I'm going to make some soup from the vegetables in my garden, using my solar oven.

I was sitting under the harvest moon last week, preparing myself for autumn.

Early Sept. 23, the full moon and the autumnal equinox coincided for the first time in 20 years.

"It's so cosmic," my friend joked. He grew up on a commune, so he knows all the cool words.

The moon, meanwhile, was as round and as gold as the scotch in his glass.

And possibly as intoxicating. I'm telling you, this was a special moon. I'm not going to say cosmic, but I'll say I was getting some pretty good energy from that moonlight.

We were talking about fall. We were ready for it, we decided. We'd had enough of the heat. Bring on the harvest.

And then, a few days later, the heat returned. I'd call it Indian summer, but the leaves haven't all changed. I'd call it hell, but I don't want to be dramatic.

But it's been hot for late September. Way too hot.

Of course, it hasn't helped that I had a fever for about three days straight, starting right when the sun got fired up.

I do love catching office viruses.

But, in the time I've been holed up in my bedroom recovering, I've been thinking: This weather is a blessing to the gardeners who have been slacking on their fall planting. This gives us more time.

I say us, because, I admit, I'm one of the slackers. I really intended to have a planting party last weekend.

But I had too many art projects on my hands. And every night I was trying to stay up to watch this super cosmic moon. And then I got sick.

This weather gives me a chance to get the seeds in the ground this weekend.

It also gives me a chance to construct my own solar oven. Ashland Middle School students showed me how Tuesday. They designed and created their own ovens, using recycled materials, and then cooked all sorts of treats for themselves on the blacktop.

It looked fun. And useful, as one student pointed out, if you're ever stranded on a deserted island.

I'm planning to make one I can take camping. This summer, while camping at Castle Lake outside of Mt. Shasta, I saw a traveler cooking soup in a satellite-shaped solar oven. It takes a while, but when you're camping, you have all day.

Just beware: If you set up a solar oven when camping, everyone will want to stop by and take a look. That's what happened to this fellow at Castle Lake. He was a popular dude. And everyone kept asking to try his soup. It was looking really good, almost cosmically good, simmering there in the parking lot.

I'm telling you, solar energy is good energy.

Eventually, I'd like to power my home with solar energy.

Those who would like to learn more about energy-efficient and solar-powered homes, should check out the city's annual Green and Solar Tour, held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 9. It costs $10, but if you implement some of the things you learn on the tour, you'll probably end up saving money.

For more information, see ashlandparks.recware.com or call the North Mountain Park Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

And, in the meantime, let's work on getting seeds in the ground and solar ovens on the patio. I'm going to make some soup from the vegetables in my garden, using my solar oven. As the cool contraption is cooking, I'm sure it'll attract loads of new, interesting friends, each with a vegetable to add to the soup.

And then we'll eat under the moon and we'll be full of soup and moonlight and peace and happiness.

And it will be really cosmic.

Contact reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com. For past columns see dailytidings.com/ecologic.