The excitement is contagious. Have you noticed that every pumpkin-themed shelf at every store is almost empty? I think we all want something to celebrate, to anticipate, to lean into as we muddle through these strange school and work times.

And autumn is just that.

If we are going to be in our houses 24/7, they are going to be gourd-ed and spiced to the max, right?

I’ve been putting out my own fall decor the past few weeks, but my kids really took it over the top. They went into the garage, unearthed more pumpkin goodness, and generously sprinkled a serving of autumn throughout the house.

And then we went up to Tehachapi.

If you’re a Bakersfield area native, you’ve probably been to Tehachapi. A short 45 minutes away, Tehachapi promises everything a Bakersfieldian desires- 4 complete and distinct seasons.

We have been picking apples in Tehachapi for the last 12 or 13 years, ever since my kids were tiny. Last year, we missed our chance because the children were in school and sports and extracurriculars, but this year, thanks to COVID, life is a little slower.

So we drove back up the mountain with my sister and her kids and my parents.

I think I was just as excited about driving somewhere- anywhere- as I was about sinking into the comfort of another year of tradition. I don’t leave my house now for days and days and days on end.

We started at Knaus Apple Ranch. Bring a mask and cash.

Apples are about $2.25 a pound to pick your own (well worth it!), and four determined children can pick about $60.00 worth of apples. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

We’ve got apples for days, people. Delicious, inspiring apples.

Then, we went to Dries Farms. It was…magical.

Dries Farms is a family farm started in 1995 with 7 acres of raspberries. It has evolved into a half acre of raspberries, 500 lavender plants, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes and herbs on 5 acres.

We picked our own pumpkins and raspberries, surrounded by the heavenly, heady fragrance of sun-warmed lavender.

The ladies at Dries were amazing. Three generations of strong and kind women were out, welcoming families to the farm.

We had 7 rambunctious kids in our party and the Dries ladies were warm and friendly and relaxed with our noise and touching and questions. We’ll be back.

And so.

These pumpkins got me thinking all fall recipes.

I’ve been sharing these recipes first with my fall group coaching program and my girls seem to like the pumpkin additions. The only complaint was that every store in town is sold out of pumpkin puree!

and families are even getting in on the action.

I’m dying over Amanda’s kids’ cups.

PS- While this round of group coaching is almost over, you can always join the self-paced Nourished. You’ll get 31 days of everything done-for you as you seek to balance your hormones, digestion, energy, and weight amidst a busy life (I totally get it!): videos, recipes, meal plans, shopping list, journal prompts, PDFs, bonus materials, and a full month of daily chat access to me via my online portal. Check it out here.

So here are two new #fall #recipes for you! If you make them and like them, tag #jenniferwoodwardnutrition so I can celebrate autumn with you.

And this one, I’ll be sharing on KBAK Channel 29 this week at 8:50 am. Come join us!

Here is a third one for you: I love overnight oats!

Enjoy. Let me know what you think. And happy fall!