A thirty-day exercise in pausing, reflecting, appreciating, and giving thanks for simple things.
Many years ago we had a very large garden and we planted about 25 tomato plants each year. At the end of each season, I would can those tomatoes and usually ended up with about 40 quarts of tomatoes. It truly was a labor of love. Someone had to prepare the garden for planting; someone had to grow the seeds or purchase the tomato plants and put them in the ground. Someone had to weed and water the garden. Someone had to keep watch and pick the tomatoes when they were ripe. And then someone had to process them for keeping over the winter months. A lot of work, yes, but meals cooked with those tomatoes tasted so good.
I live in a different house now, with clay soil not sand, and a much smaller yard. This summer I decided to try my hand at growing some tomato plants. We ended up with a few good tomatoes, but not very many. And I learned a lot about growing things in clay soil that I can apply to next year’s garden. About a week or so ago, a few days after the first hard frost, I went out to clear the foliage from my little garden plot and I discovered a dozen green tomatoes, of varying sizes, hiding under the leaves. They had survived the frost. I brought them inside and they have been ripening on the windowsill. Who knows if they will taste good? But they were true harvest gifts from the garden.
Another wonderful taste from the fall harvest is apples. I’m not a big fan of apples but I do eat them. My husband loves apple pie and I should make it more often for him. He also loves fresh apple cider, something you can purchase only after the fall harvest and only for a limited time. A few weeks ago, I was treated to some delicious apple crisp. It was just the right texture, the right combination of fruit and “crisp”, just cooled from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Mmmmm.
In my mind, when I think of harvest, the image that always comes to mind is a decoration of pumpkins and gourds, and corn stalks. Some people are very talented in putting together these kinds of decorations. Sadly, I’m not one of them.