love Long Island for all it has to offer and fall is no exception. We have the most beautiful fall foliage here. Take a drive down Northern State or Southern State Parkways and you will see the brightest orange, red and yellow leaves to brighten your day. Take a drive down Route 25A on the North Shore of LI from Suffolk into Nassau & enjoy the water, boats and all the houses decorating for the upcoming Fall season. It is a very festive place to live offering the most relaxing feeling and feels wonderful! All you have to do is take the time to notice and take it all in.

Robert S of Port Jefferson Station: The leaves start to turn color. The humidity goes down and a perfect time to be outdoors.

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Things to consider before warming up next to your first fire

Closing the pool for another season

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losing a pool at the end of the swimming season can be bittersweet. Homeowners may be sad to bid adieu to the lazy days of splashing and swimming, but ready to embrace the cooler weather and the beauty of autumn. Before the leaves begin to fall from the trees, pool owners must prepare to close, or winterize, their pools.

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warm fire can make even the coldest winter day more enjoyable. Fireplaces may not get much use in spring or summer, but come late fall and throughout the winter, the fireplace can be a great place for families to gather.

• Gather your supplies. Make a list of the supplies you need to close the pool. Having everything on hand will make the process far more efficient than trying to wing it. Closing a pool can be a large job, so it pays to have some extra hands available. Enlist some helpers who will be available to hand you materials or to assist with placing the cover on the pool, which can be challenging to do on your own.

Before fireplace season hits full swing, homeowners might want to brush up on a few fireplace facts so they can safely enjoy nights spent sitting by the crackling flames.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America advises homeowners with fireplaces to hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to clean their fireplaces. After a lengthly period of non-use, various issues could be affecting the chimney, many of which might not be noticeable to an untrained eye. Professional, certified chimney sweeps have extensive knowledge of fireplaces, making them valuable resources who can let homeowners know if any safety issues developed since fireplaces were last used. The National Protection Agency recommends that chimneys be swept at least once per year. A full inspection of the chimney might be in order as well. Chimney service technicians will conduct thorough examinations of readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. The CSIA recommends that homeowners who plan to use their chimneys as they have in the past request a Level 1 inspection, which will examine the soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. Technicians also will verify if the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.

Homeowners also should inspect their chimney dampers before lighting their first fires of the season. www.seasonsmagazineonline.com

Autumn 2019

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Dampers should open and close smoothly. If not, a service technician can help fix or replace the damper.

Firewood is another thing homeowners must consider before lighting their first fires of the season. The CSIA says that well-seasoned firewood works best, noting that wood that is not well-seasoned will produce more smoke than heat. In addition, the home improvement resource This Old House recommends using dense wood that’s been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months. Oak is an example of dense wood that, when stored properly, can make for an enjoyable fireplace experience. Avoid softwoods like pine. Pine can produce a lot of creosote, which is a byproduct of wood combustion. Creosote is highly flammable, and as it builds up in a chimney, the risk for a chimney fire increases. Choosing the right wood, making sure it’s well-seasoned and having a chimney professionally cleaned can reduce the risk of a creosoterelated chimney fire. A Level 1 inspection should determine if there are potentially dangerous levels of creosote deposits in the chimney. Before nestling up to a fireplace this winter, homeowners should consider a host of factors and safety measures to ensure their fireplaces are safe and ready for the season ahead.

climates, a pool-water antifreeze may be necessary. Check with your pool supply retailer for more information.

• Run the filter. Run the filter at least 24 hours before disassembling the filter for the season. This will help circulate any chemicals added through the water.

• Drain the pool’s water to the appropriate level. Water should fall just below the skimmer opening. Many pools do not need to be completely drained for the winter.

• Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase necessary chemicals. The chemicals used throughout the season will also be needed in the winterization process. Therefore, be sure you have enough before pool supplies become difficult to find in area stores. These include sanitizer, algaecide and pH-balancing chemicals.

• Clean the entire pool area. Ensuring the pool water and the surface of the pool is clean can make reopening the pool easy. Vacuum the pool thoroughly, removing any debris and organic matter that can contribute to algae growth. Don’t forget to brush down the walls of the pool and clean the jets and area where the filter skimmer meets the pool. Pool walls have plenty of crevices where algae can hide and multiply.

• Test the water. Leading pool products manufacturer Hayward recommends adjusting the pH to between 7.2 and 7.8 to prevent stains, scaling and algae growth. Alkalinity should be 80 to 125 ppm for plaster/gunite pools and 125 to 150 ppm for other pool types. Test the level of available chlorine, and super-chlorinate the pool to maintain a sanitation level of at least 4 ppm. Once the pool cover is on, the amount of chlorine that escapes due to sunlight and evaporation will decrease. An algaecide may be used, if desired, as well. In very cold

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• Shut off the filter pump, heater and any other equipment. Let all water drain out and allow equipment to dry before storing them away. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for lubrication and covering. Install freeze plugs if you choose to use them. • Adjust electricity settings. Turn off the circuit to outdoor outlets that feed the pool equipment, testing to make sure the power is off.

• Put accessories away. Remove any ladders, diving boards, slides, external drain lines, and other recreational materials from the pool, storing them in a garage or shed so they are not subjected to potentially harsh winter weather. • Inflate air pillows to roughly 80 percent full if you will be using them. Gather your helpers to attach the pool cover or leaf catcher net. Secure it thoroughly with anchors, water bags, wire fasteners, or whatever method is applicable for the cover and pool type. Remember, a quality pool cover will last for several years and keep leaves, dust and other unwanted items out of the water.

Come early autumn, homeowners can begin closing their pools to keep them secure and clean until the next swimming season begins.

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Gourds, squashes and Halloween boasts pumpkins, oh my! a rich history

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ostume-clad kids, bags of candy and jack-o’-lanterns are some indelible images associated with Halloween. Those images may forever be linked to this beloved, fun-filled holiday, which boasts a rich history that varies depending on where in the world you might be.

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alloween takes place during a time of year characterized by earthen-colored chrysanthemums, leaf-lined walkways and crisp autumn air. As colorful as the costumes children wear for trick-or-treating may be, nature’s beauty is unsurpassed this time of year, and the scores of pumpkins, gourds and squashes on display only add to that colorful melange.

The Cucurbitaceae family (a family of herbaceous tendril-bearing vines) may be best known for pumpkins, squash, gourds, melons and cucumbers, but there actually are 800 species that belong to this family. While they share many of the same properties, these fruits each have their own unique attributes.

The main differences between squashes, gourds and pumpkins is their intended purposes — whether they’re ornamental or edible. Squash Squashes come in summer and winter varieties. Winter ones do not actually grow in the winter; in fact, they’re harvested in late summer and early fall, but the name references the hard shell casing that protects the tender pulp inside. Zucchini are summer squash because their outer flesh is tender, while butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and hubbard squashes are winter squashes because they feature a tough skin. Even though it takes some effort to crack that shell, the dense, nutrient-rich flesh inside is well worth the workout. www.seasonsmagazineonline.com

Celebrations around the world may not mirror those in the United States, where trick-or-treating youngsters travel from house to house in search of candy, but true Halloween enthusiasts may be interested to learn the history of the holiday and how it has changed over the centuries. Gourds Gourds are essentially ornamental squashes; they aren’t cultivated for eating. Instead they are bred to look beautiful and unique in autumn centerpieces. Types of gourds include autumn wing gourd, warted gourds, turban gourds, and bottle gourds. Each gourd is unique in its shape and color. Pumpkins Pumpkins come in ornamental and edible varieties. Even though all pumpkins can be consumed, some taste better than others. Small pumpkins tend to be decorative because, according to Nutritious Life, they do not have enough meat inside to make them worthy of cooking. However, sugar pumpkins are best for baking and cooking favorite recipes, states the resource Pumpkin Nook.

El Dia de los Muertos In parts of Mexico and Latin America, El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is celebrated each year in early November. The day is designed to honor the dead, who Day of the Dead celebrants believe return to their earthly homes each Halloween. Families may burn candles and incense in an effort to help their deceased relatives and ancestors find their way home. Guy Fawkes Day For many years, England had reason to celebrate around October 31, but those celebrations did not mirror the Halloween festivities familiar to those across the pond. While recent years have witnessed more and more Brits adopting the Americanized

celebration of Halloween, for many the true holiday this time of year will always be Guy Fawkes Day. Celebrated on November 5, Guy Fawkes Day is a commemoration of the foiled Gunpowder Plot. Smithsonian notes that this was a failed attempt by disgruntled Catholics to blow up the British Parliament building while King James I was inside. Fireworks, parades and bonfires marked Guy Fawkes Day celebrations, which in recent years have gradually begun to transform into something that more closely resembles American Halloween. Samhain History.com notes that Halloween can trace its origins to Ireland, but those origins did not involve giggling youngsters carrying plastic pumpkins around in search of candy. Halloween’s origins can be traced to the Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain was considered the Celtic New Year and was sacred to the ancient Irish. The festival was celebrated as the days became shorter, and offerings were left for the dead, who celebrants believed could cross over into the land of the living at this time. However, they also believed demonic spirits could follow such a path during Samhain, giving the festival the taste of the macabre that many still enjoy imparting on their Halloween celebrations today. Halloween has a rich and interesting history that gals and ghouls from all walks of life might find interesting.

The festive hues and flavors of squashes, gourds and pumpkins are one more thing that makes Halloween and autumn special.

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Autumn 2019

Back-to-school safety guidelines

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s children head back to school, they and their parents have lots to do to be ready for the first days of school. Clothing and supplies may be top priorities, but families also should focus on safety as the first day of school draws close.

The following are some key tips families can keep in mind to ensure a healthy and happy upcoming school year.

School bus safety The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that school buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school. The majority of school bus-related injuries occur while students are boarding and getting off the bus. Over the last 10 years, the NHTSA says nearly two-thirds of school-age pedestrians who were fatally injured by school buses or other vehicles were hurt after being struck while entering or exiting the bus. While at the bus stop, children must remember to stay at least five large steps away from the road and wait to board until the driver says so. When leaving the bus, students should make sure there is no oncoming traffic and wait for a signal from the bus driver

before crossing busy streets.

While on the bus, observe the rules and stay seated at all times. Keep the center aisle clear of backpacks.

Walking/biking safety Students may walk or bike to school if the school permits. School tends to begin during the morning rush hour, so students must exercise extreme caution when walking or biking to school. Stick to sidewalks whenever possible when walking. Cyclists should follow the rules of the road, including riding in the same direction as traffic. Choose the safest route as a family and practice it before the first day of school, advises the security company ADT.

Backpack safety Choose an ergonomically designed backpack to enhance safety and comfort. Backpacks should weigh no more than 5 to 10 percent of the child's body weight, advises the National Safety Council. Rolling backpacks should be avoided since they are a tripping hazard. With a new school year on the horizon, students and their parents can discuss school safety so the year starts off on the right foot.

Living "green" on campus

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ollege is full of challenges. While studying, socializing, joining clubs, and getting good grades are probably on college students’ priority lists, young people also can think about living green on campus. Data from Nielsen points to millennials as being an ecoconscious generation. Millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings, and they tend to stick to brands that have established a reputation for environmental stewardship.

Even though college students may have packed schedules, they can still manage to keep the planet in mind as they live and educate themselves. Here are just a few ways college students can live green in dorms and incorporate eco-friendly practices into their studies as well. • Live on campus. One green idea is to skip the commute to and from classes and reside right on campus in dormitories or nearby student housing. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is responsible for 13 percent

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Chances are you can find people willing to give you or loan out chairs, a small table, desk, electronics, and more. Borrowing enables you to buy less.

• Take e-notes. Bring a tablet or laptop to class and take electronic notes. This cuts back on paper usage and will enable you to have all notes in a compact file.

of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Living close to the classroom can help reduce emissions.

• Recycle as much as you can. Whether it’s plastic, paper, aluminum, or books, put recyclable items in the proper receptacles. Find ways to lend or give away items that you may no longer need, such as last semester’s textbooks. Recycling cuts back on the size of landfills and lowers the demand for the production of new materials.

• Buy and dine locally. Choose sustainable, organic and locally produced items when shopping or dining out. This can include locally made furnishings and supplies, as well as farm-to-table restaurants.

• Walk or bike. Leave the car in its parking spot and walk or bike to nearby events. It’s good exercise and good for the planet as well. • Borrow dorm room items. Scout out items from family members or friends that can be used to equip a dorm room.

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• Use LED lights. Illuminate your dorm room and work station with lamps that use LED lights, which burn significantly less energy and last much longer than incandescent bulbs. • Enroll in an environmentfocused class. Enroll in Environmental Science or a similar course that teaches you more about the impact industry and personal living has on the environment. Take what you know to educate others about what they can do to be more ecoconscious.

Going green on campus can have a profound impact on students and their futures.

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Seasonal Selections A sweet and savory Halloween treat

Save the tricks for another time; this Halloween is all about the treats. Halloween parties are par for the course, and spooktacular hosts and hostesses want to serve their guests something special. Enter a dessert hybrid that layers various flavors to create a masterpiece that simply works. This recipe for “Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bacon S’mores,” courtesy of the National Pork Board and Tiffany Edwards of Le Crème de la Crumb, is the Frankenstein’s monster of the dessert world. You’d be hardpressed to find a person who can pass up the salty swagger of smoked bacon paired with the creamy richness of chocolate and the crunch and sweetness of a chocolate chip cookie. Top it with marshmallow and this Halloween treat is alive with flavor!

Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bacon S’mores Yields 12 12 thick-cut slices bacon (hickory smoked, Applewood smoked or maple) 12 large marshmallows 12 2-inch squares chocolate good quality 12 skewers 12 tablespoons butter, softened 3⁄4 cup brown sugar 1⁄4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk 2 cups flour 1 3.4-ounce box instant French vanilla pudding mix, dry, not prepared 1 teaspoon baking soda 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make the cookies: In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar for 1 to 2 minutes until light and very fluffy. Add vanilla, egg and egg yolk, and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated and dough comes together. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover very tightly and chill for at least 1 hour.

Ba con mak es ev er

ything better

. res mo ’ s en … ev

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough into balls (about 11⁄2 inch) and space 2 to 3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. To grill the bacon: Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Thread bacon onto skewers in an S-shape. Place skewers directly on grill and cook 8 to 12 minutes, rotating as needed to ensure even cooking. Transfer to a plate, let cool and then remove bacon from skewers. Set aside. Meanwhile, roast the marshmallows: Roast marshmallows directly over the grill using skewers or roasting sticks until cooked to your preference. Assemble s’mores: Flip one cookie over so it’s upside down. Place a square of chocolate on top of the upside-down cookie, then top with grilled marshmallow, bacon and a right side-up second cookie. Serve immediately.

Cranberry-infused cocktail for autumn Besides the ubiquitous “pumpkin spice,” nothing says “autumn” more than tart cranberries. Cranberries are a major component of Thanksgiving feasts, turning up alongside and atop turkey as well as in quick breads and desserts.

Cranberries are loaded with health benefits, which include reducing the risk for ulcers and preventing gum disease. Also, just eight ounces of cranberry juice cocktail contains 137 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C.

Cranberries can even be used to craft great cocktails. Move over mulled ciders, this crisp “Cranberry Margarita” from The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association makes a great autumninspired beverage. www.seasonsmagazineonline.com

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Cranberry Margarita 11⁄2 shots of tequila 1shot of cranberry juice cocktail 1⁄4 cup of whole berry cranberry sauce 1⁄2 shot of triple sec 10 ice cubes Sweetened dried cranberries, for garnish Lime, for garnish

Serves 1

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and frosty. Serve in a margarita glass. Garnish with dried cranberries and a lime wheel. For More Information, Call: 631.226.2636


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Profile for South Bay's Neighbor Newspapers

Autumn 2019 - Edition Six  

Autumn 2019 - Edition Six Serving Farmingdale

Autumn 2019 - Edition Six  

Autumn 2019 - Edition Six Serving Farmingdale