Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Fruitful Week

Giving thanks for abundance is sweeter than the abundance itself...

In general it has felt like a late, lean year in our garden.  With the lack of rain and our attention focused mostly on the animals, the garden has kept us fed, but felt less abundant than previous years.  And just as I was thinking about how there seems like not as much growing around here (besides the ever prolific squash!), I take a spontaneous walk through the orchard and discover an abundance of fruit in need of harvesting.  In turn, this prompts several days of gathering and preserving.  There are so many plums and apples.  If we wait until the fruit ripens on the trees the turkeys and deer will eat it all.  So in an effort to keep some of these sweets for ourselves I harvested buckets full.  They can all take their time ripening in the sun in our driveway. Some of the trees produced less this year-like the prune plums and the gravensteins- but the grapes are off the hook!  I kept making trip after trip with my basket loaded, all in amazement that the laden vines were hidden under the leafy cover just waiting to be discovered.  Like a kid in a candy store, I can't imagine a better way to spend my day. And into the kitchen I go to make grape jelly, fruit leathers, apples sauce, and dried plums.  (My goal this year is to can enough jam that we will not buy even one jar from Trader Joe's!)  The oysters and shitakes from our mushroom bed are going into the dehydrator too for soups later in the season.  We're still crankin' out the sweet and spicy zucchini pickles, our preferred method to use up overgrown summer squash.  The Oregon Sweet Meat squash are piling up on the cob bench as they make their way in from the garden. These have become my favorite winter squash for their rich delicate flavor and their ability to keep for almost a year without refrigeration.  They have a striking grey blue skin with a generous bright orange inner flesh. In these days that our hearts are filled with gratitude and reflection, the harvest has begun, and we preserve the bounty one small batch at a time.  

No comments:

Post a Comment