Ponder this:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Approaching the autumnal equinox

Let me write this and see how it looks: I think I'm finished with tomatoes for this harvest. Not that the good beauties are all out of the garden . . . there are probably another few bushels out there. But I think I'm done, as in stick a fork in me done. The gallon bags of frozen tomato are not innumerable, but they are plentiful. At least a dozen and a half of them in the chest freezer, a few more cooling in the refrigerator to be removed to that semi-permanent storage. I think it might be enough.
Yet, still, it feels like a sin to let that fruit just rot out there. 
I don't know.
I might not be finished yet.
Maybe after some time doing something else. The corn stalks still have ears on them. It will be tough, but still, with the taste of sunshine packaged up in each big fat yellow kernel, better than anything from any store. 
The basil and parsley have been rinsed and bagged and frozen. I did the basil wrong, put it all, chopped up, in olive oil, in one bag and flattened it out. I should have made little balls of it and frozen them individually. But I believe the day that I did that my back felt as if it were about to crack in two if I stood much longer (a legacy of my waitressing years) and I preserved the stuff as quickly as I could so that I could bend without breaking. 

Twice last week, Molly conned me into unplanned morning-quickie-rides in the car. She knows (of course) the angle of the sun when it's time for Husband and me to leave for work. If we do not plan carefully, she might be outdoors at that time. If she's out of sight, it's a given that we must undertake the ruse of pretending to leave for work, leash looped around neck, and, upon spying her as she pops bright-eyed out of a hedgerow, stopping, inviting her into the car. She's thrilled, of course, and settles down in the passenger seat to stare out the windows, an intent tourist, as we drive out one driveway, down the road, and into the other driveway. Now the leash around her neck, we exit the car and prance to the door of the house for a cookie and a shutting away. If she only knew how fervently I wish I could stay with her.

Peep couldn't care less about when we're leaving; she comes and goes according to an unknowable to humankind happy-cat-living-a-country-life schedule. She brings us white-footed mice and other delicacies and leaves them where we will find them on our way to the door. On occasions when Peep has an active hunt in progress and Molly is around, Molly takes over and Peep gives up and leaves her to it. Several days ago, I tried to save a chipmunk from my pets, and managed only to get it to a hiding spot where it spent a night and was discovered by my beloved predators the next day, killed, and disposed of. I should have stayed out of it. The poor thing probably spent a night of painful misery, huddled in the tall grass around the wellhead, instead of having been relatively speedily dispatched in the way of Nature.

It is warm today. The high temperature forecast to be 82 degrees, with 10% chance of rain. A summer day! 
Heaven.
Maybe I'll start the fire under the big pot full of water, put on my sneakers and go out and pry some ears of corn off the stalks. 
This is good work that I'm doing, not least because in the dead of winter I will be able to sit quietly with my book and think about how comfortable it is not to be picking and hauling and boiling and cutting and scooping. I'll just be fat and happy, eating the fruits of the labor. That will be a change, won't it? from my usual mournful wailing about the Dark and Cold Time.

16 comments:

DJan said...

I think I'm lucky only to have a small garden plot, although I didn't plant tomatoes this year, the one year when they would have all ripened! I'm forced to buy them from the Farmers' Market. Yes, it's been a great year for the gardens of my fellow bloggers. You'll certainly enjoy all that good stuff this winter. :-)

Hilary said...

Yum.. I can't wait to read about the fine meals you'll be enjoying in your toasty warm house. You certainly did a lot of work and "fruits of the labor" is such a perfectly apt term.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Wow you've been busy. I no longer can or make anything other than daily meals using locally bought goods. We eat lots of raw stuff. and corn has left our plates a few years ago. we all found the present day corn less fun to eat. It gave us tummy aches.
I am not loving the darker evenings approaching for I'm night blind and have trouble in the dark.

Eileen said...

I've no garden, through my own choice, but when I read about the bounty of your garden I'm envious.

Enjoy!

Olga Hebert said...

Critters in the night graciously helped me with all my harvesting this year. Of course, I will have nothing in the freezer, but I hope the woodchucks, deer and rabbits have fattened themselves nicely.

Barb said...

I know it's so much work - but, how lucky to have all that fresh produce (now in the freezer for winter enjoyment). You'll be smirking when the snow starts and others have to visit the frozen food section at the supermarket. I didn't know you could freeze basil in olive oil - I'm going to try it. (I have one basil plant in water on my windowsill - it's too cold to grow it at altitude.) Happy fall!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

My back ached in sympathy reading your delightful post June, along with the memories of yesteryear on the farm and all of 'that'! And you know what?
-whisper- I don't miss it a bit! There's a wonderful (genuine) farmer's market nearby each weekend so I stock up for the week with in-season produce just for one. :)

Rose ~ from Oz said...

My back ached in sympathy reading your delightful post June, along with the memories of yesteryear on the farm and all of 'that'! And you know what?
-whisper- I don't miss it a bit! There's a wonderful (genuine) farmer's market nearby each weekend so I stock up for the week with in-season produce just for one. :)

Tom Sightings said...

There's only one thing in the world better than home-grown corn. And that's home-grown tomatoes! Unfortunately, we can't grow our own. Fortunately, our brother-in-law has a garden to rival yours, and he lets us help out with the harvest!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Time to put your feet up , perhaps .
And , since you haven't mentioned pumpkins , you're at least not soon going to be grappling with the giant Cinderella's coach variety that my husband loved growing .

Carolynn Anctil said...

You paint a lovely picture. Well I know the mournful look of a pup left behind. It's been too hot to take her into town with me. I can't leave her in the car while I run my errands. She doesn't realize it, but she's much happier inside in air conditioned luxury. I envy your harvest. We had a terrible year for gardening, although not completely without some goodies.

rachel said...

You'll have forgotten the drudgery come winter, and can bask in that self-satisfied glow that comes from growing and preserving your own wonderful food. Inspired, I'm off now to do something with the enormous bags of apples and pears I came home with the other day.....

Linda Myers said...

We have corn for the first time this year and I'm trying to figure out when to harvest it. The rest of the garden looks dreadful now - except for the purple grapes that are just now ripe. I am heartily sick of all the work but will probably do it again next year. The memory of berries and green beans and spinach and beats and….

Vicki Lane said...

I hear you . . . I'm ready to cut down my tomato vines -- they have blighted badly and there is NO MORE ROOM in the freezer. I canned almost 50 quarts and now I too am DONE. With tomatoes anyway, there are still apples and pears.

I have a little table in my kitchen where I can sit to do a lot of the peeling and cutting up -- it makes a big difference to my back.

esbboston said...

I was just grapes this year, for the first time in the five year journey with four plants. Our summer was absolutely gorgeous with plenty of rain, that after three years of eXtreme drought.

esbboston said...

My dog's happiness is always one of the highest priorities of my life. I am glad I have a work schedule that lets me leave almost anytime to check on him.